Big Smash! Music Scene - Fall Schedule

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A weekly series of music films that aims to enlighten as much as entertain, BIG SMASH! MUSIC SCENE traverses broad musical terrain: baroque pop, country, metal, punk, soul & funk, folk and outsider music – all for a discounted admission of $5. Although in some cases premieres of popular films may hold over for longer runs, the series will focus on niche artists and the work of independent directors, with one-night-only screenings. Series curated by Kier-La Janisse with promotional assistance from Manitoba Music, CKUW 95.9FM and Into The Music.

Upcoming Movies...

Thurs. Sept. 4 – 9:00PM
Dir. Rick Ernst | USA 2007 | 100min. | DVCAM | Documentary | 14A
Not recommended for children, coarse language, substance abuse

GET THRASHED traces the rise, fall and impact of thrash metal; from its early years, through its influence on grunge, nu metal and today’s heavy metal scene. It is the story of the heaviest, hardest music of the 80s and early 90s as told by the bands who lived it, the fans and bands that grew up on it, and by the artists that carry the “thrash metal” flag today. Our journey begins in the early 80s, where Metallica and several other bands laid the groundwork for what would become a lasting impression on the face of heavy metal music. These bands helped ignite local scenes in Los Angeles, the Bay area of California and New York City, which helped fuel a worldwide thrash metal movement. By the dawn of the 1990’s, thrash bands had gone from playing backyard barbeque parties to headlining arenas and Metallica were on their way to becoming one of the biggest metal acts of all time. Featuring interviews and performances by Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Anthrax, Megadeth, Testament, Voivod, Kreator and more!


Thurs. Sept. 11, Fri. Sept. 12 & Sat. Sept. 13 – 9:15PM
Dir. Greg Kohs | USA 2008 | 97min. | BETA SP | Documentary


SONG SUNG BLUE tells the alternately inspiring and tragic love story of Lightning & Thunder, a homegrown Milwaukee husband and wife singing duo who pay tribute to the music of Neil Diamond. Filmmaker Greg Kohs goes backstage into the personal lives with this brave couple - from their humble beginnings over 20 years ago to the threshold of fame, from disaster to rebirth through to the most dramatic chapters in the lives of these authentic American dreamers. SONG SUNG BLUE is about the uniquely American ability to invent one's self and strive for a seemingly impossible goal. It’s about fleeting celebrity and love and about a couple who manages to maintain their passion for one another amid the vicissitudes of life.

Dir. Jeff Krulik and John Heyn | USA 1996 | Video | Documentary

In October 1996, Jeff Krulik and John Heyn return to Baltimore’s Capital Centre for a Neil Diamond concert, meeting the distant cousins of the heavy metal fans they profiled a decade earlier in the classic HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT.


Thurs. Sept. 18 – 9:00PM
Music Scene!

Dir. Martin Davidson | USA 1983 | 95min. | 35mm | PG

One of the most equally loved and reviled films of the 80s, EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS was high melodrama disguised as a rock n' roll period piece. Ellen Barkin plays a reporter who believes that Eddie Wilson (Michael Pare), hearthrob singer of 60s band Eddie and the Cruisers, never really died when his car crashed off a bridge in 1964. Determined to prove that Eddie lives, she tracks down the former Cruisers for clues as to what happened to Eddie, and to the tapes of their mysterious last recording session. Let's face it, the music here is low-rent Springsteen, and the 80s has a hard time passing for the early 60s, but this film is PURE MAGIC just the same, and Michael Pare delivers an iconic performance as Eddie Wilson.

NOTE: This is a a rare 35mm print, we have been told it is one of the only Stereo prints made of this film. It was donated for this screening from a private collection.


Thurs. Sept. 25 – 9:00PM
Comp. Kier-La Janisse | USA/Canada 2005 | 100min. | Video | Documentary

Based on Kim Cooper and David Smay's book of the same name, this compilation of prepubescent pop from '67 to '72 takes us through the beginnings of producer-driven pop with The Brill Building and the West Coast Gary Usher sound through the glittery terrain of Glam Rock and 80s boy bands. Featuring rare footage of the 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Archies, The Ohio Express, The Sweet, The Bay City Rollers, The Banana Splits, The Wombles, the Jackson 5 Cartoon and more, it dismantles the worst myths about how bubblegum is produced and identifies the gummy connections of artists as varied as the Sex Pistols, Abba, the Monkees and the Ramones.


Thurs. Oct. 3 & Fri. Oct. 4 – 9:15PM
Dir. Raymond De Felitta | USA 2006 | 100min. | 35mm | Documentary

Described as “Chet Baker times 10” by singer Billy Vera, THE SEARCH FOR JACKIE PARIS shines an overdue light on a great who got away. In the 1950’s and 60’s the Italian American jazz singer Jackie Paris packed New York jazz clubs, released five albums and was named Best New Male Vocalist of 1953 in the Down Beat Critics Poll. Admired by his peers, he toured with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. All too soon however, his career appeared to be over, and many believed he had died. THE SEARCH FOR JACKIE PARIS reveals a career dogged by inadequate management, insufficient luck, and his own intractable ego. Tightly edited interviews with a host of jazz legends and industry insiders as well as Mr. Paris’s family and ex-wives provide further insight, but the film’s most powerful voice is the singer’s own. (N.Y. Times)


Thurs. Oct. 9 – 9:00PM
John Lennon’s Birthday:

Back by popular demand! In honour of John Lennon’s 68th birthday, bring your singing voice down to the Cinematheque for a sentimental journey with the Fab Four. From mop-topped mods to psychedelic explorers to revolutionary hippies, we’ll take in every facet of the Beatles’ brief but storied existence as the greatest bloody band in the world.


Thurs. Oct. 16 – 9:00PM
Music Scene!

Dir. Barney Platts-Mills | UK 1969 | 86min. | Teen Drama
With music by Audience!

BRONCO BULLFROG has become one of the leading British cult films of the sixties, despite only ever showing once on TV, and never appearing on video until last year (in the UK only). It has been sought after on ‘bootleg’ for many years, and has a range of fans - notably the Jam’s Paul Weller. This seminal British film would usher in the suedehead fashion craze; set in the East End, BRONCO BULLFROG follows the resigned council estate life of one Del Walker, harassed at home and harassed by his girlfriend’s mother. One day, he meets up with Bronco, a mate on the run from a borstal, and together they pull off a job. Then the police come knocking…

“Crude and defiant, full of angry energy” (Jay Cocks, Time Magazine)


Wed. Oct. 22 & Thurs. Oct 23 – 9:00PM

SUBSONICS: Parts One and Two
Dir. Various | Australia 2002-2003 | Six 25-min. Episodes | Video | Documentary
Curated and co-presented by Send + Receive

A series of six half-hour episodes that explore the long neglected area of experimental music, SUBSONICS features over 24 international artists – including Sachiko M., Masonna, Keith Rowe and more – and covers everything from all-elephant Orchestras and the sounds of electrical activity in the upper atmosphere, to cutting edge turn-table artists and music for sticky tape. SUBSONICS uncovered a vibrant and thriving underground culture and features the many and diverse styles that make up this burgeoning musical scene. Episodes 1-3 play Wed. / Episodes 4-6 play Thurs.


Thurs. Oct. 30 – 9:00PM
Dir. Rene Laloux | France 1973 | 72min. | Animated Science-Fiction

With live score by Les Jupes!

Based on French science fiction novelist Stefan Wul's “Oms en Serie” ("Oms by the Dozen"), René Laloux's FANTASTIC PLANET paints an animated tale of humans kept as domesticated pets by an alien race of blue humanoid giants called Traags. The story takes place on the Traags' planet Ygam, where we follow our narrator, an Om called Terr, from infancy to adulthood, when he escapes his subjugation with a Traag learning device with which to educate the savage Oms and incite them to revolt. As a French-Czech coproduction, this story had much resonance for its makers as an allegory of Czechoslovakia's invasion by Soviet troops in the late '60s, and had to be completed in Paris due to political pressure. The animation technique utilized by visionary artist Roland Topor - moving paper cutouts across backgrounds - contributes to the overall feeling of other-worldliness. The film won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973. (Jim Gay)

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