Docs on James Brown, Bjork Added to Tribeca Film Festival Lineup

Tonje Thilesen for Pitchfork
Bjork performs at the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, IL.

The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival has added two feature music documentaries to its special screenings program: Alex Gibney's work-in-progress, Untitled James Brown Documentary, and the world premiere of Bjork: Biophilia Live.

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The festival, which runs April 16-27 in New York, also announced that TFF’s opening night world premiere of Time Is Illmatic followed by a performance by rapper Nas, will take place at the Beacon Theatre. Tickets will be available to the public

Director One9’s documentary Time is Illmatic follows the trajectory of Nas' 1994 landmark debut album Illmatic -- considered to be one of the most groundbreaking albums in hip hop.

"Music is a prominent thread throughout the festival this year, and the Untitled James Brown Documentary and Bjork: Biophilia Live are great complements to our already exciting slate," director of programming Genna Terranova said. "Nas and his work have been beloved by New Yorkers for years and we are thrilled to be celebrating his music with everyone on opening night."

Information on the late additions in the special section can be found below:

  • Untitled James Brown Documentary, directed and written by Gibney. (USA) – Work In Progress, Documentary. James Brown changed the face of American music. Soul Brother Number One, as he was known, pioneered the journey from rhythm and blues to funk  More than that, this American legend -- who willed himself to life after he was stillborn -- was a classic embodiment of the American dream. The son of a "turpentine man" from rural South Carolina, Brown became one the greatest live performers ever known, the "hardest working man in show business," and a self-made millionaire. As he often said, it was "show AND business." Once successful, one of his first orders of business was to launch the soundtrack for a new civil rights movement: "Say It Loud: I'm Black and I'm Proud." With unique cooperation of the Brown estate, this is a definitive documentary biography of the James Brown story and legend, 1933–1974. The screening will be followed by a special conversation with Gibney on April 27.
  • Björk: Biophilia Live, directed by Nick Fenton & Peter Strickland. (U.K.) – World Premiere, Documentary. From a mind unlike any other, Biophilia Live chronicles the multidimensional concert centered on the eighth studio album of avant-garde Icelandic artist Björk. Directors Fenton and Strickland, unique voices in their own right, film Björk live in performance, and punctuate her music with evocative animation from apps created by the world's top designers combined with science and nature archive and found footage. This is inspired by the themes of the album which explore the relationships between musical structures and natural phenomena -- atomic, cellular and cosmic. The infinitely creative journey presents a culmination of work that represents one of the most original musical endeavors of a generation. The film will screen at the festival on April 26.

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