Colin Hanks' long-awaited documentary on Tower Records, a film on the manager of the Doors and Ramones, and a rarely seen film focused on Leon Russell's Oklahoma years in the early 1970s are among the selections this year at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival.
Brett Morgen's Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, well-received at Sundance last week, will screen, as will Wes Orshoski's documentary on overlooked punk pioneers the Damned, Julien Temple's film on Wilko Johnson, Joe Nick Patoski's chronicle of Texas legend Doug Sahm and Don Hardy's exploration of 40 years of the experimental band the Residents.
Lemmy director Orshoski returns with THE DAMNED: Don't You Wish That We Were Dead. Brendan Toller, who directed I Need That Record about independent record stores, is behind Danny Says, the story of Danny Fields who managed the Doors, the Velvet Underground, the Stooges, MC5, the Ramones and others. Texas writer-historian Patoski makes his directing debut on the Sahm film, Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove.
JACO, the official documentary of Record Store Day in 2014 co-written by Metallica's Rob Trujillo, will receive its world premiere along with Joaquim Castro and Eduardo Nazarian's look at Brazilian legend Dominguinhos, Jessica Edwards's Mavis!, about Mavis Staples, and Made in Japan, Josh Bishop's look at the world's ﬁrst Japanese country music superstar, Tomi Fujiyama. JACO is the story of the extraordinary bassist Jaco Pastorius, who changed the course of modern music through his work with Weather Report, Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell and as a bandleader. Sony Legacy will be releasing the soundtrack.
Besides the nonfiction works playing at the March 13-21 festival in Austin, Texas, films featuring T.I. and Jack Antonoff will play alongside the U.S. premiere of Love & Mercy, the biography of Brian Wilson as founder of the Beach Boys and during his dark years under the care of Eugene Landy. Also receiving its U.S. Premiere is Gloria, director Christian Keller's scripted look at Mexican pop star Gloria Trevi.
Antonoff appears in Michael Showalter's Hello, My Name is Doris starring Sally Field; T.I. is in Etan Cohen's directorial debut Get Hard with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart.
The lineup of music-related films, almost exclusively in the 24 Beats Per Second section, is treasure trove for fans of music from the 1960s, '70s and '80s, featuring films that have been anticipated for years.
Hanks' film All Things Must Pass landed on many record buyers' radar – and raised hackles in some corners -- in July 2011, when Hanks ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising more than $92,000 to fund a documentary on the legendary record store chain. The film, written by Steven Leckart, explores the rise of Tower Records from its beginnings in Sacramento to its demise in 2006, and the legacy forged by its founder, Russ Solomon.
A Poem Is A Naked Person, from the late director Les Blank, was filmed between 1972 and '74 at Russell and Denny Cordell's recording studio compound in Northeast Oklahoma. Featuring Russell, Willie Nelson and George Jones, the never-released film has only been shown at public screenings for nonprofit organizations with Blank in attendance. This screening is being billed as its world premiere.
Other films in 24 Beats Per Second are Adam Bhala Lough's Hot Sugar's Cold World; Alan Berg's The Jones Family Will Make a Way about a Pentecostal preacher and a jaded rock critic forming an alliance; Landfill Harmonic, Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley chronicle of the youth group the Recycled Orchestra; Johanna Schwartz's story of Mali musicians fighting Islamic extremists, They Will Have To Kill Us First;
We Like It Like That, Mathew Ramirez Warren's documentary on Latin boogaloo of the 1960s; and David Reeve and Waraluck Hiransrettawat's survey of music in Thailand, Y/OUR MUSIC.
The 22nd annual film festival includes 60 films from first-time filmmakers, 100 world premieres, 13 North American premieres and 11 U.S. premieres. The Midnighters feature section and the Short Film program will be announced on Feb. 10.