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Backbeat

"A soulful portrait of an artist who allowed nothing to stand in the way of his embrace of life and his huge talent." - Hollywood Reporter ... Short in stature but big in talent, Michel Petrucciani was a virtuoso jazz musician whose brief life blazed brightly with ability, charisma and hedonism ... Read more
As the name suggests, Mirrorball / Animation delves into some creative yet twisted animated clips… ink paintings morph into dreamlike imagery, Viking warlords kick it with guitar solos in a sea-faring battle of the bands… Steve Barnes & Yvette Klein, All the Things That Make Me ... Read more
Highlighting the most impressive music video and promo work to come out of the US and the UK over the past 12 months, Mirrorball / Fresh Tracks stretches from veteran masters to new kids on the block. The Willowz, Ulcer Soul, dir. Ace Norton Boards of Canada, Dayvan Cowboy, dir. Melissa ... Read more
Looking at the current mini-boom of clips and promos from Japan, many rarely seen outside their homeland, Mirrorball / Made in Japan includes such treats as Polysics' wee robo-schoolgirl, Strong Machine2. Polysics, My Me Mine (Strong Machine2 version), dir. Yuichi Kodama Polysics, Electric ... Read more
"What does freedom mean to a 19-year-old Buddhist girl who dreams of being of a pop star but is living under a repressive military regime?" - Director Juliet Lamont ... The western construct of ‘Girl Power' is a relatively new concept in countries such as Myanmar (also known as Burma), where ... Read more
"May be the funniest, most meta music movie since Spinal Tap." - Pitchfork ... In 2010 indie darlings The National set out on a world tour on the back of their critically acclaimed album, High Violet. Joining them as a roadie was frontman Matt Berninger's younger brother Tom, a general layabout ... Read more
"You're in rock ‘n' roll heaven, man." - Keith Richards ... In the 1960s, the tiny Alabama town of Muscle Shoals became the unlikely source of some of the most creative and celebrated funk and soul music in American history. ... Under the control of FAME Studios founder Rick Hall, white ... Read more
"...an extraordinary portrait of an extraordinary musician." - SIGHT & SOUND (UK) ... "...one of the most starkly beautiful and moving documentaries ever made about a jazz musician." - JAZZ TIMES (USA)The prophetic free jazz saxophonist, Albert Ayler, recognised as one of the most important ... Read more
“The film is a sensorial exaltation… feast on the liquescent black and white cinematography, while Jeanne Balibar purrs her way through the recording and performing of an ensemble of musical pieces stretching from Offenbach to the synth-pop present day.” - Senses of Cinema ... Born from a ... Read more
“It's that good, from the incredible opening sentence to the surprising ending. Don't miss it. Really.” - New York Post ... On 4 April, 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated in one of the 20th century's momentous - and soul-destroying - events. That night, America's inner cities erupted in ... Read more
“Julien Temple's new rock doc is the dog's bollocks. 5/5” - Mojo ... The final film in his trilogy on British music of the 70s sees Julien Temple rewind to a time before The Clash (Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten, MIFF 07) and the Sex Pistols (The Filth & The Fury) when a ... Read more
“My dreams came true… I saw America changed by music.” - Harry Smith Filmmaker, musician, painter, mystic and string collector… Harry Smith was a man of many talents. He was catapulted into the American cultural conscious after spearheading the Anthology of American Folk Music ... Read more
“It was so direct, so musically inventive, so improvised… totally in your face.” - Nick Cave ... One of the most innovative and inspirational artists of the last 30 years, Mark Stewart brought his revolutionary Bristolian punk ethic to the masses, kicking off a music scene that would ... Read more
Curated for MIFF (by MIFF), Orbit takes a spin around all that's fresh and exciting in Australian and New Zealand music videomaking. Explosive and frenetic, these clips run the gamut from Fraggle-like creatures on drugs… obsessive crushes… murderous puppets… cyborg ... Read more
Orbit 2008 takes a surprising spin around everything that's fresh and exciting in Australian and New Zealand music videomaking. Haunting and longing, sweet and satirical; these clips run the gamut from lost eyeballs, cemetery parties and walkabouts to beautiful Fitzroy girls on bicycles. Join the ... Read more
A candid portrait of one of Australia's most beloved singer-songwriters. ... In a career spanning nearly 40 years, Paul Kelly has written over 350 songs - many of them quintessential Australian classics - as well as writing books, soundtracks (including Lantana, MIFF 01) and films. He has performed ... Read more
"The Tote is as important to the history of Australian rock'n'roll as New York's CBGB's was to punk." - Mess + Noise ... Persecution Blues is Natalie van den Dungen's love letter to The Tote's cherished place within the Melbourne music community. From the little Collingwood pub's riotous 21st ... Read more
“I don't know if Pete Seeger believes in saints, but I believe he is one.” - Chicago Sun-Times ... A man and a musician who believes music can change the world, Pete Seeger continues to be what the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines calls “the high priest of folk music”.Ego-free, with an innate ... Read more
Combining shuddering, groove-laden funky soul and folky, handcrafted acoustics, singer-songwriter Ben Harper has cultivated a cult following in the past decade. A native of California, he grew up on blues, folk, soul, R&B and reggae. Playing guitar as a child, as an adolescent he picked up acoustic ... Read more
8 members, 25 egos, 6 livers. ... Down in the bayous of southern Louisiana, rock ‘n' roll came to a halt in the early 60s and meshed with country and Dixie blues, giving birth to swamp pop - a combination of lovelorn lyrics, jangling honky-tonk pianos, undulating bass lines, bellowing horn ... Read more
"Both a captivating personal story and a history of a moment - as the best rock documentaries are." - Flavorwire ... As a founder of the riot grrrl movement in the 1990s, singer Kathleen Hanna was a force of nature. As the leader of punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, Hanna became ... Read more
“Blues are the songs of despair, but gospel songs are the songs of hope.” - Mahalia Jackson ... Take a foot-stompin' journey into the heart and soul of gospel music from seasoned music documentary filmmaker Don McGlynn (The Howlin' Wolf Story). Combining archival footage, rare recordings ... Read more
“Motown had the sweet, but Stax had the funk.” - Rufus Thomas, Stax Artist ... In an era of heightened racism and segregation, white bank clerk Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton moved into a movie theatre in a black neighbourhood of Memphis, and turned it into a recording studio where ... Read more
WORLD PREMIERE ... “Rock ‘n' roll, in the true sense, is partly about theatre and partly about poetry and partly… about the smell of petrol, if you know what I mean.” - Angry Anderson Rock 'n' Roll Outlaw is an on-the-road documentary tracing the hidden passions and industry esteem of ... Read more
Director Stephen Kijak will be a guest of the festival and will be introducing the first screening of Scott Walker: 30 Century Man ... “Wow. That's... that's amazing. I've seen God in the window. I'm... I'm speechless really.” - David Bowie on BBC Radio 1 following a birthday greeting from ... Read more
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