Bradley's Almanac

[It’s Here!] A Music Fan’s Guide to the 2014 Independent Film Festival Boston

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm | No Comments

As warmer temps finally take hold in the Northeast, and the last of those nasty, dirt-colored snow piles fade from our streets, there’s only one thing that will get me to spend many springtime hours inside a darkened movie theatre: The annual return of the Independent Film Festival Boston.

Now in its 12th year, the esteemed 8-day, non-profit, all-volunteer film fest kicks off tonight at the Somerville Theatre with a screening of “Beneath The Harvest Sky”. That’s one of many movies I’m looking forward to this year (and not just because star Aiden Gillen – from the Wire & Game of Thrones – will be in attendance, along with the drama’s co-directors). Tickets for that are still on sale, but I can almost guarantee that won’t be the case at the door tonight. Each year, many films sell out in advance, so have a look at the lineup and make a plan, or better yet, grab a full festival badge and save yourself a little stress. Update: Full fest badges are sold out! All the more reason to pick up single tickets in advance, or at least arrive early for the stand-by lines.

As usual, the IFFBoston schedule has a strong musical component to it, both in subject matter and soundtracking, so I’ve pulled together my yearly guide to those particular flicks. Here are a dozen films showing between now and next Wednesday that either directly, or tangentially, involve makers of music…


A Music Fan’s Guide To IFFBoston 2014


EVERY EVERYTHING:
THE MUSIC, LIFE & TIMES
OF GRANT HART

Directed by Gorman Bechard
Friday, April 25th at 7pm at the Brattle Theatre
Tickets / Synopsis

Of the 12 films listed here, this is the one I’ve been lucky enough to get a preview of, so I can guarantee the greatness. Obviously a must-see for fans of this former Hüsker Dü co-songwriter/singer/drummer and his seminal Minnesota trio, but it’s not just for the already-familiar – it’s a truly fascinating profile of a pure artist that stands on its own.

(for more of my thoughts, read this synopsis, which I contributed to the IFFBoston guide)


FAT

Directed by Mark Phinney
Friday, April 25th at 9:45pm at the Brattle Theatre
Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site / Facebook

A Boston production, through and through – made here, starring more than a few people who live here, and soundtracked by a whole bunch of area musicians, including the Beatings (who you can hear in the trailer below), M.G. Lederman, Mean Creek, Slowdim, The Milling Gowns, and more. Not only do we get the area premiere on Friday night, but many of the bands involved will perform at a Saturday afternoon show at O’Brien’s in Allston. Perfect post-film follow-up.


GOD HELP THE GIRL

Directed by Stuart Murdoch (of Belle & Sebastian)
Sunday, April 27th at 8:30 PM at the Brattle
Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site / Facebook

Described as “a poignant coming-of-age story that doubles as an indie-pop musical”, Belle & Sebastian fans (myself included) have been waiting for this Stuart Murdoch-directed story for a very long time. Early reviews were mixed, and may depend on one’s tolerance for twee (or Belle & Sebastian’s catalog), but fortunately my tolerance for such things is very, very high. Bring it on, I say.


HOMEMAKERS

Directed by Colin Healey
Thursday, Apr 24th at 9:30 PM at the Somerville
*World Premiere* / Tickets / Synopsis

The lead character of this Pittsburgh-set drama, played by Rachel McKeon, is described as a “part-time Austin indie rocker — and full-time harbinger of chaos and destruction”. That’s enough of a hook to reel me in, especially knowing of one or two people who could star in this and turn it into a documentary.


LIFE ON THE V:
THE STORY OF V66

Directed by Eric Green
Sunday, April 27th at 4pm at the Somerville
Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site

The story behind V66, a Boston-based music video channel that burned bright for 18 months in the mid-80s and disappeared. Locally-focused, the station was noted for broadcasting in real-time, playing lots of Boston bands, and making their audience a part of the programming (long before ‘social media’ and ‘customer-created content’ became a buzz-phrases). The film features a more than a few now-and-former Boston musicians, including Kay Hanley, Greg Hawkes, Ben Deily, and Dan Zanes, and even some friends (Cathy! Nick!). This screening is sure to be a fun one.


MOOD INDIGO
(L’ÉCUME DES JOURS / France)

Directed by Michel Gondry
Wednesday, April 30th at 7:30pm at the Coolidge
*Closing Night Film* / Tickets / Synopsis

While Michel Gondry’s filmmaking is generally hit-or-miss (Eternal Sunshine: the best, Be Kind Rewind: the worst), he can be counted on for an interesting use of music. His latest, a French language film starring Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou, will close out IFFBoston 2014 next Wednesday, and judging from the soundtrack details, it’s no exception (though I may have to take a bathroom break when that dreadful Lumineers song comes on).


RIOT ON THE DANCE FLOOR

Directed by Steve Tozzi
Sunday, April 27th at 8:15pm at the Somerville
*World Premiere* / Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site / Facebook

Pulling from the synopsis: “…the gritty story of City Gardens, one of New Jersey’s most infamous clubs and its larger than life promoter, Randy Now.” I first became aware of this film a couple months back when Vulture interviewed Jon Stewart about his time as a bartender there back in the mid-80s, then again when Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers appeared on the Daily Show with author Amy Yates Wuelfing, who just released “No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes”, an oral history of the fabled venue. The list of talking heads in the film is top notch: Along with Stewart, there’s Dean Ween, Jack Irons, Milo Auckerman, Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, Al Jourgensen, and Ian MacKaye. That’s one seriously stacked lineup.


RUBBER SOUL

Directed by Jon Lefkovitz
Friday, April 25th at 9:15pm
Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site / Facebook

If you were assuming from the title that this would be Beatles-related, well, you’d be right. It focuses on my personal fave of the fabulous four – John Lennon – and uses audio and transcripts to reconstruct two interviews with him and Yoko Ono (one in 1970, one in 1980), contrasting and combining them to paint what, one hopes, is a unique portrait of the man – something that’s not easy to do nowadays. The tagline sums it up nicely: “Ten Years – Two Interviews – One Lennon”.


THE 78 PROJECT MOVIE

Directed by Alex Steyermark
Sunday, April 27th at 5:30pm
Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site / Facebook

Lifting from the synopsis: “The 78 Project is on a journey across America to make one-of-a-kind 78rpm records with musicians in their hometowns using a 1930s Presto direct-to-disc recorder. With one microphone. With one blank disc. In one 3-minute take.” Inspired by the travels of the legendary Alan Lomax, the film documents an ambitious new exercise in audio archiving.


SUPERMENSCH:
THE LEGEND OF SHEP GORDON

Directed by Mike Myers
Sunday, April 27th at 1pm at the Somerville
Tickets / Synopsis / IMDB

Yes, the director is that Mike Myers. And his subject, Shep Gordon, looks to have had a hell of a life on Earth so far, managing artists as varied as Alice Cooper, Blondie, Pink Floyd, and Luther Vandross before moving on to handling celebrity chefs. Many of his famous friends and clients hold forth in the film, including Cooper, Michael Douglas, Emeril Lagasse, Anne Murray, Willie Nelson, and Sylvester Stallone. If that ain’t a true mix of personalities, I don’t know what is.


20,000 DAYS ON EARTH

Directed by Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
Saturday, April 26th at 10pm at the Brattle
Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site / Facebook

Nick Cave gets the documentary treatment, although it being Nick Cave, it does things a bit differently than your standard rock doc. From the synopsis: “This innovative drama/documentary features Cave as both subject and co-conspirator, intimately documenting his artistic process and combining it with a fictional staged narrative of his 20,000th day on Earth.” In other words, don’t go into it looking to uncover exactly what makes Nick Cave tick. Besides, do you really want to know?


WE ARE THE BEST
(VI ÄR BÄST! / Sweden)

Directed by Lukas Moodysson
Saturday, April 26th at 2:30pm at the Somerville
Tickets / Synopsis / IMDB

The trailer for this Swedish-language film is all I needed to add it to my screening schedule. It’s described as “an energetic rough and tumble story of three rebellious teenage girls who form a punk rock band to defy the stifling conformity of early-1980s Stockholm.” Count me in.

If you’re looking for more viewing tips beyond my music-centric ones above, surf on over to read Ty Burr and Peter Keough’s recommendations at the Boston Globe, Norm Schrager’s choices at Meet Me In The Lobby, and Erin Trahan’s piece on this year’s short films over at WBUR.

As you fest, make sure to keep tabs on IFFBoston’s Facebook page and Twitter feed for the latest updates, like this list of filmmakers who will be appearing at certain screenings, which is always one of my favorite aspects of festival. Tonight: Carcetti in the house! See you there.

Comments

Leave a Reply





  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Friday, April 19th
    Foals
    Preoccupations
    Omni
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday & Saturday
    April 19th & 20th
    Todd Rundgren
    @ Berklee Performance Center


    Sunday, April 21st
    Laura Jane Grace &
    the Devouring Mothers
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, April 22nd
    Black Lips
    Fucked Up
    Wooing
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, April 23rd
    Girlpool
    Hatchie
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, April 24th
    Camp Cope
    Thin Lips
    Oceanator
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Thursday, April 25th
    Pup
    Diet Cig
    Ratboys
    @ the Royale


    Friday, April 26th
    Patti Smith
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, April 27th
    Jennifer O’Connor
    Thalia Zedek & Chris Brokaw
    @ an Allston living room


    Saturday, April 27th
    The Proletariat
    Moving Targets
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, April 27th
    Foxing
    Now Now
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, April 28th
    The Mountain Goats
    @ The Wilbur


    Sunday, April 28th
    Potty Mouth
    Courage My Love
    Shallow Pools
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Monday, April 29th
    Tyler Ramsey (ex-Band of Horses)
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, April 29th
    Snow Patrol
    We Are Scientists
    Ryan McMullen
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, May 2nd
    Son Volt
    Ian Noe
    @ the Paradise Rock Club


    Friday, May 3rd
    Stephen Malkmus
    (Pavement/The Jicks)
    solo electronic set
    with Eleanor Friedberger
    @ the Armory, Somerville


    Saturday, May 4th
    The McGunks, Silver Screams,
    Revilers, Damnation,
    and Live Nude Girls
    Day Show @ the Midway


    Saturday, May 4th
    The Drums
    Tanukichan
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, May 5th
    UV Rays
    Hellrazor
    Pet Fox
    Curse Word
    @ O’Brien’s


    Tuesday, May 7th
    The Dandy Warhols
    Cosmonauts
    The Vacant Lots
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, May 9th
    Nitzer Ebb
    Liebknecht
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, May 9th
    Movements
    Boston Manor
    Trash Boat
    Drug Church
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, May 11th
    Tugboat Annie (reunion)
    @ the Lilypad


    Saturday, May 11th
    Pedro the Lion
    John Vanderslice
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, May 11th
    Graham Parker
    @ City Winery Boston


    Monday, May 13th
    The Mark Lanegan Band
    (of the Screaming Trees)
    with Simon Bonney
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, May 14th
    Damien Jurado
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, May 15th
    Cursive
    mewithoutYou
    The Appleseed Cast
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, May 15th
    Tacocat
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 15th
    Jessica Pratt
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, May 16th
    Basement
    Nothing
    Teenage Wrist
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, May 16th
    Meat Puppets
    Sumo Princess
    Stephen Maglio
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, May 16th
    Royale Trux
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Friday, May 17th
    Guided By Voices!
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, May 17th
    Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo)
    @ Cafe 939, Berklee


    Saturday, May 18th
    Dream Syndicate
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, May 18th
    The Felice Brothers
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, May 18th
    Pup
    Ratboys
    Casper Skulls
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, May 19th
    Thalia Zedek
    Anna Connolly
    Weather Weapon
    Cotton Candy
    Day Show @ the Midway


    Sunday, May 19th
    Mono
    Emma Ruth Rundle
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    halfsour (record release!)
    Mini Dresses
    Anna Altman
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    Laura Stevenson
    Kississippi
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    American Football
    Pure Bathing Culture
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, May 23rd
    Passion Pit
    The Beaches
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, May 23rd
    Filthy Friends
    Dressy Bessy
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, May 24th
    The Undertones
    Dot Dash
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, May 25th
    Slayer
    Lamb of God
    Amon Amarth
    Cannibal Corpse
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Wednesday, May 29th
    Glen Hansard
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday & Friday
    May 30th & 31st
    Local Natives
    Middle Kids
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, May 31st
    Lady Lamb (full band)
    Katie Von Schleicher
    Benjamin Lazar Davis
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, June 6th
    Fog Lake
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Thursday, June 6th
    Coheed and Cambria
    Mastodon
    Every Time I Die
    @ the Pavilion


    Friday, June 7th
    The Rural Alberta Advantage
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, June 8th
    The Figgs
    two shows!
    4pm & 7pm
    @ the Burren


    Saturday, June 8th
    Howard Jones
    Men Without Hats
    All Hail the Silence
    @ the Paradise


    Monday & Tuesday
    June 10th & 11th
    Perry Farrell’s
    Kind Heaven Orchestra
    @ City Winery Boston


    Tuesday, June 11th
    Craig Finn and
    The Uptown Controllers
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, June 12th
    Wu-Tang Clan
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, June 13th
    Yeasayer
    @ the Paradise


    Friday & Saturday
    June 14th & 15th
    Jawbox
    with Second Letter (14th)
    and LaPeche (15th)
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, June 15th
    The Lemonheads
    Tommy Stinson (Replacements)
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, June 15th
    Droneflower
    (Steve Brodsky & Marissa Nadler)
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, June 15th
    The Specials
    @ the House of Blues


    Monday, June 17th
    Dido
    @ the House of Blues


    Tuesday, June 18th
    Earth
    Helms Alee
    @ the Once Ballroom


    Thursday, June 20th
    Kristin Hersh (trio show)
    Fred Abong
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Thursday, June 20th
    Kishi Bashi
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, June 21st
    Spencer Krug
    (Wolf Parade/Sunset Rubdown)
    @ Cafe 939


    Saturday, June 22nd
    seBADoh
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, June 23rd
    Slothrust
    Weakened Friends
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, June 24th
    The Lonely Island
    Demitri Martin
    @ the Bank Pavilion


    Thursday, June 27th
    Foxwarren
    Hannah Cohen
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, June 28th
    Wand
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, June 29th
    Lithics
    @ O’Brien’s


    Sunday, June 30th
    Cate Le Bon
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Tuesday, July 2nd
    Jackson Browne
    @ the Pavilion


    Saturday, July 6th
    Velvet Crush
    Sleepyhead
    Hilken Mancini & Chris Colbourn
    DJ Ty Jesso
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Monday, July 8th
    Third Eye Blind
    Jimmy Eat World
    Ra Ra Riot
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 9th
    Psychedelic Furs
    James
    Dear Boy
    @ the House of Blues


    Tuesday, July 9th
    We Were Promised Jetpacks
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, July 10th
    Bill Callahan (smog)
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, July 13th
    Belle & Sebastian
    Ex Hex
    @ the House of Blues


    Sunday, July 14th
    The Messthetics
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, July 16th
    Carly Rae Jepsen
    @ the House of Blues


    Wednesday, July 17th
    Heart
    Sheryl Crow
    Elle King
    @ Xfinity Center


    Friday, July 19th
    Okkervil River
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, July 21st
    Weird Al Yankovic
    @ the Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 23rd
    Elvis Costello & the Imposters
    Blondie
    @ the Pavilion


    Saturday, July 27th
    The Faint
    Ritual Howls
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, August 1st
    Iron Maiden
    with The Raven Age
    @ Xfinity Center


    Saturday, August 3rd
    Ben Folds
    Violent Femmes
    @ the Bank Pavilion


    Monday, August 5th
    Bryan Ferry
    performing Roxy Music’s
    “Avalon” & more
    @ Boston Opera House


    Wednesday, August 7th
    The Paper Kites
    @ Somerville Theatre


    Tuesday, August 13th
    John Fogerty
    @ the Pavilion


    Tuesday, August 13th
    Neurosis
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, August 15th
    Beck
    Cage The Elephant
    Spoon
    Sunflower Bean
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Wednesday, August 21st
    The Alarm
    Gene Loves Jezebel
    Modern English
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, August 22nd
    Bitch Mountain
    Birthday Ass
    Puppy Problems
    Prior Panic
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Sunday, August 25th
    Alex Lahey
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, September 3rd
    Vampire Weekend
    @ Agganis Arena


    Sunday, September 8th
    Avail
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, September 8th
    Fontaines D.C.
    Pottery
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, September 9th
    The Raconteurs
    @ House of Blues


    Monday, September 9th
    Hot Chip
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, September 11th
    Jethro Tull
    @ the Chevalier, Medford


    Friday, September 13th
    The Who
    @ Fenway Park


    Wednesday, September 18th
    ZZ Top
    Cheap Trick
    @ the Pavilion


    Wednesday, September 18th
    The Julian Lage Trio
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, September 19th
    Bloc Party
    performing “Silent Alarm”
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, September 19th
    King Crimson
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Friday, September 20th
    The Feelies
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, September 21st
    Andrew Bird
    Calexico and Iron & Wine
    @ the Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, September 21st
    Massive Attack
    “MezzanineXX1” tour
    @ the Wang


    Sunday, September 22nd
    Mac DeMarco
    @ the Orpheum


    Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday
    September 25th, 26th, & 27th
    Three nights of Built To Spill
    “Keep It Like A Secret” Anniversary Tour
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, September 29th
    Stereolab
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, September 29th
    Graham Nash
    @ the Berklee Performance Center


    Thursday, October 3rd
    Ladytron
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
    October 3rd, 4th, & 5th
    Three nights of Billy Bragg
    “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, October 5th
    Maggie Rogers
    Empress Of
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Saturday, October 5th
    Mudhoney
    Pissed Jeans
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, October 6th
    Mt. Joy
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, October 11th
    The Black Keys
    Modest Mouse
    Jessy Wilson
    @ TD Garden


    Sunday, October 13th
    Big Thief
    Palehound
    @ the Wilbur


    Wednesday, October 16th
    Oh Sees
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday & Sunday
    October 19th & 20th
    Cave In
    Miltown
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday & Saturday
    October 18th & 19th
    The Town and the City Festival
    returns to Lowell, MA!


    Friday, October 25th
    Jenny Lewis
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday & Saturday
    October 25th & 26th
    Steely Dan
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, October 26th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday & Wednesday
    October 29th, 30th, & November 1st
    Steely Dan
    @ the Orpheum


    Wednesday, October 30th
    Jónsi & Alex Somers (Sigur Ros)
    “Riceboy Sleeps”
    with the Wordless Music Orchestra
    @ the Wilbur


    Thursday, October 14th
    Robert Forster (Go-Betweens)
    @ City Winery Boston


    Sunday, December 8th
    Cher
    with Nile Rogers & Chic
    @ the Garden