Music Box Summer Music Film Festival 2
Monday 30 July – Thursday 2 August 2012
Chicago is home to some of the greatest music festivals. Now, for the second year, the Music Box Theatre and WBEZ’s Sound Opinions partner to relive some of the greatest musical stories ever caught on film. The 2012 Summer Music Film Festival features three new films and two classic concert documentaries at the historic Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue in Chicago, July 30-August 2, 2012. Four days of film devoted to music culminate with a closing-night screening of Shut Up and Play the Hits hosted by Sound Opinions co-hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot.
The Summer Music Film Festival opens Monday, July 30, with two rock ’n’ roll classics. Monterey Pop, directed by D.A. Pennebaker (Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars; The War Room), documents the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival, which preceded Woodstock by two years. The vérité concert film features the music of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar and many others in iconic performances.
Monterey Pop is accompanied by the movie dubbed “rock and roll Zapruder” by Film Comment’s Amy Taubin. Gimme Shelter, directed by David and Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens) and Charlotte Zwerin (Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser) documents The Rolling Stones on the last 10 days of their 1969 US tour, from an ecstatic show at Madison Square Garden to a deadly free-for-all at San Francisco’s Altamont Speedway. These two films tell some of the most important musical stories from the end of the Sixties. They repeat Tuesday, July 31.
It has been 25 years since Paul Simon released his groundbreaking, Grammy-winning album Graceland. Joe Berlinger’s new documentary Under African Skies begins with Simon’s emotional 2011 journey back to South Africa and the roots of his seminal album, then unfolds into a kaleidoscopic portrait of the turbulent birth and ever-shifting life of a work of art.
Musical maverick Andrew Bird is the subject of the extraordinary (and soon-to-be out of circulation) documentary Andrew Bird: Fever Year (2011). Kartemquin Films’ Xan Aranda directs this award-winning concert film, which takes an illuminating look at the Northwestern University-educated multi-instrumentalist. Fever Year features a Chicago subject and a Chicago-, Minneapolis- and Milwaukee-based crew. This will likely be the final screening of Andrew Bird: Fever Year in Chicago for several years; the film will not be available on DVD or elsewhere, by choice of Andrew Bird, who commissioned and owns the film.
When LCD Soundsystem played its final show on April 2, 2011, at Madison Square Garden critics and fans agreed it was among the greatest musical events of the last decade. Shut Up and Play the Hits (Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, 2012) is the documentary about that concert and its architect, LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy. The first Chicago screening at the Music Box sold more than 700 tickets in two minutes. Subsequent screenings have been added and sold out. This special screening at the Music Box Summer Music Film Festival will be the last opportunity for Chicago to see, on the big screen, this amazing film. The screening will be hosted by Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot as a special closing night event.
Monday, July 30th, 2012
- 7:30pm: Monterey Pop
- 9:15pm: Gimme Shelter
Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
- 7:30pm: Under African Skies
- 9:45pm: Monterey Pop
Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
- 7:30pm: Andrew Bird: Fever Year
Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
- 7:30pm: Shut Up and Play the Hits
- 10:15pm: Shut Up and Play the Hits
- Mon 30 Jul 2012, 7:30pm
- Tue 31 Jul 2012, 9:45pm
Monterey Pop (1968)
directed by DA Pennebaker in English
Forty-five years later we look back at one of the most influential music events of the 20th century. The Monterey Pop Festival ran for three days in June 1967. The live performances were spectacularly successful.
Janis Joplin, who was singing with Big Brother and the Holding Company, pulled out all the stops with a raw, powerful performance that helped establish her as the preeminent female rock singer of her day.
The Who climaxed a brilliant set by smashing their equipment at the conclusion of “My Generation”.
Jimi Hendrix offered an awesome display of his virtuosity as a guitarist and as a showman, humping his Marshall amplifiers and then setting his Stratocaster ablaze.
Otis Redding, the dynamic soul man, turned in what many present believe was the festival’s best performance.
- Mon 30 Jul 2012, 9:15pm
Gimme Shelter (1970)
directed by David Maysles, Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin
Called the greatest rock film ever made, this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 US tour.
When three hundred thousand members of the Love Generation collided with a few dozen Hells Angels at San Francisco’s Altamont Speedway, Direct Cinema pioneers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin were there to immortalize on film the bloody slash that transformed a decade’s dreams into disillusionment.
- Tue 31 Jul 2012, 7:30pm
Under African Skies (2011)
directed by Joe Berlinger in English
Paul Simon’s Grammy-winning album Graceland was an immediate hit and lightning rod for controversy when it was released in 1986. South African leaders protested that Simon had broken the cultural boycott of the nation’s oppressively racist apartheid regime.
In the documentary Under African Skies Simon returns to South Africa 25 years after Graceland‘s release. Director Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory) follows Simon as he reunites with his South African collaborators and revisits the controversy the album caused, while luminaries like Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Lorne Michaels, David Bryne and Sir Paul McCartney share their thoughts on what the album meant to them.
- Wed 1 Aug 2012, 7:30pm
Andrew Bird: Fever Year (2011)
directed by Xan Aranda
Filmed during culminating months of the acclaimed singer-songwriter’s most rigorous year of touring, Andrew Bird crosses the December finish line in his hometown of Chicago — feverish and on crutches from an onstage injury.
Is he suffering hazards from chasing the ghost of inspiration? Or merely transforming into a different kind of animal “perfectly adapted to the music hall?”
Fever Year is the first to capture Bird’s precarious multi-instrumental looping technique and features live performances at Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater with collaborators Martin Dosh, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Michael Lewis and Annie Clark of St. Vincent.
- Thu 2 Aug 2012, 7:30pm
- Thu 2 Aug 2012, 10:15pm
Shut Up and Play the Hits (2012)
directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace starring LCD Soundsystem in English
On April 2nd 2011, LCD Soundsystem played its final show at Madison Square Garden. LCD frontman James Murphy had made the conscious decision to disband one of the most celebrated and influential bands of its generation at the peak of its popularity, ensuring that the band would go out on top with the biggest and most ambitious concert of its career. The instantly-sold-out, near-four-hour extravaganza did just that, moving the thousands in attendance to tears of joy and grief, with New York magazine calling the event “a marvel of pure craft” and Time lamenting “we may never dance again.” Shut Up and Play the Hits is simultaneously a document of a once-in-a-lifetime performance and an intimate portrait of Murphy as he navigates both the personal and professional ramifications of his decision.