Music Box Summer Music Film Festival 2

Monday, July 30th – Thursday, August 2nd, 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.

Other instances of the Summer Music Film Festival

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