Summer Music Film Festival 2014

Friday, August 15th – Wednesday, August 20th, 2014


The 4th annual Summer Music Film Festival presented by the Music Box Theatre and Sound Opinions rolls into the theatre August 15th–19th and will showcase music films, documentaries, features, and concert footage.

The 2014 festival features 30th anniversary screenings of Stop Making Sense and Purple Rain and 50th anniversary screenings of A Hard Day’s Night (after sold-out screenings in July at the Music Box Theatre!).

<cite>Summer Music Film Festival 2014 Five Admission Pass</cite>

Summer Music Film Festival 2014 Five Admission Pass

Good for 5 admissions to 5 films in the Summer Music Film Festival.

<cite>Stop Making Sense</cite>

Stop Making Sense

directed by Jonathan Demme starring The Talking Heads

The Talking Heads live on stage. Need we say more? Director Jonathan Demme expertly crafted this unrivaled concert film from footage of three live gigs at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre. The staging concept — the brainchild of Talking Heads front man David Byrne — begins with the lead vocalist striding onto an empty stage, acoustic guitar and boom box in hand. With each new tune, another band member or backup singer joins Byrne onstage, building steadily toward the smokin’ finale. New Digital projection.

<cite>Purple Rain</cite>

Purple Rain

directed by Albert Magnoli

Prince stars in a so-thinly-veiled-why-do-we-still-pretend-its-not-him role in a film about rising to musical superstardom. The Kid (Prince) is a musical genius who falls in love with his singer Apollina. Soon, Prince’s The Kid’s self-destructive habits drive a wedge in their love, and Prince The Kid must learn a lesson about love, through music. Everyone in the film plays themselves except Prince. Go figure.

<cite>Finding Fela</cite>

Finding Fela

directed by Alex Gibney starring Fela Kuti, Yeni Kuti, Femi Kuti

Finding Fela tells the story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s life, his music, his social and political importance.

“A soulful ‘Felabration’ of the magnetic Kuti.” —Cinevue

<cite>The 78 Project Movie</cite>

The 78 Project Movie

starring John C. Reilly, John Doe, Coati Mundi, Alex Steryermarm, Holly Williams

Based on the acclaimed web series, The 78 Project Movie is a journey across America to record today’s musical artists as they perform the early American songs that inspired a century of popular music — exactly as they were originally recorded, instantaneously, on one-of-a-kind 78rpm lacquer discs. Inspired by Alan Lomax and his quest to capture music where it lived throughout the early 20th Century, the film celebrates the artistry and craft that spontaneously captured America’s most authentic musical forms. Midwest Premiere Dir: Alex Steyermark/Prod: Lavinia Jones Wright scheduled to attend.

<cite>Good Vibrations</cite>

Good Vibrations

directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn starring Jodie Whittaker, Liam Cunningham, Dylan Moral, Killian Scott

Terri Hooley is a radical, rebel and music-lover in 1970s Belfast when the bloody conflict known as the Troubles shuts down his city. As all his friends take sides and take up arms, Terri opens a record shop on the most bombed half-mile in Europe and calls it Good Vibrations. Through it he discovers a compelling voice of resistance in the city’s nascent underground punk scenes. Galvanising the young musicians into action, he becomes the unlikely leader of a motley band of kids and punks who join him in his mission to create a new community, an alternative Ulster, to bring his city back to life. Presented by the Chicago Irish Film Festival

<cite>The Rocky Horror Picture Show</cite>

The Rocky Horror Picture Show [35mm]

directed by Jim Sharman starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Richard O'Brien, Charles Gray, Meatloaf, Barry Bostwick

This notorious horror parody — a fast-paced potpourri of camp, sci-fi and rock ‘n’ roll, among other things — tracks the exploits of naïve couple Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) after they stumble upon the lair of transvestite Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry).

The film, co-starring Meat Loaf and Richard O’Brien, bombed in its initial release but later gained a cult following at midnight showings.

<cite>Rubber Soul</cite>

Rubber Soul

directed by Jon Lefkovitz starring Joseph Bearor, Denice Lee

In December 1970, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were interviewed by Rolling Stone‘s Jann S. Wenner prior to the release of their ‘Plastic Ono Band’ albums. Ten years later, in September 1980, the couple granted their first in-depth interview in five years to Playboy while they were in the process of recording Double Fantasy.

Rubber Soul reconstructs portions of these two historical interviews based on available transcripts and audio, juxtaposing them in order to explore the dynamic nature of Lennon’s identity over time.

Director Jon Lefkovitz is scheduled to attend.

<cite>A Hard Day’s Night</cite>

A Hard Day’s Night

directed by Richard Lester starring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr

When The Beatles made their feature debut 50 years ago, nobody expected much. The rock‘n’roll musical had been around for a decade without producing many great films. A Hard Day’s Night changed all that.

Directed kinetically by Richard Lester, the film captured a day in the life of the teen heartthrobs in high style. Writer Alun Owen toured with The Beatles for weeks to capture their characters and speaking styles. Lester let the Fab Four throw in a few improvisations and surrounded them with adept comic actors like Wilfred Brambell as Paul McCartney’s grandfather and Victor Spinetti as a hassled television director. The album shot to number one instantly, which is hardly a surprise considering that the picture introduced The Beatles classics “All My Loving,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “And I Love Her,” “Tell Me Why” and the title tune, which was written by John Lennon in one night.


Tickets are $9–$12 and can be purchased online.


Sunday, August 17th, 2014

The 78 Project Movie
Rubber Soul
A Hard Day’s Night

Monday, August 18th, 2014

A Hard Day’s Night

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Stop Making Sense
Purple Rain

Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot will host the opening night screening of Jonathan Demme’s groundbreaking Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense. Finding Fela is documentarian Alex Gibney’s new film about the life and music of Nigerian singer Fela Kuti. The Chicago Irish Film Festival has arranged a rare screening of 2012’s narrative film Good Vibrations which tells the true story of Terri Hooley, the rebellious Belfast music lover who launched his own record label, dubbed “Good Vibrations,” in the 1970s, and quickly emerged as a key figure in the Irish capitol’s thriving underground punk scene.

Two films with Chicago connections will screen and are scheduled to have their creators in attendance. The 78 Project Movie is a journey across America to record today’s musical artists as they perform the early American songs that inspired a century of popular music — exactly as they were originally recorded, instantaneously, on one-of-a-kind 78rpm lacquer discs. Kartemquin Films alumnus Alex Steyermark, a former Chicago resident, will discuss his film and The 78 Project web series. Rubber Soul reconstructs portions of two historical interviews of Yoko Ono and John Lennon from 1970 and 1980 and is the creation of Evanston native and Northwestern alumni Jon Lefkovitz.

The new feature film God Help The Girl is a musical feature film written and directed by Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch. It was produced by Barry Mendel and stars Emily Browning, Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray. This will be the Chicago premiere of the film.

Other instances of the Summer Music Film Festival

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