The Violin Teacher is a conflicting feature. The music is beautiful and the message is inspiring, but the story’s pace constantly swings back and forth from tight captivation to a sluggish crawl. Sérgio Machado’s film is both the most uplifting film I’ve seen lately, and the most boring.
The biggest takeaway from Barbara Kopple’s electrifying doc Miss Sharon Jones! is Jones’ incredible energy and willpower. It’s marvellous to watch the soulful musician allow music to possess her, and it’s even more astonishing considering Jones’ exhaustive struggle with pancreatic cancer.
I approach this review with an unenthused sigh, knowing that my opinions on The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble will sound pompous, crusty, and blasé.
The trailer for Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping implies that the mockumentary is out to be a modern day This Is Spinal Tap. Given that the film has been produced by the musically inclined clever comedy trio The Lonely Island, the chances of the film hitting its targets is high.
Much like Muscle Shoals and The Wrecking Crew, I Am The Blues is a documentary that allows its audience to fully submerge themselves in a musical genre.
Ethan Hawke (Before Sunrise, Boyhood) stars as east-coast jazz legend Chet Baker in Robert Budreau’s biographical drama Born to Be Blue, which focuses on the musician’s comeback during the 1960s and his struggle with addiction. The film, which was written, directed and produced by Budreau, chooses to examine a specific period of Baker’s career rather than the entirety of his career – a decision that results in a more intimate experience than one might expect…
Though Svengali is a fun film with a few genuinely emotionally affective moments, it is difficult to predict whether or not it will be appreciated by North American viewers who – unless they have a pre-existing investment in British Rock ’n’ Roll – will probably feel like they’ve seen this kind of film before.
All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records is as straightforward as a documentary can be. But, to be fair, that’s a given considering this is Colin Hanks’ first foray as a feature-length filmmaker.
By: Addison Wylie Kahlil Joseph’s Arcade Fire docu-mishmash titled The Reflektor Tapes is like a fever dream with great music that has gotten too carried away with itself. I imagine if I listened to the band’s discography and then crashed after a hard day’s work, I would start to visualize this film’s lurid activity. The Reflektor Tapes is one of these examples where you can’t stop fans from flocking to this thing, and newcomers will…
By: Addison Wylie The music in Mavis! wins us over in a flash. I wouldn’t be surprised if filmmaker Jessica Edwards was actually tempted early on to make a straight concert film instead of a biographical documentary. Mavis! is much more than the gospel music that enraptured listeners; including musicians Bonnie Raitt, Chuck D, Bob Dylan, and recent collaborator Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco). The film is about Mavis Staples, the legendary singer behind a voice that…