Tuesday, March 31, 2015

'Muscle Shoals,' 'Twenty Feet from Stardom' Big Star doc highlight WXPN Music Film Fest

Music movies, in West Philadelphia this weekend.

'Muscle Shoals,' 'Twenty Feet from Stardom' Big Star doc highlight WXPN Music Film Fest

Twenty Feet From Stardom.
Twenty Feet From Stardom.

The second annual WXPN Music Film Fest is upon us this weekend.

The series of  screenings kicks off on Thursday night with a screening of Good Ol' Freda, Ryan White's documentary about the Liverpool teenager who became the Beatles secretary, at the Annenberg Center's Zellerbach Theater at 7:30. (Fifth Beatle Larry Kane will introduce the movie.)

Seventeen movies will be showing in all, ranging from Sini Anderson's doc about Bikini Kill and Le Tigre frontwoman Kathleen Hanna, The Punk Singer,to documentaries about Wilmington guitarist-violinmaker David Bromberg and Oklahoma psych-rock band the Flaming Lips, to Kinshasa Kids, a part-fact part-fiction story about Congolese street kids who form a band, directed by Marc-Henri Wajnberg.

Here are some of should-be highlights:

Muscle Shoals. Greg "Freddy" Camalier's documentary about Rick Hall's FAME Studios, located in the small southern community of Muscle Shoals, Alabama where a house band of white musicians backed African American greats such as Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge and Aretha Franklin on some of the greatest soul music songs of all time, and the Rolling Stones also rolled into town to record portions of Sticky Fingers. Saturday at 7 p.m. at Annenberg's Prince Theater.

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me. Drew DeNicola and Olivia Mori's doc focuses on Big Star, the great 1970s Memphis power-pop cult band fronted by singer Alex Chilton, the former Box Tops teeange hitmaker who died in 2010 jsut before the band was slated to reform at the South by Southwest music festival. Big Star footage has always been hard to come by, if not non-existent, so it'll be fascinating to see what treasures Nothing Can Hurt Me will hold. Saturday at 4:15 p.m. at Annenberg's Prince Theater.

Twenty Feet From Stardom. The festival's closing night film built buzz on the opening night of this year's Sundance Film Festival. Morgan Neville's movie spotlights female back up singers that support some of the biggest names in pop music, including longtime Rolling Stones singer Lisa Fischer and Phil Spector Wall of Sound great Darlene Love, both of whom will take part in a Q and A session after the screening at Drexel University's Mandell Theater at 7:30 on Sunday.

Descriptions of all the films and a full schedule can be accessed here and here.

What's that you say? You need to know even more about these music movies? Watch film critic Steven Rea's On Movie blog for his picks. The Big Star trailer is below.

Previously: Rolling Stones tickets on sale Monday Follow in The Mix on Twitter

Dan DeLuca Inquirer Music Critic
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Encompassing the sounds and beats of the city, we're here to turn you on to the local notables and under-the-radar artists, while showing you more of the bands and hot spots you already know and love.

Dan DeLuca Inquirer Music Critic
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