2nd Edition Brighton: 18th – 28th January
By Chenaii Crawford Corri
Doc’n Roll Film Festival launched in 2014 and set out on a mission to show recognition to the under-the-radar music films that are largely ignored by risk-averse film programmers. Post-screening Q&As, DJ sets and live music themed on the films, all add to the overall cinematic experience.
It returns for its second Brighton edition with an extended programme of films running from the 18th to 28th of January on subjects as diverse as Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, The The, Doom metal, Manchester’s infamous clubbing scene, the Ealing Club, Iran’s Techno scene, and matters shedding light on the lack of female representation in the music industry. This year will feature a ten day programme of screenings premiering eight music documentaries covering rock, metal electronic, jazz and post-punk. There will also be Q&As from the filmmakers and their musical accomplices, as well as live music events.
Film and listings information:
18:30 THURSDAY 18 JANUARY – DUKE’S @ KOMEDIA (Brighton Premiere)
- Manchester Keeps On Dancing + Q&A
- Dir. Javi Senz, 2017, UK, 90mins
- Live Q&A – (Guest DJ TBA)
A new feature film that documents – in exceptional detail – the arrival of House music in Manchester from Chicago in the 1980s, through to the Acid House explosion of 1988 and a further 30 years of its phenomenal impact. It is a truly remarkable social study of a subculture that helped put Manchester on the worldwide music map. Digging deeper than the story of the famed Haçienda club, this documentary presents archive footage that has never been seen on film, alongside in-depth interviews with local and international DJs, to explore how House music arrived in the city and take viewers on a journey through its memorable stories. The timeline begins pre-Haçienda and features contributions from each ensuing decade’s most respected DJs, producers, promoters and social commentators including Greg Wilson, Mike Pickering, Dave Haslam, Andrew Weatherall, Marshal Jefferson, Carl Craig, Eats Everything, Krysko, Laurent Garnier, Todd Terry, Seth Troxler and many more.
13:00 SATURADY 20 JANUARY – DUKE OF YORK’S
- Play Your Gender + Q&A
- Dir. Stephanie Clattenburg, Canada, 2017, 80mins
- Live Q&A (guests TBC)
Just 5% of music producers are women, even though many of the most bankable pop stars are female. In the entire history of the Grammys, only six women have been nominated for the Producer of the Year award, and no woman has ever won. In Play Your Gender, Juno Award-winning producer Kinnie Starr embarks on a quest to find out why this disparity exists by speaking to music industry stars and veterans about the realities of being a woman in the recording studio. The documentary features interviews with Sara Quinn of Tegan & Sara, Melissa Auf der Maur of Smashing Pumpkins and Hole, Patty Schemel of Hole, Chantal Kreviazuk, and many more of the music industry’s most talented women.
15:00 SATURADY 20 JANUARY – DUKE’S @ KOMEDIA
- Raving Iran + Q&A
- Dir. Susanne Regina Meures, 2016, Switzerland, 84mins
- Q&A Guest TBC
Anoosh and Arash are at the centre of Tehran’s underground techno scene. Tired of hiding from the police and their stagnating career, they organise one last manic techno rave in the desert, under dangerous circumstances. Back in Tehran they try their luck selling their illegally manufactured album. When Anoosh is arrested, there seems to be no hope left. But then they receive a phone call from the biggest techno festival in the world. Arriving in Switzerland, they are overwhelmed by the realisation of their own dream. The response from radio and newspaper interviews and the acclaim of millions of ravers and other DJs catapult them into another sphere.
13:00 SUNDAY 21 JANUARY – DUKE OF YORK’S
- Pure Love: The Voice of Ella Fitzgerald
- Dir. Katja Duregger, 2017, Germany, 52mins
- Brief musical performance featuring Imogen Ryall covering Ella’s classics with Julian Nicholas on tenor sax and Joss Peach on keyboards.
No Trailer available
Focusing on the phenomenon of her extraordinary voice, this film pays tribute to The First Lady of Song – Ella Fitzgerald – on what would have been her 100th birthday on 25 April 2017. Fitzgerald’s voice is a phenomenon and unrivalled to this day. With absolute pitch and perfect intonation, her voice spanned three octaves, her phrasing seemed effortless, and the odd moments in her nearly 60-year career when she sang off-key were few and far between. There is almost no style of music in which she did not excel, and her numerous – now legendary – recordings of the Great American Songbook with pieces by US composers such as George and Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter and Duke Ellington remained a benchmark for the interpretation of those songs for generations of singers. Ira Gershwin is rumoured to have said: “I didn’t realise how good our songs were until Ella sang them.” Duregger unravels the secret of Fitzgerald’s voice via insights from singers Dianne Reeves and Dee Dee Bridgewater, jazz drummer and producer Terri Lyne Carrington, jazz violinist Regina Carter, author Tad Hershorn and the eminent jazz critic Will Friedwald, among others. They describe the impact her voice had and continues to have on their lives.
15:30 SUNDAY 21 JANUARY – DUKE’S @ KOMEDIA
- Suburban Steps to Rockland: The Story of The Ealing Club + Q&A
- Dir. Giorgio Guernier, 2017, UK, 89mins
- Director Q&A, Terry Marshall (Marshall Amps) additional guest TBC
Inspired by American touring blues acts such as Muddy Waters and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and with the help of a 19-year-old student from Tehran, in 1962 guitarist Alexis Korner and harmonica player Cyril Davies opened the Ealing Club, London’s (and Britain’s) first rhythm and blues venue. Soon young music fans from all over the country began attending Alexis and Cyril’s shows and sit in during their sets. The list of those who learned the blues at the Ealing Club includes Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Paul Jones, Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Dick Taylor, Jeff Beck and Eric Burdon, to name just a few. The Ealing Club, “the cradle of British rock” (Mojo magazine), was a dingy and smoky concrete-floored basement barely mentioned in music history books, and it would last only three years. However, its pivotal role in fostering a golden generation of classic rock musicians and kick-starting the British blues movement remains undeniable.
21:00 WEDNESDAY 24 JANUARY – DUKE’S @ KOMEDIA
- The Inertia Variations
- Dir. Johanna St Michaels, Sweden/UK, 2017, 85 mins
- Skype Intro with Matt Johnson TBC
Matt Johnson of the English band THE THE, known for his intensely personal and political songs, has remained silent as a singer-songwriter for the last 15 years. Conflicted by creative inertia, he has observed from the side-lines as corporate state propaganda has swamped the cultural airwaves.
To try and purge his feelings of disenchantment—and to attempt to relocate his mojo and muse—Johnson decides to challenge the narrow media consensus through his own radio broadcast. A long-term listener of shortwave radio, he launches Radio Cineola, his conceptual version of this romantic medium, via a live midday to midnight marathon. The show includes not only live music and poetry, but also interviews and discussion about where local, national and international democracy now stands in the 21st century. The guests range from geo-political analysts to local activists, from students of mind control to semiotics experts, from teachers to healers. A promise to the director of the documentary, his ex-partner Johanna St Michaels, to write a new song for the broadcast stirs up old demons of inertia and bereavement.
13:00 SUNDAY 28 JANUARY – DUKE OF YORK’S
- Chasing ‘Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary
- Dir. John Scheinfeld, US, 2017, 99mins
The definitive documentary film about an outside-the-box thinker with extraordinary talent whose boundary-shattering music continues to influence and inspire people around the world. This smart, passionate, thought-provoking and uplifting documentary is not just for jazz heads, but for anyone who appreciates the power of music to entertain, inspire and transform. Trane was an enigmatic figure whose massive influence on generations of artists has grown even stronger since his untimely death at the age of 40. Scheinfeld’s film features great insights from notable fans, including commentary from Denzel Washington, Carlos Santana, Common, Cornell West, and many others.
16:00 SUNDAY 28 JANUARY – DUKE’S @ KOMEDIA
- The Doom Doc + Q&A
- Dir. Connor Matheson, UK, 2017, 90mins
- Director Q&A, GUESTS TBC
Made on a crowdfunded shoestring budget, The Doom Doc is a visceral, immersive dive into the hazy black hole that lies at one extreme of the musical spectrum. Doom, whose foundations were laid on Black Sabbath’s debut album in 1970, is a genre of heavy metal that is all about crushing riffs played at sluggish tempos through huge amps. It has experienced a resurgence in popularity of late, and in this documentary, Sheffield filmmaker Connor Matheson follows the story of Holy Spider Promotions, a DIY collective in his city who battle to put on doom gigs, vying for space and attention on behalf of an extreme and polarising form of music. Using the lens of doom, Matheson explores issues such as drug use, mental health and gentrification, and speaks with scene luminaries including Bill Ward, Black Sabbath’s original drummer, and members of Conan, Crowbar and Primitive Man.
Doc’n Roll is supported by the BFI using funds from the National Lottery to grow audience appetite and enjoyment for a wide range of independent British and international films.
Tickets on sale from Tuesday 2 January via
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