In its 11th year, the Film Music Festival will screen seven music documentaries at the MV Film Center from Thursday, June 22nd to Sunday, June 25th.
The festival kicks off with a 6:00 PM reception, featuring live jazz standards and Brazilian classical music from guitarist Eric Johnson. Sponsored by cannabis drugstore Island Time, the festival’s “Grateful Dead Meetup at the Movies” kicks off with the band’s standard concert time of just over three hours.
Starting out as a jug band called The Warlocks in 1965, the Grateful Dead switched to psychedelic dance music featuring Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and Ron (Pigpen) McKernan. The improvisational group embraced genres ranging from pop-rock to country and western. Promoter Bill Graham said, “They aren’t the best at what they do. Only they do what they do.” The broad fanbase of the Grateful Dead is known as Deadheads.
Two films will be shown on Friday, June 23rd. In the first movie, “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could My Mind” returns. This documentary celebrates the iconic Canadian singer and songwriter who put Canada on the musical map.
Directed by Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni, the film alternates between Lightfoot interviewing and singing with interviews with notable musicians and record producers.
Many other famous Canadian musicians have sung Lightfoot’s songs, including Ian and Sylvia, Anne Murray, and Joni Mitchell. When Canada celebrated its centenary in 1967, it was Lightfoot who gave the nation an identity beyond hockey players and lumberjacks.
The second movie on Friday is City of a Million Dreams, a celebration of New Orleans’ unique music. This will be followed by a talk by director Jason Berry, author of the book of the same name.
“City of a Million Dreams” explores the history of jazz funerals, followed by dancers from the so-called “Second Line” Parade Club. Performed in both music and costume, these colorful performances transform grief and racism into expressions of joy and transcendence.
Deborah Cotton talks about adopting New Orleans and the name “Big Red Cotton.” Clarinetist Michael White from New Orleans has joined her, performing her wistful song “Widow’s Lament” as part of her city’s funeral march. White said of the Jazz Funeral, “It can transform you into another world of real freedom for anyone trying to deal with racism in America and find their place in the world.” .
“Concert for George” and “What Happened to Blood, Sweat and Tears?” both play Saturday. The first song is a tribute to the Beatles’ George Harrison.
Hosted by Eric Clapton, it features fellow Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Many top musicians including Monty Python, Tom Petty, Ravi Shankar.
A year after Harris’ death, in this remastered edition to mark the 20th anniversary, Clapton has arranged Harrison’s songs to celebrate the acclaimed musician. The New York Times wrote, “The sweet, majestic music of George Harrison rarely sounds as majestic as a massive, star-studded band at London’s Royal Albert Hall.” rice field.
“What Happened to Blood, Sweat and Tears?” is the second movie to be shown on Saturday. Headlining the famous Woodstock ’69, Blood, Sweat and Tears won numerous Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year in 1970. Then the band’s wild success fell apart when his BS&T lead in Canada and his singer, David Clayton-Thomas, was stripped of his green card. The storied band was on the brink of collapse when Clayton-Thomas brandished a gun at his girlfriend.
Instead of disbanding, Blood, Sweat & Tears brokered a deal with the government to rescue Clayton-Thomas’ green card. As such, they became the first rock and roll band to embark on a three-week tour of the country behind the Iron Curtain. Having toured Yugoslavia, Romania and Poland, they found themselves returning to attack from both the left and right. The film interviews the band’s musicians and provides insight into what really happened to the band during the counterculture era.
Two music icons will wrap up the festival on Sunday, June 25th. The movie “Love to Love You, Donna Summer” depicts the process of disco’s foray into the music scene. Summer was known as the “Queen of Disco”. Influenced by the 60’s counterculture, she became the lead singer of her psychedelic rock band. After her few years performing in Germany, she recorded songs such as “Love to Love You Baby” and became known worldwide. When she returned to the United States in 1976, she had seven hits, including one with Barbra Streisand.
Her success continued, with Top 40 hits every year from 1976 to 1984. Summer sold her 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling artists of all time. She won her five Grammy Awards and her song “I Feel Love” marked the beginning of her music in electronic dance. Her various Summer accomplishments are evident in her appearances in television sitcoms and specials as well as her movies. In 1997, Summer appeared in “Family Matters” and the television “Diva” special. Her song “The Power of One” became the theme song for “Pocket Monsters the Movie”.
“Eric Clapton: Beyond 24 Nights” is the last film to be shown on Sunday. It’s fitting that this famous musician ends the film music festival. Clapton performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1990 and he performed over 24 nights in 1991. His music in these legendary performances included blues and rock, with full orchestral backup.
Songs made famous by Clapton in the film include “Running on Faith,” “White Room,” and “Sunshine of Your Love.” The film is a compilation of music from the original footage over the next 30 years. Seventeen of his hits have collaborated with other famous musicians.
Film music festival information and tickets are available at: mvfilmsociety.com.