Following the success of Liverpool’s reign as European Capital of Culture in 2008 the concept of the UK City of Culture was born. The City of Culture provides a spotlight on the chosen city and its arts and culture scene in the year of the reign but as importantly provides a real stimulus to the ongoing development in the succeeding years. 2017 is the turn of Hull providing the city and the North the opportunity to shine.
Our friends over at Doc n Roll Film Festival are off to Hull as part of the events. They have provided us with some background to the programme and a run down on the screenings working with Hull Independent Cinema and supported by the BFI.
Taking pride of place in the Season Two: Roots and Routes programme of the Hull UK City of Culture 2017 celebrations, Doc ‘n’ Roll Film Festival will present a slate of acclaimed music documentaries all of them North East premieres across iconic city venues, many with in-person Q&As from key creatives and directors.
Celebrating genres ranging from singer-songwriters and folk to jazz and electronic, rock and alternative, these films capture the passion and drama of music-making and spotlight those who make it: the headstrong mavericks and troubled cult heroes, the era-defining icons and Britpop superstars, from Gregory Porter and The Orb to Sleaford Mods and Sparklehorse, and from Oasis and Placebo to Leonard Cohen and Jimi Hendrix.
Aptly for a city that has long been a gateway to Europe, a place of migration and transitions where paths cross and journeys begin, Doc ‘n’ Roll Film Festival’s Hull programme celebrates the vitality of UK bands, the vision of UK directors and the role of the UK in nourishing and disseminating musical talent from all over the world.
This festival is part of Transformative Film Culture For Hull, a year-long celebration and showcase of film and filmmaking funded by the BFI and taking place as part of Hull 2017.
Sam Hunt, Executive Producer at Hull 2017, said: ” Whatever your musical persuasion, Doc ‘n’ Roll Film Festival is bringing a really exciting line up of films as part of Hull 2017. This is a great city for music and we’ve an incredible variety to be enjoyed throughout our City of Culture year. This terrific festival captures just some of the magic and passion, getting to the heart of this thrilling artform.”
Tony Palmer, Director of Bird On A Wire: Leonard Cohen, said: “Leonard would be thrilled to know that his film Bird On A Wire is part of this year’s Doc ‘n’ Roll Film Festival Hull and its UK City of Culture celebrations”
WEDNESDAY 10TH MAY
VENUE: VUE CINEMA
Placebo: Alt. Russia
+ Q&A with the director
Director Charlie Targett-Adams, UK, 2016, 71 min
As the band Placebo approached their 20th anniversary they were given a unique opportunity to play ten cities throughout Russia at a time when Russia was at the forefront of the world’s current affairs, but little was reported outside the country about its internal culture. Fronted by Placebo’s Stefan Olsdal, this documentary explores the alternative cultures of Russia’s major cities. As the tour travelled through the country, the band met artists, architects, animators and musicians on a quest to find out about Russia’s alternative creative scenes. From Krasnoyarsk in Siberia to St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea, Placebo: Alt.Russia takes you on the band’s journey, encountering unforgettable characters along the way and capturing the power and raw emotion of Placebo’s live concerts.
>Placebo: ALT Russia was the winner of the Best Music Documentary award, Doc ‘n’ Roll Film Festival 2016
THURSDAY 11TH MAY
Bunch of Kunst: Sleaford Mods
Director Christine Franz, Germany, 2017, 103 min
Thanks to their scabrous, sweary rants about modern England, Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods have been called the angriest band in Britain. Jason Williamson, a 44-year-old former chicken factory worker and father of two, along with his bandmate and beatmaker Andrew Fearn and their intrepid manager Steve Underwood, a bus driver for Nottingham City Transport and avant-garde bedroom label owner, have won over fans with their brutally honest lyrics and DIY ethos. Bunch of Kunst tells the story of three guys taking on the music business on their own terms.
FRIDAY 12TH MAY
VENUE MIDDLETON HALL
+ Q&A with Oasis graphic designer Brian Cannon and Manchester-based musician and journalist John Robb.
Director Mat Whitecross, UK, 2016, 122 min
This documentary captures Manchester’s controversial and charismatic native sons Oasis, led by brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher, tracing their journey to the height of chart success in the 1990s. Previously unseen backstage and live footage serves up the songs and the scenes of an era, the brawls and the brilliance alike.
VENUE: VUE CINEMA
Lunar Orbit The Orb
Director Patrick Buchanan, Canada, 2016, 74 mins
Lunar Orbit takes us into the Ultraworld of the pioneers of ambient house music. This feature documentary explores The Orb’s unique creative process and delves into the story behind the music, revealing the history of The Orb’s origins and the foundation of the friendships that have anchored the mothership.
The film boasts unprecedented studio access from the duo’s Moonbuilding 2703AD recording sessions in Berlin, live concert footage, rare unseen archive material and interviews with key creative players including Youth, Guy Pratt, Mixmaster Morris, Matt Black, and many other current and former members of The Orb’s extended family. The result is a documentary that is truly Orbriginal.
SATURDAY 13TH MAY
VENUE: JUBILEE HALL
The Sad and Beautiful World Of Sparklehorse
+ Q&A with the directors
Directors Alex Crowton and Bobby Dass, UK, 2016, 87min
This documentary chronicles the life of Virginia-born singer-songwriter Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, and pays tribute to an artist beloved by his cult followers. Far removed from the mainstream of music, his life mirrored the mesmerizing and unique music, heralded by peers and critics, that blended alt-country, discordant punk and psychedelic pop, and has been described as defiantly surrealist with all manner of references to smiling babies, organ music, birds, and celestial bodies. His collaborators included PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, The Flaming Lips, Danger Mouse, David Lynch and Thom Yorke of Radiohead.
Featuring interviews with Jonathon Donahue and Grasshopper (Mercury Rev), David Lowery (Cracker), Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Gemma Hayes, Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid), Ed Harcourt, Matthew Wright, John Parish, Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Emily Haines (Metric), the film also features an in-depth interview with Linkous himself.
A humble man and the epitome of a Southern gentleman, he was also a recovering addict who battled debilitating bouts of depression and took his own life in 2010. The dual nature of his personality reflects the extremes of his music; beautiful, surreal, off-kilter pop contrasted with dark, distorted ballads and discordant punk-rock.
VENUE: KARDOMAH 94
Bird On A Wire (Leonard Cohen)
+ an introduction by the director
Director Tony Palmer, UK, 1974/2010, 106 mins
Tony Palmer introduces a special screening of his classic film Bird on a Wire, an unforgettable account of Leonard Cohen’s now legendary 1972 European Tour.
Long thought lost and only available on very poor quality bootlegs, this classic 1974 tour movie has now been digitally and painstakingly restored to its original glory, thanks to the discovery in 2009 of 296 rusted cans of material in a warehouse in Hollywood.
Presenting 17 of Cohen’s greatest songs, emotionally delivered when he was at the height of his powers, this is an unforgettable record of a poet and singer on the brink of worldwide fame and compulsory viewing. Its combination of impeccably filmed concert footage and fly on the wall off stage reporting makes it probably the best movie of its type ever made.” Toronto Globe & Mail.
VENUE: JUBILEE HALL
+ live band performance
Directors Joe Boyd, John Head and Gary Weis, US, 1973, 98 mins
The official documentary chronicling the life and work of Jimi Hendrix, including interviews with his father as well as fellow guitarists Pete Townsend and Eric Clapton. Performance footage includes highlights from the Monterey, Woodstock and Isle of Wight Festivals.
The film screening will be followed by a live performance:
Jimi Hendrix (Slight Return)
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s astonishing debut album Are You Experienced, Bristol act Slight Return are proud to present an exhilarating, authentic live performance of landmark Hendrix tracks such as Purple Haze and Hey Joe. From the searing blues of Red House to the space-rock odyssey of Third Stone From The Sun, Hendrix’s music remains as viscerally exciting as it was in 1967, when its primal howls of feedback struck the British music scene like a thunderbolt from rock’s heavens.
Taking on the challenging but joyous task of faithfully recreating Hendrix’s mercurial, magical guitar work on Are You Experienced plus a selection of his best-loved later hits are Neville Marten, Mick Taylor and Jamie Dickson. Dickson is editor of Guitarist magazine, Britain’s longest-running monthly for guitar players; Neville Marten is editor of Guitar Techniques magazine and tours with British rock ‘n’ roll legend Marty Wilde, and Mick Taylor of YouTube hit That Pedal Show has shared stages with guitar luminaries from Redd Volkaert to Robbie McIntosh. Expect ultra-authentic Jimi tones! The ensemble is completed by the superb Bristol musicians Matt Brown on drums and Eric Mylod-Okafo on bass and vocals, ensuring that this is one performance you must experience in Hendrix’s 50th year.
SUNDAY 14TH MAY
VENUE: KARDOMAH 94
Gregory Porter: Don’t Forget Your Music
+ Q&A with producer Oonagh McDonnell, hosted by Kevin Le Gendre
Director Alfred George Bailey, UK, 2016, 90min
Shot over four years, this feature-length documentary and spans the life and career of the breakthrough jazz-blues-soul star. New interviews and archive footage chart Porter’s incredible journey from humble beginnings in Bakersfield, California, to stage, studio and beyond, with his remarkable story underpinned by exclusive access during recording of the new Grammy-winning album, Take Me To The Alley. The film features contributions from musical luminaries including Don Was, Hubert Laws, Van Morrison, Jools Holland, Gilles Peterson, Jamie Cullum, Jana Herzen and many more.
It is an intimate portrait of an incomparable talent that explores some of the trials Porter has encountered in his life: the absence of his father growing up and how jazz music filled the void, racial hostility in his hometown, and his triumphant journey to musical success.
The film touches on universal themes of fulfilling one’s promise, the hardest and most important lessons gleaned from life, and how success can come calling for you at any time. Above all it speaks of the redemptive, all-conquering power of a mother’s love the inspiration that would ultimately lead him back on the path to his destiny.
About Doc ‘n’ Roll Film Festival
Doc ‘n’ Roll Films Ltd., set up in 2013, is a music documentary production, distribution and exhibition company, unique within the UK. Projects include Doc ‘n’ Roll Film Festival, the UK’s annual music documentary festival in London, as well curated seasons, and a UK regional touring programme in Brighton, Liverpool, Hull and Manchester.
Directors Colm Forde and Vanessa Lobon are passionate about independent film and music across all genres, and celebrate music subcultures by providing a platform to support their cinematic expressions. They provide their audience with the opportunity to watch these films as they were designed to be watched: LOUD. Post-screening Q&As, DJ sets and live music complementing the films themes add to the overall cinematic experience.
They launched Doc ‘n’ Roll Film Fest in 2014 to at last show some love to the under-the-radar music films that have been largely ignored by risk-averse film programmers.
All tickets via www.docnrollfestival.com
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