February – September 2014
‘70s rocker Jobriath was known as “The American Bowie”. The first openly gay rock star, he disappeared after two albums in two years. Done in by an over hyped publicity machine, shunned by the gay community and dismissed by rock critics, he retreated to the Chelsea Hotel and died as an early victim of AIDS. In the years since his death, a new generation of fans, from Morrissey to Stephin Merrit, have loudly and proudly cited Jobriath as an influence.
Q & A with director Tom Berninger to follow
In 2010, rock band The National were about to embark on the biggest tour of their career. After ten years as a band, and five critically acclaimed albums, they were finally enjoying wider recognition. Lead singer Matt Berninger invited his younger brother, Tom, to join the tour’s crew. A budding horror filmmaker, Tom – who is nine years younger than Matt and listens exclusively to heavy metal- decided to bring his camera along. Tom’s at sea in the world of indie rock, and living in his brother’s shadow brings out the younger sibling in him – he drinks, complains, and struggles to balance his ambition with his tour responsibilities. The result is a film about brothers and about making something of your own. Directed by Tom Berninger
Check out the website!
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Full of art, music and everyday magic, Swim Little Fish Swim is a dreamlike journey from childhood to adulthood depicting three intertwined characters at turning points in their lives.
Maggie? Rainbow? Leeward and Mary cannot even agree on their 3 year old daughter’s name anymore. Mary is a hardworking nurse who dreams of only one thing: changing her life around. She resents her husband for being an irresponsible, overgrown adolescent incapable of holding down a job. Leeward is an atypical, idealistic musician who fancies himself a misunderstood artist and a New Age visionary. Enter Lilas, (co-directr Lola Bessis) a 19 year old French artist and daughter of a world famous painter, who’s trying to make it in New York and get away from her overbearing mother. When the bubbly young woman moves into the couple’s tiny Chinatown apartment, their already fragile balance is upset even further.
The filmmakers have created a ‘perfect mesh of sound and vision’ in the unique, and original soundtrack that works so perfectly with the characters personas, with most of the musicians themselves appearing in the film like Brooklyn psych pop group Toys and Tiny Instruments, 17 year old newcomer Queens based folk soul singer Candace Lee and and Last Good Tooth frontman Penn Sultan. Directed by Lola Besis and Ruben Anwar.
Check out the entire schedule at NOISE POP!
JONAS REINHARDT – GANYMEDE & BEYOND
Monday, March 10
SAN FRANCISCO PREMIERE! FILMMAKERS IN PERSON! On Ganymede, it is thought that volcanic vents supply the necessary power to fuel life. This film imagines unknown extra-terrestrial life forms engaged in ritualistic aquatic dance beneath a sky of ice. The resulting way of life is depicted as fluctuating pulses of energy abstracted beyond conventional consciousness. The process and visual composition range from video simulations of the cosmos, multiple exposures of light sources, buried material that developed hypnotic patterns of decomposed dyes, and several single frame animations consisting of intricately cut, rotating mandalas of color, found footage layered with billowing painted shapes, and mysterious organic bodies of matter. JONAS REINHARDT is also celebrating the publication of GANYMEDE as a vinyl record, poster and DVD set from Constellation Tatsu. Dirs: Various. 2014. Digital. ~80 mins. 9:30PM
Thursday, March 20- Friday, March 21
SAN FRANCISCO PREMIERE! DIRECTOR LANCE BANGS & SLINT GUITARIST BRIAN MCMAHAN IN PERSON! Feature length documentary about the band Slint and the Louisville music culture they emerged from. Throughout the 1980s, a group of friends in Louisville, Kentucky grew up forming bands, breaking up, and reforming in different configurations. They were playing hardcore shows at ages 10-12, touring with Samhain as 14 year olds, recording for Homestead as Squirelbait at age 15, then formed Slint in their late teens and recorded the classic album Spiderland before they were 21. They broke up before the album’s release, giving no interviews and vanishing into their own shadows. Two decades passed as filmmaker Lance Bangs assembled unseen footage of the teenagers writing and arranging Spiderland as well as the first on camera interviews with the band members and their contemporaries trying to decipher what they had been through. Featuring Slint, Steve Albini, Ian Mackaye, David Grubbs, David Yow, James Murphy and archival material from Will Oldham. Dir: Lance Bangs. 2014. Digital. Thursday at 7:15pm & 9:45pm and Friday at 9:30pm.
LANCE BANGS IMMORTAL VOLUME
Friday, March 21
SAN FRANCISCO PREMIERE! FILMMAKER IN PERSON! What does Jackass, Pavement, Earl Sweatshirt and Elliot Smith have in common? That would be Portland, Oregon-based Lance Bangs, a filmmaker who has a hand in everything cool from the last 25 years, basically. Since we already have him here with his totally awesome new documentary about Slint (BREADCRUMB TRAIL, screening 3/20), we’re taking this opportunity to take a peak inside his archives! Lance will be screening music videos, documentary excerpts, short films, concert footage, and experimental collaborations ranging from iconic bursts of pop culture to rarer unreleased pieces. Among the subjects: The Arcade Fire, Belle & Sebastian, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Cat Power, Earl Sweatshirt, Ghostface Killah, Guided By Voices, Kanye West, LCD Soundsystem, Menomena, Neutral Milk Hotel, Nirvana, No Age, R.E.M., RZA, The Shins, Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith, Sonic Youth, The White Stripes, and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. 7:30pm, Digital, 100 mins.
Watch his video for Belle & Sebastian, “Dirty Daydream #2”:
SAN FRANCISCO PREMIERE!
From his birth in Queens to his mysterious death in New Orleans, LOOKING FOR JOHNNY chronicles the life of rock’n’roll true believer Johnny Thunders. A founding member of the New York Dolls and the leader of the Heartbreakers, Thunders epitomized a sort of post- Stones platonic ideal of how a rock star should be, minus the worldwide fame but with all the riffs, excess, excellence and tragedy that implies. Features interviews with Lenny Kaye, Alan Vega, Sylvain Sylvain and more!
Dir: Danny Garcia. 2014. Digital. 90 mins
Co-Presented by Noise Pop
Friday, June 20 – Thursday, June 26
SAN FRANCISCO PREMIERE! RECORD GIVEAWAYS COURTESY OF POLYVINYL RECORDS ON TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT! THE PAST IS A GROTESQUE ANIMAL is a personal, accessible look at an artist – Kevin Barnes, frontman of the endlessly versatile indie pop band of Montreal – whose pursuit to make transcendent music at all costs drives him to value art over human relationships. As he struggles with all of those around him, family and bandmates alike, he’s forced to reconsider the future of the band, begging the question – is this really worth it? Dir: Jason Miller. 2014. Digital. 77 mins.
Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles U.S. Invasion
Meet the Beatles! Just one month after they exploded onto the U.S. scene with their Ed Sullivan Show appearance, John, Paul, George, and Ringo began working on a project that would bring their revolutionary talent to the big screen. A Hard Day’s Night, in which the bandmates play slapstick versions of themselves, captured the astonishing moment when they officially became the singular, irreverent idols of their generation and changed music forever. Directed with raucous, anything-goes verve by Richard Lester and featuring a slew of iconic pop anthems, including the title track, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “I Should Have Known Better,” and “If I Fell,” A Hard Day’s Night, which reconceived the movie musical and exerted an incalculable influence on the music video, is one of the most deliriously entertaining movies of all time.
The Beatles–the world’s most famous rock and roll band–travel from their home town of Liverpool to London to perform in a television broadcast. Along the way they must rescue Paul’s unconventional grandfather from various misadventures and drummer Ringo goes missing just before the crucial concert.
The plot is a study of a day in the life of the Fab Four beginning with them running from their adoring fans to catch a train. Every plot point circles around the band getting to a television show in order to perform a live concert, and within this stream of action is a series of slapstick, zany, and otherwise wacky bits of funniness. One obstacle in the works is Paul McCartney’s babysitting of his grandfather (Wilfrid Brambell), a first class mixer always getting into mischief. It becomes one of the running jokes in the film that Brambell is a “clean old man,” at least physically (this contrasts with Brambell’s most famous role as Albert Steptoe in Steptoe and Son where he was a “dirty old man” both physically and psychologically). Ringo Starr gets a sense of liberation and goes off on his own to find happiness only to land in jail for loitering.
John Lennon fires playful barbs at TV director (Victor Spinetti), whose biggest worry is that if for some reason the Beatles stand him up his next job will be doing “news in Welsh.” One great story line is with George Harrison, in which he is mistaken for an actor auditioning for some trendy TV show for some trend setter hostess. The earnest demeanor of the casting head and his associates is undercut by George’s declaration that she is a well-known drag. Norman Rossington and John Junkin as The Beatles’ managers are stalwart English character actors who fill out the cast and support the general lunacy of the film with a more traditional presence, but still sustain an on-going battle about one being taller than the other. Anna Quayle has a great bit with John Lennon about his being someone he’s not. The whole thing ends with an ear-shattering concert and the band yet again running from the adoring fans.
Director: Richard Lester
Stars: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr
87min. 1964, U.K.
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God Help The Girl is a musical feature film, written and directed by Stuart Murdoch, lead singer of the group Belle and Sebastian. It was produced by Barry Mendel and stars Emily Browning, Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray.
Stuart aspired to tell the story of “a better summer, or at least a summer when something happened. It happened to a boy and a girl and a girl in a city roughly the same size and population of Glasgow. Perhaps the canals were a bit grimier, the high-rise buildings taller, the streets emptier when you needed them to be, and the beat clubs busier than the ones around here. But on the whole the city was this one.”
According to Barry Mendel, “It’s a simple story – about the brief moment after you’ve realised what you want to do with your life, before your dream settles into becoming your job, when you’re filled with enthusiasm, meeting like-minded friends and the possibilities are endless.”
The film was shot, edited, scored and mixed in Glasgow over the course of 2012-2013 and is be released in cinemas around the world in 2014.
Director: Stuart Murdoch, 111 min. 2014
Official Site is here.