By Paris Spence-Lang
VANCOUVER — Music lives in sound, but truly comes alive when it can be seen as well as heard. And for those who could never pick between an album or a film, VIFF 2016 does not disappoint with a lineup that is brimming rhythm. These five documentaries are will settle any sound-lover’s score.
Iggy Pop and his Stooges were one of the biggest acts to shake up the rock scene. This film pays tribute to that past, through that past, using 16mm footage from the original Stooges run. Directed by Jim Jarmusch, it is a must-see for any music nut. Of course, the star of this doc is Iggy himself, and viewers will love wallowing in the Passenger’s greatness most of all.
We Are X
If you haven’t heard of X, here’s a précis: they are the biggest rock band in Japan. They have the biggest shows, the biggest drum set, and the biggest hair. But despite selling 30 million albums, the band broke up in the peak of their fame. With talking heads from greats like Gene Simmons, this is the story of X and its star, Yoshiki, as he tells the story of the greatest band you’ve never heard of.
Two Trains Runnin’
The great blues artists of America have been slowly fading away, but they have never been forgotten. During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, two of these blues artists—Taylor Branch and Gary Clark Jr.—were sought out to perform for the people once more. Narrated by Common and featuring astounding performances,
Lecuona: one of the greatest jazz musicians and composers in Cuban history. Like Handel before him, students of Lecuona’s music believe he must have been guided by God to create such stunning music. This documentary follows those who can’t let the master’s music go, and viewers are treated to performances from some of Cuba’s greatest artists, whether they play in the studio or on the street.
I Called Him Morgan
Not to be outdone, the American jazz artists take their rightful place, and with a decidedly more dramatic air. Following the story of jazz musician Lee Morgan and his wife Helen who shot him dead during a gig, this is jazz music at its rawest and most impassioned—cut short by an event whose ghost still haunts those involved.
See these movies and innumerable others at the Vancouver International Film Festival, running from September 29 to October 14.BC, British Columbia, Gimme Danger, I Called Him Morgan, music documentary, Playing Lecuona, Two Trains Runnin', Vancouver International Film Festival, VIFF, VIFF 2016, We Are X