This year's SXSW Film program is packed with wide ranging subject matter. Check out these films of particular interest to music fans.
Platinum Badges have free access to all films. Single admission tickets are only $10 and are sold 10 minutes before screening time if seats are available.
Director: Christian Larson
A music documentary following the breakup of Swedish House Mafia and their subsequent One Last Tour. The largest electronic tour in history, selling over 1 million tickets in one week. Director Christian Larson captures the band in a unique fly on the wall manner as they call it quits and seek closure by going on the tour they had always dreamed of. With breathtaking live moments, huge laughs and dark lows, the band start to unravel why they came to the decision to end the biggest achievement of their lives to date to save their friendship. The film maps out three of the biggest stars in a scene which has gripped youth the world over and the psychology of the band. A film not to be missed.
Wednesday, March 12, 6:00PM, Paramount Theater
Director: Beth Harrington
The Winding Stream tells the story of the American roots music dynasty, the Carters and the Cashes. The Carters didn’t just play the music of their hill country upbringing. They helped invent it and influenced generations of musicians along the way, including one young man who, at first blush, seemed more renegade than reverent adherent. He would be the one to lift up the Carter legacy. - Johnny Cash. The film story of how the family rallied to help him beat back the demon of substance abuse and how he promoted the Carters name and music is one of tremendous reciprocity and love.
Saturday, March 15, 7:00PM, Alamo Ritz 1
Director: Gary Fortin
Road To Austin chronicles how Austin, Texas became the Live Music Capital of the World, dating from 1835 to present. The film highlights 1800s Austin, the psychedelic movement, Armadillo World Headquarters, and numerous iconic musical inflection points that shaped the American musical culture of today. Vintage photos, posters, and footage are presented to a soundtrack that truly inspires! The film story line weaves towards an all-star live performance featuring Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton, Eric Johnson, Ian McLagan, Joe Ely, and 40 other Artists led by Musical Director, Stephen Bruton. Kris Kristofferson dedicates this film to Stephen Bruton. www.artistwp.org.
Thursday, March 13, 4:30PM, Vimeo Theater
Director: Greg Olliver
Speaking about Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters said “When I first heard him, I thought he was one of the greatest blues players in the business.”
LEMMY co-director/producer Greg Olliver spent two years following Johnny from his home in Connecticut to France, Japan and beyond to create an intimate portrait of the Texas musician who played Woodstock, partied with the Rolling Stones and John Belushi, dated Janis Joplin, and jammed with Jimi Hendrix.
Aptly named JOHNNY WINTER: DOWN & DIRTY by Johnny himself, this documentary explores what it’s like to live a life of sex, drugs and rock & roll debauchery with only a few regrets… but not without consequences.
Thursday, March 13, 7:00PM Vimeo Theater
Wednesday, March 12, 6:45PM, Alamo Ritz 1
Directors: Dylan Goch & Gruff Rhys
Welsh musician Gruff Rhys documents his latest musical road trip, retracing the fantastical adventure of his 18th Century relative, the explorer John Evans.
In search of a lost tribe of Welsh-speaking Native Americans, John Evans left Wales for America in 1792 with only a $1.75 in his pocket. Alone and without a horse, he walked into the wilderness of the Great Plains and reappeared 7 years later as Don Juan Evans having changed the shape of American history.
Fiction, fact, fantasy, myth and music documentary collide in AMERICAN INTERIOR as Rhys uncovers Evans’ legacy to American, the true circumstances of his death, and his final resting place.
Tuesday, March 11, 2:00PM Alamo Ritz 1
Wednesday, March 12, 2:00PM - 3:31PM, Stateside Theatre
Friday, March 14, 4:15PM, Alamo Ritz 2
Director: Florian Habicht
PULP find fame on the world stage in the 1990’s with anthems including ‘Common People’ and ‘Disco 2000’. 25 years (and 10 million album sales) later, they return to Sheffield for their last UK concert.
Giving a career best performance exclusive to the film, the band share their thoughts on fame, love, mortality - & car maintenance.
Director Florian Habicht (Love Story) weaves together the band’s personal offerings with dream-like specially-staged tableaux featuring ordinary people recruited on the streets of Sheffield.
"PULP" is a music-film like no other – by turns funny, moving, life-affirming & (occasionally) bewildering.
Sunday, March 9, 7:00PM Vimeo
Wednesday, March 12 7:00PM, Stateside Theatre
Director: Adam Kahan
The Case of the Three Sided Dream is the story of multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, who went from blind infant, to child prodigy, to adult visionary, political activist, and finally to paralyzed showman who toured and played music literally until the day he died.
Wednesday, March 12, 4:30PM, Stateside Theatre
Tuesday, March 11, 2:00PM, Stateside Theatre
Saturday, March 15, 1:30PM, Alamo Ritz 2
Director: George Hencken
Having emerged from Soho’s ultra hip Blitz Club in 1979 during another economic depression, Spandau Ballet formed at school in North London before becoming the hottest unsigned band on the planet and one of the most influential British bands of all time. Spandau went on to sell over 25 million record sales, 6 multi-platinum albums and 23 hit singles, music lovers all over the world will remember Spandau’s career highlights which spanned from their pioneering early singles “To Cut A Long Story Short” and “Chant No.1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)”, and the globe trotting smashes “True” , “Gold” and Only When You Leave. From underground, fashion and music obsessed working class Londoners, to global superstars, the band set the pace, the styles and the sound of the 1980s. Their look and style influenced many in the fashion world and beyond. Spandau Ballet are commercially and culturally enormous.
Wednesday, March 12, 2:00PM, Paramount Theatre
Directors: Dennis Scholl & Marlon Johnson
"Deep City" is an inspirational story that explores the early days of soul music in Florida, the era’s pioneers and their lasting contributions to the broader American musical landscape.
During the mid-1960s, producers Willie Clarke and Johnny Pearsall masterminded Deep City Records. Both from the streets of Miami, they honed the business and musical skills learned in college and went on to change the face of soul music in Miami and eventually the country by creating the first black-owned record label in Florida.
"Deep City" delves into the life and times of these groundbreaking producers, their label, the artists they spawned and the remarkable era in which they accomplished it.
Tuesday, March 11, 9:30PM Vimeo Theater
Thursday, March 13, 1:45PM, Alamo Ritz 1
Saturday, March 15, 9:30PM, Rollins Theatre at The Long Center
Director: Alex Steyermark
The 78 Project Movie is a road trip across America to make one-of-a-kind 78rpm records with musicians in their hometowns using a 1930s Presto direct-to-disc recorder. With one microphone. One blank disc. In one 3-minute take.
Along the way, a kaleidoscope of technologists, historians and craftsmen from every facet of field recording - Grammy-winning producers, 78 collectors, curators from the Library of Congress and Smithsonian - provide insights and history. In Tennessee, Mississippi, California, Louisiana, the folk singers, punk rockers, Gospel and Cajun singers in the film share their lives through intimate performances, and find in that adventure a new connection to our cultural legacy.
Tuesday, March 11, 7:00PM Vimeo Theater
Wednesday, March 12, 11:00AM, Alamo Ritz 1
Thursday, March 13, 7:00PM, SXSatellite: Marchesa
Saturday, March 15, 2:00PM, Vimeo Theater
Director: Jeff Broadway
Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton is a feature-length documentary about avant-garde Los Angeles-based record label Stones Throw Records. Under the direction of founder and world-renowned DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, Stones Throw has consistently released critically acclaimed, left-of-center albums since its founding in 1996. Drawing on live concert footage, never-before-seen archival material, inner-circle home video and photographs and in-depth interviews with the folks who put Stones Throw on the map, Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton delves deeper into the label's enigmatic artists, history, culture and global following. Among those featured in the film are Kanye West, Common, Mike D, Questlove and Snoop Dogg.
Friday, March 7, 9:30PM, SXSatellite: Alamo Village
Thursday, March 13, 9:30PM, Vimeo Theater
Saturday, March 15, 4:00PM, Stateside Theatre
Director: Martin Shore
Take Me to the River is a feature film celebrating the inter-generational and inter-racial musical influence of Memphis in the face of pervasive discrimination and segregation. The film brings multiple generations of award-winning Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians together, following them through the creative process of recording a historic new album, to re-imagine the utopia of racial, gender and generational collaboration of Memphis in its heyday. Featuring Terrence Howard, William Bell, Snoop Dog, Mavis Staples, Otis Clay, Lil P-Nut, Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Yo Gotti, Bobby Rush, Frayser Boy, The North Mississippi All-Stars and many more.
Tuesday, March 11, 4:30PM, Topfer Theatre at ZACH
Saturday, March 15, 11:00AM, Paramount Theatre
Director: David Laven
SVDDXNLY features never-before-seen footage detailing the ascension of one of raps brightest young stars. From home videos and interviews with friends and family, to the very first seminal moments of his career caught on tape, Rocky takes viewers behind the scenes into his life as he takes A$AP from Harlem to the world.
Narrated by A$AP Rocky. Featuring Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, Macklemore, Kathy Griffin, Jeremy Scott, Rihanna, and more.
Scored to his greatest hits featuring unreleased music from the upcoming instrumental album entitled "Beauty & The Beat: Slowed Down Sessions (Chapter 1)"
Tuesday, March 11, 7:15PM, Alamo Ritz 1
Thursday, March 13, 3:45PM, Alamo Ritz 1
Saturday, March 15, 4:30PM, Rollins Theatre at The Long Center
Director: Dorris Doerrie
Mariachi is an essential part of Mexican culture. It’s more than just music; it's a lifestyle that views the world from a macho perspective. The business is tough and women are seldom appreciated in this strictly male domain. Nevertheless, a handful of female musicians choose to be Mariachi. Against the backdrop of the folky 'Día de los Muertes' celebrations, director Doris Dörrie accompanies the musicians to their performances on the streets of Mexico and throughout their daily lives. When the Mariachi women sing about death, love and poverty, the heavy issues of everyday life in Mexico City appear slightly more bearable.
Tuesday, March 11, 7:00PM, AMC Theater at VCC
Wednesday, March 12, 1:30PM, Alamo Ritz 1
Friday, March 14, 11:00AM, Alamo Ritz 2
Director: Stuart Murdoch
In "God Help the Girl," first-time writer/director Stuart Murdoch creates a coming-of-age story that doubles as an indie-pop musical. The project began as a suite of songs, written while Murdoch was in between records. He nurtured it for a decade into a fully formed film, set in Glasgow & populated by mods, rockers, and emo kids who sing and dance. With its mix of memorable songs and strong performances, "God Help the Girl" is sure to stick with you.
Saturday, March 15, 5:00PM, Paramount Theatre
Director: Alejandro Franco
This is the story of Rodrigo Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero, two Mexicans who at a very early age decided to take the risk to pursue their dreams to live from what they loved the most: music.
The combination of their adventurous spirits, a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, took them from performing at anonymous hotels and restaurants in Ixtapa, in their native Mexico, to -just a few years afterwards-, playing their acoustic guitars on the stages of the most important venues and festivals around the world.
“For Those About to Rock” narrates their amazing and inspiring journey, which teaches its viewers that is possible to live one’s wildest dreams.
Saturday, March 15, 2:00PM, Paramount Theatre
Director: John Ridley
OutKast’s André Benjamin stars as Jimi Hendrix in this revealing biopic from writer-director John Ridley (12 Years A Slave). Covering a year in Hendrix’s life from 1966-67 as an unknown backup guitarist playing New York’s Cheetah Club to making his mark in London’s music scene up until his Monterey Pop triumph, the film presents an intimate portrait of the sensitive young musician on the verge of becoming a rock legend.
Wednesday, March 12, 9:00PM, Paramount Theatre
Director: Jon Lefkovitz
In December 1970, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were interviewed by Rolling Stone's Jann S. Wenner prior to the release of their "Plastic Ono Band" albums. Ten years later, in September 1980, the couple granted their first in-depth interview in five years to Playboy while they were in the process of recording "Double Fantasy". "Rubber Soul" reconstructs portions of these two historical interviews based on available transcripts and audio, juxtaposing them in order to explore the dynamic nature of Lennon's identity over time.
Tuesday, March 11, 9:30PM, Stateside Theatre
Wednesday, March 12, 1:45PM, Rollins Theatre at The Long Center
Thursday, March 13, 11:00AM, SXSatellite: Alamo Village
Director: John Jeffcoat
When an opportunity arises for Seattle rock band Tennis Pro to take their act on the road to Japan - where the allure of a second chance at recognition awaits them - they can’t refuse. On their Tokyo musical odyssey, the guys experience the thrills and setbacks of taking their music into unknown territory and in the process learn a thing or two about themselves. Told with rollicking humor and catchy tunes, director John Jeffcoat (OUTSOURCED) utilizes a fresh narrative approach and guerrilla production style mixed with an international storyline to craft a dynamic and entertaining story. Music and film intersect with two cultures to reveal simple, oftentimes hilarious, universal truths.
Tuesday, March 11, 6:30PM, Stateside Theatre
Thursday, March 13 9:30PM, Alamo Ritz 1