EAST END BABYLON
THE STORY OF THE COCKNEY REJECTS
Alive Inside is a joyous cinematic exploration of music's capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short.
This stirring documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music's ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Rossato-Bennett visits family members who have witnessed the miraculous effects of personalized music on their loved ones, and offers illuminating interviews with experts including renowned neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain) and musician Bobby McFerrin ("Don't Worry, Be Happy").
An uplifting cinematic exploration of music and the mind, Alive Inside's inspirational and emotional story left audiences humming, clapping and cheering at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award.
LEE SCRATCH PERRY'S
A thrilling, poetic narration with the legendary Lee Scratch Perry, this movie is a unique project in many ways: it’s not a biography but rather a fairytale documentary! The director followed Lee Perry for 15 years and discovered a story that is almost impossible to believe: a revelation, told about and with one of the major protagonists of contemporary music. It is a mind-blowing encounter with "The Prophet“ of the international Rastafari movement, one of the icons of the Black Power movement and “the” inventor of reggae and dub and it is also a humorous adventure of epic dimensions. The movie can be seen as a guide for how to change the world with music – with a positive attitude, mindset or, as Lee Perry calls it: “vibration”.
I was 14 when I discovered the music of Lee Perry and Bob Marley, and as a German teenager, it changed my life. Since then it has always been my greatest dream to make a film with Lee Perry, whose mastery also lies behind so many Bob Marley songs. Now, 32 years later, we are about to finish this very extraordinary project and finally fulfill this dream.
For the past 15 years I have been going to his house regularly, equipped with my camera and microphone. Over the years we became friends and now we are looking at an immense collection of intimate footage full of surprise, excitement and poetry. The making of this movie has been a long and deep process revealing a shy and extravagant artist who is commonly regarded as a genius.
The movie will always be the most intimate, extensive and fascinating adventure you can possibly have with Lee Perry, one of the most special and influential artists of all times.This project is unrepeatable. Prepare yourself for this unique experience: The "Vision Of Paradise“!
I NEED A DODGE!
JOE STRUMMER ON THE RUN
A Tindog Film, produced and directed by Nick Hall, this is the story of Joe Strummer’s self-imposed exile in Granada in 1985/86. Whilst in Spain and needing wheels, tracking down a Barreiros, essentially a European edition of the Dodge-Dart, became a mission. After returning to the UK for the birth of his daughter, Joe couldn’t remember where in Madrid he had left his beloved car. This documentary is partly the story of the search for the car and partly the story of Joe’s own search for meaning and redemption in those wilderness years.
"Seemingly a minor episode at the time, Joe's Spanish escapade takes on new significance in Nick Hall's captivating film... The seeds of Strummer's later life reinvention were sewn here and this lovely account adds genuinely new insights to his massive archive, bolstered by memorabilia, including radio interview cassette and booklet... A rare delight - 8/10"
Kris Needs, Classic Rock, November 2015
A compelling look at the life of one of music's true outlaws - Daily Mirror ****
This freewheeling Kerouac-ian adventure is a fascinating insight into Strummer's troubled psyche as he searches for a new direction - Record Collector ****
Poignant and absorbing - Across The Arts
Fabulous. The story is compulsive - Johnny Green
Formed in the turbulence of late Seventies East London as an answer to the dominant art school punk, Cockney Rejects cornered their patch with their brand of terrace singalong classics and a white hot live set. "East End Babylon" is the no-holds-barred and acclaimed documentary that tells their story through interviews, rare archive footage of the band and their East End roots plus dynamic live footage. The Rejects were fiercely working class, the band eschewed the political ramblings of punk's first wave and sang about their own circumstances. Joe Strummer famously said that, "The Rejects were the real deal", whilst Morrissey reckoned "Jeff Turner was obviously singing to avoid killing someone." Signed by EMI after playing four local gigs (less than The Pistols!) they found themselves playing sell out tours across the UK and seeing their debut album storm the charts. Top of the Pops appearances followed, which became the stuff of legend as the band ran amok, finally being banned from the show. Due to overwhelming demand, the band returned to the live circuit in 2000, playing to hundreds of thousands of people across the globe with a live set that is so energetic that it has to be seen to be believed – UK dates in 2013 are to be announced shortly. "East End Babylon" was directed by Richard England (executive producer of award-winning Dr. Feelgood documentary "Oil City Confidential") and edited by Henry Stein (who recently edited the Led Zeppelin concert film "Celebration Day"). Of "East End Babylon" Mojo magazine said that it "Manages to articulate more about the UK in the late 70s and early 80s than any sane person could rightfully expect… puts 80's Britain under a microscope. Fearless storytelling," whilst The Independent hailed "an unflinching, bloody and bloody funny account of one of rock 'n' roll's rawest tales - and an elegy to the East End that spawned it." As well as the film itself, the DVD release includes over 90 minutes of outstanding bonus extras including unseen music and interview footage. "East End Babylon" was featured in the Sundance Film Festival in London on 26th April 2013 and nominated for the BAFTA's longlist.
THE ECSTASY OF
'The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson is a film that confronts our worst nightmares of impending death, confounding expectations and turning them upside down. It tells the extraordinary, yet universal story of legendary musician Wilko Johnson who, diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer and given a few months to live, managed to accept his fate with uplifting positivity and defy the death sentence handed down to him. As the Hollywoood Reporter said, 'Ecstasy has enough sensory texture to nudge us toward the unexpected euphoria Johnson felt after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.' When Johnson announced he was not going to endure the proposed treatment, many anticipated the worst. Instead, Wilko threw himself into the music, a farewell tour and an album with Roger Daltrey that hit number three in the UK charts; and he carried on living. And of course that is the twist in this tale. Confounding the odds, Wilko now has the all clear, having now to integrate those enlightened lessons learnt under sentence of death into the unexpected and ongoing future of his life. The Independent said, 'There is something comical but uplifting in the baffled ecstasy he feels in still being alive'. As bonus features on The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson , included are a watch with Wilko version of the movie which follows every flicker of emotion as the subject of the movie views the finished product! Additionally there s footage from the first rehearsal of the band after Wilko s life-saving operation, plus also the full Q&A that took place after the film s cinematic premiere at the Picturehouse on Shaftesbury Avenue. There s also an interview with Wilko discussing The Rat a painting that he created which has assumed an emblematic presence in his life. The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson has been received with real acclaim by the critics; and it has been shown at film festivals globally. Of Temple himself, The Guardian wrote,'Like Wilko, his films exude an irrepressibly punky joie de vivre. Encore!' Uncut described the film as'inspiring stuf', Variety said,'Johnson s unexpectedly buoyant response to very bad news makes for a film about saying goodbye that is itself void of grief, fear or regret'
OIL CITY CONFIDENTIAL
Julien Temple's Oil City Confidential is the last film in his trilogy on British music of the 1970s, a prequel to his landmark films about punk figureheads the Sex Pistols in The Filth & The Fury and Joe Strummer in The Future Is Unwritten. Rather than being standard 'rockumentaries', Julien uses the music as a prism through which he examines the social and cultural conditions of the times. The films share his characteristic cinematic language - an irreverent and anarchic style of montage of archive and fictive footage, which he pioneered in The Great Rock & Roll Swindle. The Sex Pistols' and Joe Strummer's roles are well known, but Dr Feelgood, who are the subject of Oil City Confidential, played a vital role in creating those conditions for that cultural explosion and is a story that is as yet untold. Oil City Confidential is a film noir feature length documentary and about Dr Feelgood; it's the story of four men in cheap suits who crashed out of Canvey Island in the early '70s, sandpapered the face of rock'n'roll and left all that came before a burnt-out ruin, four estuarine John-the-Baptists to Johnny Rotten's anti-Christ. Cannibalizing the visual flotsam and jetsam of our society, welding into an emotionally engaging and humorous whole, Oil City Confidential sets out to explore this unique time, place and social landscape - all of which was responsible for shaping the identity of the band and which, more than any other, defined the strange cultural vacuum which existed before the coming of punk rock. "A terrific documentary about Dr Feelgood! Yes, I love the music, and yes! I was predisposed to like the documentary. But I am sure it is the quality of the film rather than just the music that drew me in" - Mark Kermode (BBC Film Show - Film of the Week).
"Nothing less than a masterclass in musical hagiography, beautifully photographed, superbly edited and utterly involving" - **** Time Out.
"I don't think Julien Temple has ever made a film as good, and as purely insightful as this" - **** The Guardian.
THE BLUEBLACK HUSSAR
In the 1980s, pop star, Adam Ant, was at the height of his fame but after mental health problems he disappeared into relative obscurity. The result of over a year spent with the eccentric singer, Jack Bond's acclaimed film, 'The Blueblack Hussar', charts Ant's return to the music scene — older, wiser, but still the erudite, charismatic, flamboyant figure of 30 years ago. Largely a fly-on-the-wall, Bond's camera is a revealing window into Ant's life: his overactive mind and his effervescent personality. Careering from London to Paris on a recruiting drive for his comeback bid, meeting a host of colourful supporting characters, and showing off material for his new album, 'The Blueblack Hussar' is a hugely enjoyable tribute to a true musical icon.
LIVE AT KOKO, CAMDEN TOWN, LONDON
On the evening of 10 March 2013, Koko in London’s Camden Town opened its doors to 1,500 music fans who knew they were about to witness an extraordinary event. The venue – known as the Music Machine in the punk days and the Camden Palace in the ‘80s and ‘90s – has down the years seen many legends play its stage, from Ellen Terry the Victorian actress, to The Goons who recorded some of their BBC shows there, to The Clash, Madonna, Prince and many more. But tonight the honour was reserved for a man with a special place in the hearts of lovers of raw, honest, exhilarating rock’n’roll music: Wilko Johnson. The electricity around the show had acquired extra voltage due to a sad and poignant fact: just a few weeks before, the former Dr Feelgood guitarist and songwriter had announced he’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had only months left to live. The Koko gig – the second of two – was thus promoted as the very last show of a short ‘Farewell’ tour, the final chance for fans to see Wilko perform live on stage. As it turned out, against the odds, the guitarist mercifully remained fit and healthy enough to gig sporadically throughout the rest of 2013, bringing pleasure to fans everywhere from his home town of Southend, Essex to the Fuji Rock festival in Japan. But on this crisp winter’s evening in Camden Town, no one was to know that – and even if they did, they would be glad to learn that Wilko’s party wasn’t quite over yet… Wilko came onstage to a deafening roar and a standing ovation (not that there was anywhere to sit down). The next hour and 20 minutes rushed by, with Wilko, glaring, grinning, and manically bowling across the stage in customary style, as Norman Watt-Roy pulled funkily at his bass strings and Dylan Howe kept the rhythm tight ("he’s the best drummer I’ve ever worked with," says Wilko – and he’s worked with more than a few very good ones). The Feelgoods hits got the biggest cheer, and then a tear came to the collective eye when Johnson left the stage to an emotional rendering of Chuck Berry’s Bye Bye Johnny, waving as he said goodbye - a profoundly moving experience, it must be said, whose atmosphere Live At Koko perfectly captures.
SKETCH DRUGS ROCK n ROLL
'Youth - Sketch, Drugs & Rock N' Roll' is the story of the award winning record producer, Killing Joke Bass player, musician, songwriter and artist known simply as Youth. Told in his own words from his London Home and Studio, with contributions from some of music's biggest names including Paul McCartney, David Gilmour, Boy George, Jaz Coleman, Guy Pratt, Alan McGee and more….
“Youth, pop sage, rock n roll shamen, punk, hippy, raver, dad, DJ, nutcase, artist, producer, grumpy git, peace lover, tea addict, freak and friend! What’s not to like. He’s a great bunch of guys!” - Boy George
A STORY OF MUSIC & MEMORY
NEW MODEL ARMY
BETWEEN DOG AND WOLF
New Model Army have been one of the biggest underground music artists for over quarter of a century. To their global community of fans they mean everything. Yet mainstream success has so far eluded them. This film is the story of the band and in particular their charismatic and unconventional lead singer songwriter and founder Justin Sullivan. His refusal to compromise his principles has meant that his audience has stayed loyal, and their support has helped the band endure some difficult moments. This is a very human story of a man who began life in a liberal Quaker family, yet turned his back on this and headed to Bradford where he met his muse. He found like-minded musicians and formed the band which connected with the mood of anger in Thatcher s Britain, and quickly rose to prominence. Then as international success is within their grasp, the relationship with Justin s songwriting partner Robb Heaton founders, and he subsequently dies in tragic circumstances. But It is when the band lose their studio and all their equipment, that Justin finally comes to terms with the ghosts of his past and pursues the new radical approach to making music which results in what many consider the band s finest album.
Making great use of candid interviews he conducted with Malcolm in Paris and London, director Phil Strongman has unearthed some stunning, unseen footage about Malcolm’s childhood, his1960s activism and his key role in punk ‘anti-fashion’. Three films in one: it’s a history of European Anarchism; a biog of McLaren…and a compelling exposé of the real birth of the Sex Pistols (with The Clash, 101ers, Bow Wow Wow, Adam Ant, Boy George, Don Letts, Tony Wilson, Tracey Emin, Stuart Christie, Nick Egan, Vivienne Westwood).
ANARCHY: THE MCLARENWESTWOOD GANG
Bayou Maharajah explores the life and music of New Orleans piano legend James Booker, the man Dr. John described as "the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced." A brilliant pianist, his eccentricities and showmanship belied a life of struggle, prejudice, and isolation. Illustrated with never-before-seen concert footage, rare personal photos and exclusive interviews, the film paints a portrait of this overlooked genius.