This year’s BAMcinemaFest runs June 17 to 26, and in the line-up of 25 new feature films are some musical gems. Our picks are below. Tickets are available via the BAM Cinema Club Presale starting today, Monday, May 23 (join the Club for the privilege) and go on sale to the general public on Friday May 27 (most individual screenings are $13; head here to purchase).
"Tournée" ("On Tour," 2011, directed by Mathieu Amalric)
Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 9:40 p.m.
Q&A with Mathieu Amalric and stars of the film after the screening
A bittersweet portrait of the burlesque scene that netted Mathieu Amalric, who acted in "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and "A Christmas Tale," Best Director at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Inspired by a memoir by Colette. Glitzy venues, dingy hotels, a soundtrack featuring plenty of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and real-life burlesque performers like Dirty Martini, Mimi Le Meaux, Kitten on the Keys, and Julie Atlas Muz (many of whom will perform at the screening’s afterparty in the BAMcafé).
"Last Days Here" (2011, directed by Don Argott & Demian Fenton)
Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 6:50 p.m.
Q&A with directors after the screening
“It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” Bobby Liebling, the crack-addled and track-marked frontman of legendary heavy metal pioneers Pentagram -- godfathers of the current doom metal scene -- has lived in his parents’ basement for more than three decades. Due to his pathologically ruinous behavior, the band has never quite made it. With total access to Liebling, the Philly directing and editing team of "The Art of the Steal" and "Rock School" return with a harrowing, startling, and compulsively watchable portrait of an artist perennially on the razor’s edge. A Sundance Selects release.
"Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer" (2011, directed by Charlie Ahearn)
Sun, Jun 26, 2011 at 3:30 p.m.
Q&A with director Charlie Ahearn and film subject Jamel Shabazz followed by a booksigning with Shabazz.
In the infancy of hip-hop, Brooklyn-born photographer Jamel Shabazz documented the pioneers of music and style that would launch an enduring worldwide phenomenon. Ahearn, director of the seminal "Wild Style," pays tribute to both Shabazz and those who defined hip-hop before it had a definition. More than just vintage shots of kids rocking Puma Suedes, Kangols, and pin-striped Jordaches in Times Square and Fort Greene Park, Shabazz’s photographs have hundreds of (often times tragic) stories behind them, and Ahearn gives voice to these images with dozens of interviews with Shabazz himself, graffiti pioneer and hip-hop historian Fred “Fab 5 Freddy” Brathwaite, legendary rapper KRS-One (both Brooklynites), and more.
"The Ballad of Genesis & Lady Jaye" (2011, directed by Marie Losier)
Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 6:50 p.m.
Q&A with director Marie Losier and film subject Genesis P-Orridge after the screening
Made over the course of seven years, this brilliantly realized portrait explores legendary musician and artist Genesis P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV and h/er romance with Lady Jaye, a conceptual artist and dominatrix. This often touching film focuses on their Pandrogyne project, where they sought to become two parts of the same person through body modification surgery. Filmed in 16 mm and experimental in its technique, Losier’s film is a marvelously crafted work of art. Winner of the Berlin International Film Festival Teddy Award for Best Documentary. Followed by Thee Majesty in concert in BAMcafé.
"Surrogate Valentine" (2011, directed by Dave Boyle)
Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 9:15 p.m.
Q&A with director after the screening
From the director of "White on Rice" comes a story of not sex but love, not drugs but tea, and not rock ‘n’ roll but indie folk. Mirthful yet introspective San Francisco singer-songwriter Goh Nakamura (playing himself) is hired to teach a z-list actor (Chadd Stoops in a tongue-firmly-in-cheek performance) how to play guitar, and has no choice but to take him on tour. Featuring a propulsive pop score by Nakamura, this black and white nugget playfully nods to monochrome cinerock staples "Don’t Look Back" and "A Hard Day’s Night."