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A Poem Is a Naked Person

Directed by Les Blank Produced by Denny Cordell, Leon Russell, and Blank Released by Janus Films USA. 90 min. Not rated With Leon Russell, J.J. Cale, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Eric Andersen, Johnny Gimble, and Willis Alan Ramsey Les Blank’s A Poem Is a Naked Person is a beautifully restored 1974 rock ‘n’ roll time […]

Amy | Cannes 2015

Among the nearly three dozen films I saw at Cannes, the one that had the strongest emotional hook was, without question, Asif Kapadia’s in-depth biodoc of the late singer Amy Winehouse. Granted, the tender and trenchant Amy has an added resonance for fans and also for the melancholic question (one of many) that lingers afterward: […]

Fresh Dressed

Directed by Sacha Jenkins Produced by Peter Rittenbender, Nasir Jones, and Marcus A. Clarke Released by Samuel Goldwyn Films USA. 82 Not rated For a documentary about fashion, Fresh Dressed has more to do with words than might be expected. Language was instrumental in the fortunes and failures of the major figures in the evolution […]

Lambert & Stamp

Directed by James D. Cooper Produced by Cooper, Loretta Harms, and Douglas Graves Released by Sony Pictures Classics USA. 117 min. Rated R Two surviving members of the band the Who, Roger Daltrey and Peter Townshend, receive extensive coverage in this new film, but they almost play supporting roles. Instead, this unconventional rock doc centers […]

Can’t Stand Losing You

Directed by Andy Grieve Released by Cinema Libre Studio USA. 83 min. Not rated As the guitarist in the Police, perhaps the biggest band of the early ’80’s, Andy Summers was one of the most influential guitarists of the day. He painted with a larger sonic pallet than most rock musicians and generally used his […]

The Wrecking Crew

Directed by Denny Tedesco Produced by Denny Tedesco, Chris Hope, Jon Leonoudakis, Mitchell Linden, Claire Scanlon, Damon Tedesco & Suzie Greene Tedesco Released by Magnolia Pictures USA. 101 min. Rated PG The Wrecking Crew pays fond tribute to the musicians who were behind so much of the rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack of boomers’ lives. It’s […]

The Best of 2014

What went into the creation of this list? Mostly strong first impressions, followed by second (or third or fourth opinions) and a second viewing, confirming that there is some “there” there. Because this compilation is made right at the end of the year, it’s a judgment of its time made under at least condition since […]

Death Metal Angola

Directed by Jeremy Xido Produced by Xido, Joseph Castelo Portuguese, with English subtitles Released by the Vladar Company USA/Angola. 84 min. Rare is the region with no sound of its own. For the Dominican Republic: merengue and bachata. For Lebanon: dabke. For Angola: death metal? In Jeremy Xido’s docu—dare I say-rock-you—mentary Death Metal Angola, we […]

Keep On Keepin’ On

Directed by Alan Hicks Written by Hicks and Davis Coombe Produced by Quincy Jones and Paula DuPre’ Pesmen Released by Radius/The Weinstein Company USA. 86 min. Rated R Keep On Keepin’ On intimately catches lightning in a bottle, for what is usually only talked about but rarely seen on film: how a dedicated mentor can […]