Other, Like Me

In 1970, in the city of Hull in England, an artistic collective was born that was about to challenge the world of art. COUM Transmissions was led by the artists Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti who worked on performance that challenged the limits imposed on themes such as violence, sex and pornography. When they turned to music, they created the band Throbbing Gristle, precursor to industrial electronica. This is a documentary about their work.

In the year that the world saw the disappearance, at the age of 70, of Genesis P-Orridge, founder of the pioneers COUM Transmissions and Throbbing Gristle, who assumed himself as a “pandrogynous” being following a peculiar body fusion surgical intervention with his wife , this film tells, for the first time, the history of these bands through the words of the elements themselves, for the fisrt time. The story of a group of artists and musicians who worked in different combinations over many years and who were at the origin of industrial music in England in the 70s. To fuse art with life and archive complete personal liberation – at whatever the cost – was the single idea. They adopted new identities, pushed art to its limits and invented a new genre of music, confronting assumptions aboux sex, morality and the dark side of human nature. Their work caused outrage and media scandal and politician denounced them as “the wreckers of civilization”. A film about an indisputable milestone in the genesis of industrial music and in the arts in general. (Helena César)

Ricardo

In 2014, a guy appeared on stage in colourful shorts, for an artistic performance during Sensible Soccers concert, at the Paredes de Coura festival. Since then he was never forgotten. But who is he? Ricardo is a mockumentary about Ricardo. 

Who is Ricardo? We don’t know much, although he is known as the guy in the colorful shorts. The story goes that in 2014 he appeared on stage in colorful shorts, for an artistic performance during a Sensible Soccers concert at the Paredes de Coura festival. Since then he has never been forgotten. Ricardo is a mockumentary about Ricardo Bueno and the drama of forgetting your dance moves. Suffering for you, Ricardo. (Carlos Ramos)

Show Me the Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall

Much of what we know about the musical mythology and counterculture of the 60’s we owe to the images and the photographic talent of Jim Marshall. He captured many important photos of musicians like Bob Dylan or The Rolling Stones and historical moments like The Beatles last concert, Johnny Cash’s concerts at Folsom prison or Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar. This film chronicles the life of a singular artist, behind and outside his camera.

“I do see the music. This career has never been just a job, it’s been my life.” 

Jim Marshall – rock n’roll photographer – is the author of emblematic images of the history of music. Jimmy Hendrix setting his guitar aflame at stage, Miles Davis sitting in a boxing ring, the boyish Bob Dylan following a stray tire down a New York street, Johnny Cash gesturing with his middle finger, Janin Joplin at home, or The Beatles in them last concert. There are countless moments captured by Marshall that became famous. A man of intense temperament, a life of excess and battling inner demons, who was loved or hated, there was no in-between. “If he loved you, he would lie down in front of a truck for you. If he hated you, he would happily drive the truck over you.”, says Amelia Davis, owner of Jim Marsall Photography LLC.

The portrait of the photographer who lived and died like an autentic rockstar that shows us his work and some of the most important moments in music. (Helena César)

SOA

We are surrounded by all kinds of sounds, but how far are we conscious about them?  The director and investigator Raquel Castro has been working with the concept of sound landscape. And in particular the way sounds, silences, noises, frequencies and all spectral densities – infra or ultrasounds – can shape each place and all of us. This is also a film essay about citizenship, ecology, and the responsibility we have for the sounds we produce.

Imagine a world without sound. Imagine at least that, as in our world, it was not the momentary absence of sound that defined it. This is how SOA challenges us: the ubiquity of sound, from the simplest human activity today to the oldest proof of the existence of life. After all, if God dictated let there be light, the sound of His voice would have preceded it. SOA is a journey of questioning about the heterogeneity of sound and, along with the geography of human complexity, about its itinerancies – and our ability to listen to it. (Filipa Henriques)

The Heart is a Drum

The German musician Klaus Dinger was one of the founders of NEU! and a drummer for Kraftwerk. He was also one of the creators for the Motorik beat, that influenced much of the German experimental music of the 60’s and 70’s and later artists and bands like Iggy Pop, Joy Division or Primal Scream. Jacob Frössén goes after Dinger’s story and the hypothesis that behind the creation of that famous beat there was a failed loved affair.   

The definition of the legendary german drummer Klaus Dinger’s apache beat could be the melodic pattern that outcomes from the infinite 4:4 loop; if we only used these words, we would reduce his music to its more mechanic sense. Through images as unusual (or even more) than Dinger himself, and the distinctive voice of Kim Gordon guiding us through these images, we are invited to uncover the love story that influenced some of the most important bands of the German rock scene from the 70s. The Heart is a Drum is not only a film about Dinger’s creative process through bands as Kraftwerk and Neu!, but also about the love (and the lack of it) that fed it. (Filipa Henriques)

White Riot

At the end of the 70’s, British National Front supported right wing extremist and xenophobic positions. As a response the movement Rock Against Racism was created, a central element to the British punk rock. Rubika Shah’s film portrays the beginning of this movement, under the impulse of the music photographer Red Saunders. Bands like The Clash or Sham 69 would join these protest years, in a moment where a youth generation defied the status quo.

RAR – Rock Against the Racism – a political and cultural movement – emerged in 1976, in London, in reaction to a rise in racist attacks on the streets of the United Kingdom, increasing support for the neo-Nazi National Front at the ballot box, and the and support by some musicians for the idea of “Keep Britain White”. Relevant and timely, the award-winning White Riot blends interviews with archive footage to recreate a hostile environment of anti-immigrant hysteria and National Front marches.As neo-Nazis recruited the nation’s youth, RAR’s multicultural punk, rock and reggae gigs were the resistance against the racism. Musicians not only played, but also participated in the organization of the actions.

The movement grew from fanzines to the huge Carnival Against the Racism, one of the RAR’s landmark, in April 1978, which saw 100,000 people march across London before attending an outdoor festival in Victoria Park featuring bnads like The Clash, Stell Pulse e X-Ray Spex. (Helena César)

Aznavour by Charles

Since Aznavour received his first camera from Edith Piaf in 1948, that filming became a part of his daily life. The singer kept a video diary where he recorded key moments of his life, travels, concerts, lovers and friends. Before he died he expressed the desire to make a film out of this material. Fulfilling his wish, Marc di Domenico accesses these personal files, while filming himself the French singer for 3 years.

The usual is for the cameras to be directed at them, the singers, the actors, the men and women who climb up to the stage and fill up the screens. One of the biggest names within the french songs and music, son of Armenian refugees that journeyed through the XXth century and crossed into the next one certain that only death could stop him (and only her would indeed force him an early retirement, at 94 years of age, in the year 2018), Charles Aznavour was first and foremost a singer, but he also filled screens, as we’re eternally reminded by that “Shoot the Piano Player” in which Truffaut made him lead character right at the beggining of the nouvelle vague eruption. “Aznavour by Charles” shows us Charles Aznavour, the star, making something beyond the usual. In 1948, Edith Piaf offered him a recording camera. In the following 34 years, Aznavour filmed landscapes and faces, anonymous people, the women of his life, other stars like himself. Marc di Domenico dived into that huge archive and shaped it. Romain Duris made himself Aznavour e gave voice to his thought. A revealing movie came out of it. The observer becomes the observed thing, and vice-versa. “Aznavour by Charles”, Charles is Aznavour. (Mário Lopes)

Chaos and Affinity

This is a travel through the improvised music in Portugal, in particular Lisbon, with focus on the now closed bar Irreal. Based on interviews and filmed concerts with artists like Gabriel Ferrandini, Adriana Sá and Lantana, Chaos and Affinity shows us a cultural reality not well known. And also, a group of artists and venues where this improvised music takes place. Pedro Gonçalves directs his first feature film.

One of the strengths of Pedro Gonçalves’ documentary is its contemporaneity. Most documentaries about music focus mainly on bands, artists or movements that no longer exist or whose golden moment occurred in the past. Chaos and Affinity tells us about the here and now. A portrait of improvised Portuguese music, with a greater emphasis on Lisbon and with an epicenter in the, ironically extinct, bar Irreal. Pedro gathers a group of incredible musicians, rescuing them from their invisibility through concerts and interviews. An object for future memory in what is his first and promising film. (Carlos Ramos)

Making a Diagonal with Music

The electroacoustic composer Beatriz Ferreyra is a pioneer of early musique concrète during the 50’s and 60’s. Here she discusses her ‘sound hunting’ recording techniques, sound montage and spatialization, in a film full of creaking doors and barking dogs.

IndieMusic allows for these discoveries. Beatriz Ferreyra, Argentine composer and sound hunter, pioneer of concrete music in the 50s and 60s, as well as Pierre Schaeffer, with whom she collaborated. In this wonderful little documentary, we enter the world of Beatriz, in her ideas and thoughts about sound, explained with practical actions of creaking doors and barking dogs. Aura Satz films everything very close to her, showing her body, her movements, her hands, passing the materiality of the doors, noises and sounds to the film. (Carlos Ramos)

Gimme Shelter

The classic Direct Cinema musical documentary Gimme Shelter is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Considered one of the best rock films of all time, it chronicles the last weeks of The Rolling Stones US tour in 1969. With special focus on the tragic incidents that led to the death of a fan at the hands of Hell’s Angels, responsible for the security of the famous Altamont concert.

A retrospective look at the year 1969 shows how it was remarkable in world history. For the first time a human being stepped on the moon, the Woodstock festival took place and it was the year when the internet is considered to have been born. December 6 of the same year was marked by another event, the Altamont festival at the end of the American tour of The Rolling Stones, which brought together about 300 thousand people. It is said that the 60’s dream died here. Santana, Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers and the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young also played at this festival. This was the so called Woodstock West. There are several myths about what happened. The Stones hired the Hell’s Angels for the security of the festival. But things rushed in and the violence took the place of peace and love, culminating in the death by stabbing of Meredith Hunter, a moment captured by the documentary cameras and later used as evidence. Gimme Shelter is the film of these events, considered by many to be the best rock film of all time, shown here as part of the celebration of its 50th anniversary. (Carlos Ramos)

Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story

Back in 1986, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, wrote and self-released Keyboard Fantasies, in Huntsville, Ontario. Despite its innovating folk-electronica hybrid sonorities, the cassette was forgotten. Suddenly, three decades later, a rare-record collector in Japan reissued the album and finally the music found its listeners. The musician, now Glenn Copeland, starts its first international tour at the age of 74.

Keyboard Fantasies is not a popular record – not even to those into the spectrum between folk and ambient. When listening to it, with more or less attention, we learn very little about Beverly-Glenn Copeland. The way the musician balances his beats, as well as his silences and his tender voice, don’t gives us any hint about his life as one of the faces of the never-ending fight for the LGBT rights in Canada 70s, a time when it was still punished by law.  If we can admit that his music stays in our minds for its balance, we can say that it’s with the same stability that Beverly tells us about his life and the record that was only valued three decades after its first edition. A story of struggling, courage and spiritual wisdom, teaching us that “We are ever new”. (Filipa Henriques)

Laurel Canyon: A Place in Time

In mid-late 1960s and early 1970s, Laurel Canyon was the epicentre of the counterculture. Many musical events took place there and many rock stars lived at that place. Alison Ellwood’s documentary uses rare videos, outtakes, demos and photos in order to pull the curtain on that mythical period, make us go back in time and explore the stories of musicians like Mamas and the Papas, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Doors or Frank Zappa.

Somewhat bigger than a neighborhood and smaller than a city. It watched closely the Los Angeles metropolis, but the orography and the surrounding nature acted as a protection from it. In the 1960s, Laurel Caynon was one of the epicenters of the musical American counterculture that defined the decade. Impressive as it may seem, it seemed everyone found a home, shelter and inspiration there: The Mamas And The Papas, The Doors, Love, Franz Zappa, Joni Mitchell, The Monkees, Neil Young and Stephen Stills’ Buffalo Springfield, Gene Clark and David Crosby’s Byrds – therefore, also Crosby, Stills & Nash. Them and those who came, guided by them, which could be The Beatles, Bob Dylan or Dennis Hopper. 

“Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time” tells us, as the title goes, the story of a time and a place. Someone calls it “the garden of Eden”, but this is a garden made of electric sounds and the ambition to create in those mountain houses a new reality – free, creative and brotherly. Then came Charles Manson, time passed by, success corrupted brotherhood and youth experienced an heads-on collision with life outside that idyllic bubble. The fascinating and inspiring Laurel Canyon was inevitably doomed to fail, but that, in fact, only adds to the romanticism of the echo we still hear calling from the distance. (Mário Lopes)

Eletronica:Mentes

Unlike samba or bossanova, Brazilian electronic music has not been gathering too much attention cinemawise. This documentary tries to fill that gap, tracing an historical path that starts with the pioneer experiments of Jocy de Oliveira and Jorge Antunes in the 60’s and goes until today, with the work of musicians like Alexx kidd or Savio Lopes. The film also features the music of some important electronic artists like Anvil FX, Loop B. or Apollo Nove.

In the 1960s, Jocy de Oliveira and Jorge Antunes had their first experiences in the world of electronic music in Brazil. The two pioneers could not imagine the influence that their compositions would cause in future generations. Over the decades, electronic music became popular and became a lifestyle and a state of mind. While musicians dominate as constantly evolving technologies, they also reflect on the relationship between human and machine. (Mickael Gaspar)

A Vida Dura Muito Pouco – Celebrando a Obra de José Pinhal

In the eighties, José Pinhal recorded a couple of cassettes and then he was forgotten. It was only in 2000 that people started to listen to his music again, turning him into a myth of the popular Portuguese music.

José Pinhal was a stranger in the crowd: a mysterious musician from Santa Cruz do Bispo that only left us a few songs for us to imagine his life. We are left with his delicate word and what, with it, José sings to us: tales of unrequited love for a woman with long hair and red lips. José Pinhal’s repertoire is an endless ode to love, to summer, to forgiveness. If love is endless in his music, José lives now forever in A Vida Dura Muito Pouco, our belated recognition. (Filipa Henriques)

Billie

Billie Holiday is a North American jazz legend. At the end of the sixties, while preparing a biography that was actually never written, the journalist Lipnack Kuehl taped more than 200 hours of interviews with other musicians, but also family members, friends and lovers of the singer. James Erskine accesses this material to direct a film about her life, while restoring key performances and other archive footage into colour for the first time.

We know how the story goes. It is, after all, of one of the voices of the XXst century that we are talking, the woman who carried jazz’s history within herself and turned that knowledge into the expression of a life of artistic glory and private turmoil. Billie Holiday, born in 1915 and taken away by a life of abuses and excesses in 1959, at 44 years of age, was admired by Duke Ellington, a decisive influence in Frank Sinatra, a troubled reflection of the transparent Ella Fitzgerald. 

Starting in 1970, journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl, who was aware of all that, devoted nine years of her life to know more. Aiming towards the writing of a biography, she amassed 200 hours of interviews with friends, lovers, agents, family members or musicians like Count Basie or Sarah Vaughn. Linda Kuehl, who truly is the other main character here, died in tragic circumstances before concluding her book. Seeing the words she recorded grouped together with the enlightening archival footage, her work becomes somehow fulfilled. “Bilie” is the full portrait. (Mário Lopes)

Lisbon Beat

A journey around Lisbon’s suburbs through the lives of a handful of musicians. Different generations and backgrounds meet, Angola to São Tomé, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau represented by old-school musicians and young producers.

We Intend to Cause Havoc

Emmanuel Chanda is a Zambian gemstone miner who was the lead singer of Witch, the country’s most popular rock band of the 1970’s. In 2016, Dutch artist Jacco Gardner visited Zambia to meet, play and record material together with him.

Western Spaghetti

Isabel Aboim Inglez’s colorful animation recollects, frame-by-frame, her childhood memories of cowboys battling indians in the ‘Condor’ magazine.