In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr. gathered the best musicians from Detroit’s thriving jazz and blues scene to begin cutting songs for his new record company. Over a fourteen year period they were the heartbeat on every hit from Motown’s Detroit era. By the end of their phenomenal run, this unheralded group of musicians had played on more number ones hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined – which makes them the greatest hit machine in the history of popular music. They called themselves the Funk Brothers. Forty-one years after they played their first note on a Motown record and three decades since they were all together, the Funk Brothers reunited back in Detroit to play their music and tell their unforgettable story, with the help of archival footage, still photos, narration, interviews, re-creation scenes, 20 Motown master tracks, and twelve new live performances of Motown classics with the Brothers backing up contemporary performers.
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Charlie quits his job to move home to manage his hometown rock band. His supportive girlfriend shares his love for the band, until struggles within the band force them to make choices that will impact their lives forever.
Having written the music and screenplay for this film, Paul McCartney also plays himself in the leading role. When the mastertape of McCartney’s latest album is misplaced, he must discover its whereabouts in less than 24 hours or else risk losing his recording company to the lowlife Mr. Rath (John Bennett). McCartney performs three new songs, along with classic Beatles’ tunes. Co-starring are former Beatles mate Ringo Starr as the drummer in Paul’s band, Ringo’s real-life wife Barbara Bach, McCartney’s then wife Linda and Tracy Ullman.
From the birth of jazz to the evolution of hip hop; the advents of urban trends to transformative advances in technology, African Americans have played an integral role in molding American culture. Unfortunately, we tend to not be the beneficiaries of our own innovation. Bleaching Black Culture examines the continuum of America’s black cultural appropriation and effects on the African American community.
A feature length documentary film representing the ‘B’ side to the 2012 release ‘Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap’. A hard hitting story of life and death in South Central Los Angeles. A struggle beyond the nearby Hollywood limelight among people for whom state intervention comes mostly with a siren attached. Amsterdam Film Festival Winner World Cinema Documentary Editing Award 2014.
Maverick. Auteur. Rebel. Innovator. Storyteller. Rambler. Gambler. Mad man. Family man. Director. Artist. Robert Altman’s life and career contained multitudes. This father of American independent cinema left an indelible mark, not merely on the evolution of his art form, but also on the western zeitgeist. “Altman”, Canadian director Ron Mann’s new documentary, explores and celebrates the epic fifty-year redemptive journey of one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of the medium. With its use of rare interviews, representative film clips, archival images, and musings from his family and most recognizable collaborators, Mann’s Altman is a dynamic and heartfelt mediation on an artist whose expression, passion and appetite knew few bounds.
Canadian documentarian Jamie Kastner (The Secret Disco Revolution) looks back at a notorious 1970s murder trial in the Virgin Islands — where five politicized young islanders were convicted of a massacre at a ritzy country club — and its dramatic aftermath a decade later, when the culprits’ ostensible leader staged a skyjacking and found refuge in Cuba.
Elvis plays Johnny, a riverboat entertainer with a big gambling problem. Donna Douglas plays Johnny’s girl, Frankie. A fortune teller tells Johnny how he can change his luck. Enter a new lady luck played by Nancy Kovack and the cat fight begins.
Robert Mugge filmed jazz great Sun Ra on location in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. between 1978 and 1980. The resulting 60-minute film includes multiple public and private performances, poetry readings, a band rehearsal, interviews, and extensive improvisations. Transferred to HD from the original 16mm film and lovingly restored for the best possible viewing experience.
SEDUCED AND ABANDONED combines acting legend Alec Baldwin with director James Toback as they lead us on a troublesome and often hilarious journey of raising financing for their next feature film. Moving from director to financier to star actor, the two players provide us with a unique look behind the curtain at the world’s biggest and most glamourous film festival, shining a light on the bitter-sweet relationship filmmakers have with Cannes and the film business. Featuring insights from directors Martin Scorsese, ‘Bernando Bertolucci’ and Roman Polanski; actors Ryan Gosling and Jessica Chastain and a host of film distribution luminaries.