Docs, films about music screened at film fest

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Music and film go hand in hand and are as commonplace as any analogy you’d like to insert in this sentence – salt and pepper, Corona and lime, Turner and Hooch. You name it.

Where most movies have defining songs or soundtracks that add transition and an auditory aesthetic, music documentaries or films let the music take over and drive while telling their story.

Last year, Cameron Crowe was instrumental in the celebration of Pearl Jam’s 20th anniversary as he chronicled the group throughout their career in the “Pearl Jam Twenty” documentary, and Nashville was opportune to host one of the screenings of the film.  

Another standout film from the same year was “Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest.”

Nonetheless, the Nashville Film Festival is showcasing several music-related films over the next few days as it kicks off today and runs until Thursday, April 26.

The festival has been up and running for years now with all screenings taking place at the Green Hills Stadium 16.

In 1970, The Band, Grateful Dead, Buddy Guy and Janis Joplin toured on a train through Canada for five days, and this experience was released as the concert film “Festival Express” in 2004.

In a similar manner, “Big Easy Express” documents the train ride through six cities in 2011 with Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Mumford and Sons.

Mumford and Sons are making waves right now, but I’ll go out on a limb and say they’ve never rode the same train like The Dead or any other artist in “Festival Express.”

Directed by Emmet Malloy, “Big Easy Express” will play on the closing night at 7 p.m.

Another film of note will be “Charlie Louvin: Still Rattlin’ the Devil’s Cage.”  

The celebrated country artist died a year ago, and the film has appearances by George Jones, Marty Stuart and Emmylou Harris among others.

The current showings are Sunday, April 22, at 3:30 p.m. and Monday, April 23, at 12:45 p.m.

In the area of music business, “Brick, and Mortar and Love” will have a showing Friday, April 20, at 5:15 p.m., and it is also screening for free at The Basement Saturday, April 21, at 4:30 p.m., which coincides with Record Store Day.

This film examines the interconnectedness and importance of community and arts with independent record stores such as Ear X-tacy in Louisville, Ky.

We all know Nashville as Music City, but if you’ve paid any attention to the scene over the past several years, then it’s clear to see there is something greater that’s rising.

After all, the city hasn’t grabbed attention from the likes of Rolling Stone and GQ for nothing.

“Music City Underground” features artists The Apache Relay, Andrew Combs and Natalie Prass with several others, and it is directed by Houston Matthews as it looks at the underground music scene in Nashville. It has a show time of 6:15 p.m. on opening night.

These are just a few of the many titles that will be on hand over the next week.

For more information on the festival, visit
Tagged under  Big Easy Express, Brick and Mortar and Love, Charlie Louvin, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Event, Mumford and Sons, Music, Music City Underground, Nashville Film Festival, Old Crow Medicine Show, Still Rattlin’ the Devil’s Cage

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