Sundance/Slamdance ’13 – Metal in the Mountains
The Sundance Film Festival has never been known as a bastion of hard rock and heavy metal, but it looks as if the leading U.S. film festival is taking baby steps to rectify that glaring error this year. No, it hasn’t gone full-blown Wacken on us overnight, but there is enough metal present to warrant me taking a trip up to Park City, UT.
Click on the titles for screening dates, times, and locations.
I will be representing Black Metal, a film that I worked on which has its world premiere at Sundance this year. It’s a nine-minute short directed by University of Texas lecturer and MetalSucks fave Kat Candler. I was lucky enough to work as the metal and true crime consultant and music supervisor for the film. In addition to an appearance by Austin dark metallers Vesperian Sorrow as the band in the film, Crown Of Horns, I was also able to secure some excellent tunes from Denmark black metal stalwarts Horned Almighty and Arkansas doom practitioners Pallbearer. Not bad for a little short film.
I’ll be rolling out Black Metal exclusives all week.
Up first, here’s the trailer.
Another movie I am very excited to check out is the story of Russian female punk rockers Pussy Riot. Their struggle after being arrested for protesting the questionable re-election of Vladmir Putin is quite inspiring for defenders of freedom of speech. My only concern is that their arrest occurred only just over a year ago, so I’m not sure how much solid info the documentarians could have grabbed in such a short amount of time.
I know some folks back at the MS Mansion who would love to check out this bad boy, Dave Grohl’s documentary about the famed LA recording studio Sound City. Featured in the film are Lars Ulrich, Tom Petty, Rick Rubin, Stephen Pearcy, Warren DiMartini, Corey Taylor, the late Ronnie James Dio, John Fogerty, Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor, Josh Homme, and Brad Wilk.
In addition to the premiere of the doc, Grohl is bringing out the Sound City Players all-star band for a concert in Park City this Friday. Guest musicians include Fogerty; Nicks; Taylor; Wilk; Krist Novoselic; Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen; Foo Fighters Chris Shiflett, Taylor Hawkins, Pat Smear and Nate Mendel; Rick Springfield; Chris Goss; Alain Johannes; Fear’s Lee Ving; Jessy Greene and Rami Jaffee.
Have you heard of Mr. Oizo? I love his minimalist techno. Great shit to listen to while writing my books. When I found out that he was directing a movie about a serial killer tire (Rubber) under his real name, Quentin Dupieux, I knew I had to check it out. I loved Rubber. It was my favorite film at the 2010 Fantastic Fest. I also enjoyed Dupieux’s follow-up film, Wrong. This new one, Wrong Cops, features Marilyn Manson as a teenager! If you’ve seen Rubber or Wrong then this makes complete sense to you. If not, take the risk.
This one is not about music, but it was created by and features segments directed by black metal documentarians Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites of Until the Light Takes Us fame. Gotta support our metal brethren.
Finally, there are a few other music-related films that are not about metal but should still be of interest to music lovers everywhere. First is History of the Eagles: Part One, a film about the famed SoCal rockers. Second is Muscle Shoals, a documentary featuring interviews and stories with and about Aretha Franklin, Gregg Allman, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and more.
But Sundance is not the only film festival in Park City that is devoting screen time to music. Slamdance*, the long-running indie alternative to Sundance also has a handful of music-related films. These include:
The story of three former hip-hop artists who re-connect and catch up on their lives.
A documentary short about a shitty DJ who still manages to bring in buttloads of cash.
A documentary short about a man who runs a used record store.
Stay tuned for more updates from Sundance over the next week or two.
*Slamdance co-founder Paul Rachman is a Board of Advisor member of the Housecore Horror Film Festival of which I am the co-founder and director.