6 Music Films to See at the Galway Film Fleadh

The Grateful Dead performing at Haight Street Fair in San Francisco in 1968.

6 Music Films to See at the Galway Film Fleadh

Whitney Houston, 1960s songwriter/producer Bert Berns, electronic artist James Lavelle, The Grateful Dead, Matt Johnson of The The, and the 1967 Monterrey Pop Festival are all featured in this year's Fleadh.

The 29th Galway Film Fleadh, which runs from Tuesday 11 July to Sunday 16 July has a special music focus again this year. From a definitive, four-hour documentary on The Grateful Dead to an intimate insight into the travails of Whitney Houston, here’s six great music films being screened next week.

Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead (Friday 14 July, 6pm, Monroe’s Live)
Director Amir Bar-Lev will attend this screening of this new film looking at the thirty-year odyssey of The Grateful Dead. With a soundtrack that captures some of the band’s most dynamic live performances as well as unguarded offstage moments and never-before-seen interviews, footage and photos, Long Strange Trip explores the Grateful Dead’s singular experiment in radically eclectic music making.

Can I Be Me (Tuesday 11 July, 10pm, Town Hall Theatre)
Directed by Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal, Can I Be Me explores the tragic life of Whitney Houston who died in 2012 aged 48. ’Success doesn’t change you, fame does’, said the singer who had more consecutive number ones than The Beatles and whose favourite saying apparently was ‘Can I Be Me…’. ‘If she were an artist today, she’d probably still be here,’ says one voice.

The Inertia Variations (Thursday 13 July, 10.15pm, Cinemobile)
Matt Johnson of the English band The The, known for his intensely personal and political songs, has remained silent as a singer-songwriter for the last 15 years. Conflicted by creative inertia, he has observed from the sidelines whilst corporate state propaganda has swamped the cultural airwaves. To try and purge his feelings of disenchantment he decides to challenge the narrow media consensus through his own radio broadcast. Director Johanna St Michaels will attend the screening. 

Bang! The Bert Berns Story (Wednesday 12 July, 3.30pm, Town Hall Studio)
Music meets the mob in this documentary narrated by Steven Van Zandt about the life and career of Bert Berns, the songwriter and record producer behind hits such as ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘Hang On Sloopy’, ‘Here Comes the Night’, ‘Piece of My Heart’ and many others. He helped launch the careers of Van Morrison and Neil Diamond, and produced many classic soul records. Bang! The Bert Berns Story features Van Morrison, Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, Ronald Isley, Ben E. King and Solomon Burke.

Monterey Pop (Saturday 15 July, 2.30pm, Town Hall Studio)
On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the height of the Summer of Love, the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade’s spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey would launch the careers of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Otis Redding, but they were just a few among a wildly diverse cast that included Simon and Garfunkel, The Mamas and the Papas, The Who, The Byrds, Hugh Masekela, and Ravi Shankar. Director D.A. Pennebaker captured it all with this release from 1968  – now in a 50th anniversary restoration – immortalizing moments such as Pete Townshend destroying his guitar, and Jimi Hendrix burning his.


The Man from Mo’Wax (Saturday 15 July, 10.15pm, Cinemobile)
James Lavelle played his first DJ set at 14, launched record label Mo’Wax at 18 and released the UNKLE album Psyence Fiction at 22. His rapid rise seemed limitless, but it’s only when you’re going so fast that the wheels fall off. The Man from Mo’Wax tells the remarkable story of an enigmatic and influential figure in British culture. Unearthed from over 700 hours of footage, including personal archives spanning three decades, The Man from Mo’Wax tells the story of a boy becoming a man in the world of music. The result is a no-holds-barred ride, taking in some decidedly flawed decision-making, both personal and professional. Lavelle emerges as an innovative artist who thinks big and consistently overcomes adversity. The producers will attend. James Lavelle will play the Róisín Dubh on 27 July.

For the full programme of this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, visit www.galwayfilmfleadh.com

Published on 3 July 2017

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