What makes documentary film a better truth-delivery system than print? The most effective documentaries combine advocacy with immediacy. Film feels in the present tense, while print, striving for objectivity, lingers in the reflective past. “I left still photography because it could not provide the things that I knew films could provide,” said documentary godfather Willard Van Dyke in a 1965 “Film Comment” interview….
Standing behind his gear onstage, Richard “Nozinja” Mthetwa resembles a large, layered wedding cake. The fringed and floral bands of fuchsia, cobalt blue, and green encircling his torso and legs are colors traditionally associated with the Tsonga-speaking Shangaans of northern South Africa; sometimes, pink and orange…
Midway through recording Savage Imagination, her second album of glittery electropop with guitarist Dustin Wong, singer and keyboardist Takako Minekawa bought a big wooden board from an arts and crafts store. She took it back to Wong’s apartment, where they were working, and the couple applied clay, paint, aluminum foil and other material to the board over the course of their remaining recording sessions.
You probably know Nels Cline as the 58-year-old lead guitarist in Wilco. Julian Lage is equally familiar in the jazz world for being, among other things, the subject of Jules at Eight, a 1997 documentary short about the guitar prodigy and his family. (“Whatcha been listening to lately?” someone asks Julian. “Lots of Wes Montgomery,” replies the kid nonchalantly. “Coltrane.”)
Released originally in 1977, “Two Sides to Every Story” was intended to reintroduce country-rocking Byrds co-founder Gene Clark to the record-buying public a couple of years after the commercial disappointment of “No Other” — a sleeper now rightfully regarded as a masterpiece.
The video is immediately seductive: Seven red-vested musicians surround a homemade tower of amplifiers and PA horns. Slumping in his red plastic chair, a bassist on the verge of a nap lays down a deep, dreamy groove while a five-man percussion section strikes cymbals, toms and bass drums.