“What began as a straightforward glimpse into an artist’s life and career gradually morphed into something altogether different – and strange” - the press release for 'The Nowhere Inn', starring St. Vincent, Carrie Brownstein, and Dakota Johnson, reads. Directed by Bill Benz, the metafictional film features the stars portraying fictional versions of themselves out to make a documentary about the provocateur otherwise known as Annie Clark (St. Vincent of course). “You’re nerdy and normal in real life, but the disparity between that and who you are on stage as St. Vincent is jarring” - Brownstein says in the trailer, leading Clark to reply - “I can be St. Vincent all the time, so that I can be a little bit more interesting”.

You have not lived until you have seen this 57-year-old actress-director shrink herself down to Hobbit size to play a pre-teen. This is beyond PEN15, beyond Martin Short in CLIFFORD, this is… cinema” - The New York Times critic wrote about 'Aline', the unofficial biopic of Celine Dion that has critics in awe of its “kooky”, “truly weird” and “magnificent camp” approach. 'Aline' stars and is directed by Valérie Lemercier, and critics reported the bizarre moment in which Lemercier, at age 57, for one scene portrays Dion, er, Aline, at age 12, the Wrap reports.

What's rollin' on
June 19, 2021

Dr. Dre's biopic on Marvin Gaye in the works

Warner Bros. has acquired 'What’s Going On', a new biopic on Marvin Gaye from Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, which will be directed by Allen Hughes ('Menace II Society', 'The Book of Eli'). The script was written by poet and playwright Marcus Gardley. The film has the full support of Gaye’s estate and Motown Records, and will feature music from the singer’s catalog. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has committed a budget north of $80 million for the film, which would mark the biggest budget ever for an African American musical biopic.

Stillwater

Spinal Tap were a fake band constructed for a movie ('This Is Spinal Tap'), yet not being real didn't prevent them from recording two albums and going on a tour. Others followed, like Stillwater from Cameron Crowe's 'Almost Famous', 'That Thing You Do!’s the Wonders, 'Under the Silver Lake’s Jesus and the Brides of Dracula, and MTV's 2gether. The Ringer discusses the nature of fake bands with the people behind some of them - including Crowe, Zooey Deschanel, Andy Samberg, and Emily Haines.

Cinephiles Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Matt Sweeney, who recently released a collaborative album 'Superwolves', made a selection of the best music films for Vice. The boys chose 'Gene Vincent: The Rock And Roll Singer' (1970) - "a tough watch, but a revealing study of a rare talent", 'Cisco Pike' (1972) - "music-infused crime film has earned a sizeable cult following", 'Oulaya’s Wedding' (2017)  - "astonishingly familiar feelings and ripping tunes", 'Payday' (1973) - "down and dirty character study of a country star indulging every vice under the sun as he hurtles towards annihilation", 'The Decline Of Western Civilization' (1981) - "a documentary about energy that's so loaded with power that it will never die", and other films.

Robbie Williams & Alan McGee

New rock n' roll biopic 'Creation Stories', about the cult UK publisher Creation Records and its frontman Alan McGee, is out this week, made by the 'Trainspotting' team of Danny Boyle and Irvine Welsh as producer and screenwriter, while Ewan Bremner, who played Spud in 'Trainspotting', stars as McGee. Brooklyn Vegan took this opportunity to select 21 best records by Creation. Here's the Top 5:

5. House of Love - 'House of Love'

4. Oasis - '(What's the Story) Morning Glory?'

3. My Bloody Valentine - 'Isn't Anything'

2. My Bloody Valentine - 'Loveless'

  1. Primal Scream - 'Screamadelica'

Crime drama 'City of Lies' about the murder of Notorious B.I.G. is finally coming out next week (it was postponed three years ago due to Johnny Depp’s public image at the time). 'City of Lies' is based on the true story of Biggie's death in 1997. The movie follows a retired LAPD detective named Russell Poole (Depp) and a journalist (Forest Whitaker) as they try to uncover the identities of those responsible for the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie.

"She enjoyed fashion and had a performer’s joy in being looked at, in satin, silks, heels and hairstyles" - the Guardian writes about the fashion choices Billie Holiday made, and what they meant. "For a Black woman in the US at that time, this glamour could be seen as a kind of resistance, too... People said, ‘How dare she wear diamonds, how dare she wear fur,’ but she dressed as a woman of her stature should have. She represented herself exactly as she wanted to and that in itself was revolutionary”. Lee Daniels’ film 'The United States Vs Billie Holiday' is released this week.

The freshest fruit
January 13, 2021

Watch the trailer for the new Billie Holiday movie

'The United States vs. Billie Holiday', a new film about the life of legendary singer, is coming to Hulu in February, and the trailer is out now (watch it below). It is directed by Lee Daniels, stars R&B singer Andra Day in the titular role, and it “unapologetically presents the icon’s complicated, irrepressible life”. Screenplay is written by Suzan-Lori Parks.

The Pogues were the most dangerous band in Britain and Ireland - the Quietus says in a review of the new documentary about the Irish punk band's frontman. 'Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan' tells the singer's story with the help of IRA's Gerry Adams, and goes into two directions - "it reminds the viewer what incredible talent MacGowan had during the 1980s, and also just how dangerous he was considered by the establishment".

The critics are loving the new George C. Wolfe movie 'Black Bottom' about one afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago where a band of musicians await trailblazing performer Ma Rainey. Guardian's Peter Bradshaw calls it "ferociously intelligent and violently focused, an opera of passion and pain", and "a detonation of pure acting firepower", while LA Times' Justin Chang says "it’s a feast of inspired talk that leaves an audience, in turn, with no shortage of things to talk about".

Guardian asks why all the movies with/about musicians this year, and last. It's been a handful: 'A Star Is Born' about fictional Ally, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' about pretty much real Freddie Mercury, 'Will Rose' about a woman out of prison and in the country music, 'Vox Lux' about a fictional star Celeste, 'Beats' about stupid law […]

Paramount's Elton John biopic 'Rocketman' made its long-awaited debut at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday night, as first major studio to depict gay male sex onscreen, Hollywood Reporter reminds us. The Dexter Fletcher-helmed film features scenes with men kissing, simulated oral sex and a steamy bedroom scene with both Taron Egerton, who plays John, […]

However bizarre it may seem now, in 1994, the British government attempted to outlaw dance music and rave culture, defining troublesome music as that which “includes sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”, Guardian reports. New indie movie, 'Beats', produced by Steven Soderbergh, is a Scottish coming-of-age story describing […]

"We still haven’t earned a penny from it ['Bohemian Rhapsody' movie]. Isn’t that funny? How successful does a movie have to be before you make money?” - Queen's Brian May told BBC. The movie made 900 million dollars, making it the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time. He says he did like the movie, and […]

Studiocanal is releasing 'Amazing Grace' – the concert film of Aretha Franklin’s gospel album of the same name – on 10 May. That follows Taylor Swift’s 'Reputation', which came out on New Year’s Day, and the December 2018 release of Bruce Springsteen’s 'Springsteen on Broadway'. In January Netflix announced Martin Scorsese would direct a documentary […]

There are docs and biopics, concert films and musicals, movies with flick-making and generation-defining soundtracks... They boast a common ethos, carry a certain swagger, and feel rebellious in their own, often unlikely, ways. So, here they are: The 50 Greatest Rock and Roll Movies of All Time, Consequence of Sound choice.