Music Documentary

Film Review: Whitney (UK/USA, 2018) is a bittersweet love letter celebrating the enigmatic star’s rise & tragic downfall

July 24, 2018

Whitney may not be the most necessary film but it’s certainly an entertaining one. This documentary comes hot on the heels of Whitney: Can I Be Me, but where this latest offering differs is in its unprecedented access to Whitney Houston’s family and friends. The result is an intimate and bittersweet portrait of her meteoric success and her equally tragic downfall.... Continue Reading

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Film Review: Her Sound, Her Story (Australia, 2018) is an eye-opening look at women in Australian music

July 16, 2018

In the nineties, The Go-Betweens’ Lindy Morrison made the documentary, Australian Women In Rock & Pop Music- Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves. Fast forward to 2018 and the film Her Sound, Her Story documents many of the same issues that are still relevant. Gender disparity in the music industry is a pervasive issue with Play Your Gender from Canada and Breaking The Mould are two other films that examine this problem. Her Sound, Her Story is ultimately a fascinating and entertaining look at these important topics and will continue the conversations while there is still the need for progress.... Continue Reading

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AMW Film Fest Review: Take Me To The River (USA, 2015) is a soaring celebration of blues, rap and soul music

November 2, 2017

If American music has a heart and soul then you would find it nestled between Memphis and the Mississippi Delta. The documentary film, Take Me To The River realises this and pays homage to the soul men and women that created those passionate and influential hits for the likes of Stax Records and their ilk. This film is an absolute joy that shows the passing of the baton between some legendary and contemporary artists who work together to make beautiful music.... Continue Reading

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Rumble (Canada, 2017) gives long-overdue credit to American Indians & their contributions to popular music

June 13, 2017

It seems that American Indians have been erased from the history books, including the chapters relating to contemporary music. Until now. The documentary, Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World looks set to change all of that by celebrating the contributions of these individuals and finally giving credit where it’s due.... Continue Reading

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Gimme Danger (USA, 2016)

June 21, 2016

Gimme Danger turns the amp up to 11 and never turns down for a second in its nearly two hour running time. Super loud, super charged, and super excellent, this documentary charting the rise, quick demise, and subsequent reunion of The Stooges is one hell of a good time.... Continue Reading

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SXSW Music Documentary Reflections: The Smart Studios Story, I Am The Blues and Sidemen: A Long Road to Glory

April 5, 2016

Today we look at three brilliant music documentaries that screened at SXSW last month as part of their phenomenal 24 Beats Per Second music focused program:... Continue Reading

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SXSW Interview: Director Scott Rosenbaum and Producer Jasin Cadic talk about Blues documentary Sidemen: A Long Road to Glory

March 15, 2016

Many independent music documentaries seek to uncover some of the most important moments or threads in music history, making them essential for just about anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the legacy, the complexities, the behind-the-scenes struggles, and the beauty of music, both as a vessel of expression and as a lifelong passion for artists around the world; Sidemen: Long Road to Glory is such a movie, and you can tell just from the way Director Scott Rosenbaum and Producer Jasin Cadic talk about the film in this interview, which The Iris recently conducted at the current film component of SXSW 2016.... Continue Reading

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Melbourne International Film Festival Review: 808 (UK, 2015)

August 14, 2015

Alexander Dunn’s expositional documentary 808 takes its name from the Roland TR-808, one of the first programmable drum machines. Originally manufactured in early 1980 for studio musicians to record demos, the 808 was criticized for its unrealistic drum sound and was likened to the sound of marching ants. However, the snappy, tinny sound of the 808 found its home with emerging, innovative DJs and producers who would come to use, hack and transform the unique beat of the 808 and ultimately shape it into the sound of Hip Hop we know it today.... Continue Reading

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Melbourne International Film Festival Review: B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989 (Germany, 2015)

August 7, 2015

B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989 is a historically-oriented documentary that takes you through the unique underground music scene of the titular city that emerged during the 80s. Though clumsily-titled, it’s a fascinating portrait of a lost world of almost-surreal parties, rampant counter-culture and uninhibited artistic potential.... Continue Reading

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