Today marks a special episode of the podcast formerly known as Music on Film. Firstly, because I'm changing the name to “Music On Screen”, to acknowledge the growing importance of more forms of media than just film itself.
Secondly, whereas I have thus far chosen a single film to explore per episode, inspired by the exceptional programming of quality rockumentaries of Toronto's Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival, which has just completed its 24th year, I feel compelled to take a look into a greater number of films. This won't happen on every episode, but I would like to introduce the possibility.
The 2017 edition of the Hot Docs Film Festival was excellent and what started as a concept to incorporate five docs from all around the world into one episode has actually significantly grown into a three-part 2017 Hot Docs series. Each episode loosely contributes to the larger conversation of national identity via culture and the evolution of American “pop” music, as originated by the American other.
Today's first episode will look at three wonderful films from around the world. I'll first be discussing the film Rumble - which comes out in late July in Toronto and NYC with a North American rollout to follow - with its executive producers. In the process, you'll hear a bit about the invaluable native American contribution to shaping the trajectory of America’s original sounds of the impoverished.
Then we’ll travel to West Africa in A Story of Sahel Sounds. Lastly, we’ll travel to modern Osaka, Japan to experience a form of pop music so bizarre and somewhat unsettling, you’ll have to see the film, Raise Your Arms And Twist, to believe it for yourself.
In the next episode, we'll be focussing on England and British reflections on American music and some of its key players, who offered their incredible takes on “pop”. In the third episode, we'll be looping back to America to see a more contemporary, although still heavily dated, flavour of what's become of the American music thread in the 60s and beyond.
In the meantime, enjoy this week’s discussions surrounding:
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World with executive producers, Stevie Salas and Tim Johnson
Story of Sahel Sounds with directors, Tobias Adam and Florian Kläger (28 minutes in)
Raise Your Arms and Twist: Documentary of NMB48 with director, Atsushi Funahashi (47 minutes in)