WATER STREET (Sheldon Gillett) Rating: NNN
This homemade micro-budget documentary presents a cross-section of the music scene in Saint John's, Newfoundland, which looks very much like music scenes in other small cities across North America. Acts range from startlingly good (co-producer and Django Reinhardtesque guitarist Duane Andrews) through inane (girly relationship-popsters Bareback) to insufferable (self-styled "Newfie Rastas" Skank).
One of the film's theses is that outsiders unfairly privilege traditional jigs and reels over Newfoundland's more current music. Guilty as charged. While I would never begrudge Saint Johnsites their high-school grindcore band, the footage of traditional sessions - in which people sit around barroom tables playing old songs on acoustic instruments - is easily the most interesting in the film. (Drake, July 29)