The 2007 NXNE Film Festival gives you an insider look at everything from female hiphop in South Africa to cult rock comics in L.A. A lot of these films rise to historical document status, adding terrific depth to an array of musical mediums. All screenings (along with the music fest) are free with the NXNE all-access badge or $28 wristband, or you can pay per screening.
Cobain on Cobain
KURT COBAIN: ABOUT A SON (A.J. Schnack). 96 minutes. Saturday (June 9), 7 pm, Royal Cinema (608 College). $10, stu/srs $7. 416-516-4845.
Kurt Cobain is still one of the most scrutinized figures in pop culture, and any fan of the alt-rock or grunge movements of the 90s will be curious to hear the deceased artist's words. The never-before-heard interviews by writer Michael Azerrad track Cobain as he walks you through his life with heaps of profound self-analysis.
The tale of the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts really is magical. This film explains how the event grew from its modest roots on a farm in Pilton to the dynamic mega-fest it is today, assembling sundry footage from its nearly 40-year history into a strong narrative.
Blues brothers speak
LIVING THE BLUES (Larry Banks). 40 minutes. Playing with COUNTING HEADZ: SOUTH AFRICA'S SISTAZ IN HIP HOP . Friday (June 8), 3:15 pm, NFB (150 John). $5. 416-973-3012.
Stark, simple, and rich in music, Living The Blues allows nine elderly Southern players to tell some life anecdotes and play acoustic tunes. In keeping with the pace of the music, the whole film has a wonderfully unhurried feel, providing lots of space for the candid artists to speak about what it meant to grow up in the deep South and perform the country's most plaintive music.
SIXTH ANNUAL IMVF 80 minutes. Friday (June 8), 5:30 pm, NFB. $5. 416-973-3012.
Not having heard of many of the groups being celebrated by the Indie Music Video Festival , I didn't have high hopes for this series of videos. It was a pleasant surprise that the clips collected here are absurd, avant-garde, imaginative and visually stimulating - like watching a really great modern episode of The Wedge circa Sook Yin. Worth it alone just to see Smog's video for Rock Bottom Riser.
Cowboy rides high
SHAKESPEARE WAS A BIG GEORGE JONES FAN: THE HOME MOVIES OF COWBOY JACK CLEMENTS (Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon). 58 minutes. Saturday (June 9), 1:30 pm, NFB. $5. 416-973-3012.
This wackily edited documentary about Cowboy Jack Clement , the Memphis-based singer, songwriter and producer, could lead you to think he's a mythical figure. But eyebrow-raising guest spots by Johnny Cash , Jerry Lee Lewis and Dolly Parton , plus Clement's own home movies and TV and news footage prove this ragtag film is a true representation of the eccentric Cowboy.