After all the late nights, CMW-goers are inevitably going to want a dark, comfy corner and an extra-large pile of popcorn (or two) to help them ease into the days. Luckily, the CMW’s Film Fest has a lineup of music-related movies playing at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West) throughout the week. Here are a few of the must-sees.
Ain’t in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm
Thursday, March 21, 7 p.m.
Last April, the folk-music icon Levon Helm—former drummer and lead singer of The Band—died of throat cancer at the age of 71. There were obituaries and tributes, including one at last month’s Grammy Awards ceremony. Though Helm continued to tour his final solo album until only a few years before his death, he struggled with demons from his past: the breakup of The Band, the deaths of his bandmates, throat cancer, addiction, and bankruptcy. In this film (which will be making its Canadian debut during CMW), director Jacob Hatley gets up close and personal with Helm, his family, and his friends near the end of the musician’s life.
Thursday, March 21, 9:15 p.m.
If you missed it at the Toronto International Film Festival, now’s your chance to get a sneak peak at Harmony Korine’s buzzed-about, candy-coloured Spring Breakers, a story about four college students who go bad over their reading week. It stars former Disney darlings Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens as crime-spreeing coeds, and James Franco as a cornrowed rapper named Alien.
The History of Future Folk
Friday, March 22, 9:15 p.m.
Let’s be honest, if there was ever a real-life alien invasion, music would probably be our salvation. So really, it was only a matter of time before this premise became cinematic magic. The time has come. The History of Future Folk is a comedy about two aliens sent to destroy mankind who end up disobeying their orders and forming a folk band instead. The film, by directors John Mitchell and Jeremy Kipp Walker, has been working the festival circuit, picking up accolades at Fantastic Fest, the Los Angeles Film Fest, and the Philadelphia Film Festival. This screening marks its Toronto debut.
The Last Pogo Jumps Again
Saturday, March 23, 1 p.m.
On Saturday, CMW-goers will have the chance to attend the world premiere of The Last Pogo Jumps Again, a documentary six years in the making that chronicles Toronto’s punk-rock and new-wave scene. Filmmakers Colin Brunton and Kire Paputts track down people who were at the centre of Toronto’s Queen West punk movement between 1976 and 1978. There are appearances by people and bands like Steven ‘Nazi Dog’ Leckie, the Diodes, Frankie Venom and Mickey DeSadist, The Demics, and The Curse. Watch and learn why Toronto’s underground punk scene rivalled those of New York and London.
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