The fest-within-the-fest spotlights Amy Winehouse, Brendan Canning, and industrial music.
After successfully snagging the Canadian premiere of Richard Linklater’s critically acclaimed and Oscar-feted Boyhood last year, NXNE’s fledgling film festival has broadened its horizons a bit further in 2015. The slate goes beyond the usual suspects held over from a certain behemoth fall festival to offer a handful of high-profile music-themed titles that have been making waves in recent months.
The fest within the fest kicks off with the Canadian premiere of Amy, screening at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on Saturday. A success with critics at the Cannes Film Festival, the documentary reanimates the dearly departed Amy Winehouse, through a mix of archival footage and previously unreleased recordings. The film comes from Asif Kapadia, who brought the same tight formal approach to Senna, his look at the Formula One driver, which for our money is one of the best biographical docs in recent years.
Those looking for more local content might wish to take in Diamond Tongues, the sophomore film from upcoming Toronto filmmakers and Seventh Art producers Pavan Moondi and Brian Robertson. The recognizably Toronto-set comedy-drama, premiering ahead of its summer run at TIFF Bell Lightbox, stars July Talk frontwoman Leah Fay Goldstein as Edith, a struggling actress waiting for her big break. Broken Social Scene fans may be especially interested in the score, by founding member and Arts & Crafts regular Brendan Canning, who also produced the film.
The fest should also service audiophiles with more esoteric interests. Fresh from its debut at SXSW, NXNE screens the Jonathan Demme–presented Made In Texas, an anthology of six short films about Austin’s new wave and punk scenes from the late ‘70s to the early ‘80s. In a rare gesture toward inter-city and inter-festival solidarity, the screening will be followed by a discussion hosted by SXSW co-founder Louis Black. Industrial music fans should also be heartened by Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay, fresh off its showing at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. The documentary by Amélie Ravalec and Travis Collins traces the origins of the genre, positioning it with respect to broader cultural movements like Dada and Futurism, as well musical antecedents like punk.
For more information, including showtimes and locations, visit the NXNE website.