Music Movies at the Miami International Film Festival This Weekend

The Miami International Film Festival starts this weekend, and if you missed Miami New Times' guide to the event, click here. Of more immediate interest to Crossfade readers, though, is the fest's selection of music movies. Here they are. For complete screening and ticket details, visit

The Beatles on Record
a film by Bob Smeaton
(United Kingdom, 58 min., 2009)
For diehard Beatles fans and everyone in between, this documentary features never-heard-before fragments of conversations, interviews and rare studio footage, charting their journey from Please Please Me to the Abbey Road LP--while contemplating how they developed as musicians and songwriters. The film shows how they established a profound cultural impact while creating their universally loved body of work. The best part? It's narrated entirely by John, Paul, Ringo, George and Sir George Martin--sometimes known as "the fifth Beatle" for producing all but one of The Beatles' original records and playing piano on some of their tracks. Director Bob Smeaton is scheduled to attend the festival; he will also be a juror. 

Screenings: Sunday, March 7, 6:15 pm (Cosford UM); Saturday, March 13, 7:15 pm (Tower Theater); Sunday, March 14, 7:15 pm (Regal South Beach)

No One Knows About Persian Cats
by Bahman Ghobadi
(Iran, 101 min., 2009)
East Coast Premiere 
a film by Bahman Ghobadi 
(Iran, 101 min., 2009) Farsi with English subtitles  
This winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival follows the struggle of two teenagers trying to form a band in Tehran's outlawed underground indie rock scene. They aim to secure visas to perform in London. It's a biting expose of the myriad of social and economic restrictions facing Iran music fans. 

Screenings: Monday, March 8, 9:30 pm (Regal South Beach); Friday, March 12, 7:15 pm (Tower Theater)

Also read an interview about the Spam All Stars flick, Fuacata, published on our Riptide blog. .

by Romuald Karmakar
(Germany, 110 min., 2009) 
The electronic music genre has a new documentarian to thank for exposing the truths behind the clubbing scene around the world. Filmed in Berlin, Ibiza and Barcelona, this film follows Chilean-born Berlin-based superstar DJ Ricardo Villalobos, chronicling what he thinks and how he produces and listens to his music through extensive interviews and behind the scenes club nights. It completes a trilogy of films about club culture from filmmaker Romuald Karmakar, who is also scheduled to attend the festival.

Screenings: Saturday, March 6, 7:45 pm (Regal South Beach); Wednesday, March 10, 8:00 pm (Cosford UM)

Reel Music Video Art
(USA, 90 min.)
With the lack of music video programming on MTV and VH1, where does a real music fan turn to see how creative bands really are? This film displays the music video as an art form, featuring videos from bands like Deerhoof, Grizzly Bear, Vampire Weekend, Fever Ray, Girls, Flaming Lips, Yacht, Fool's Gold, Guy Fantastico, Helado Negro, Here We Go Magic and more TBA.

Screenings: Saturday March 6, 7:00 pm (Miami Beach Cinematheque) and Saturday March 13, 7:00 pm (Miami Beach Cinematheque) 

The Spam Allstars: Fuacata!
by David Orth
(USA, 72 min., 2009) 
Most fans of local music have heard of the Spam Allstar at the very least. But their unique blend of Miami funk mixed with hip-hop and Latin music needs to be seen live to really appreciate the improvisational electronic elements, turntables and energy. This documentary chronicles DJ Le Spam and the gang at a notorious weekly club night in Miami's Little Havana called "Fuacata!" Director Orth is based here in Miami and is scheduled to attend the festival.

Screenings: Thursday, March 11, 9:00 pm (Tower Theatre); Sunday, March 14, 7:00 pm (Regal South Beach)

-- Christine Borges

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