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An in-depth look into the life and work of the iconic artist and musician Frank Zappa. As a singer, songwriter, rock guitarist, classical composter, recording producer and even occasional film director, Frank Zappa was as difficult to describe as his eclectic music was throughout his 30-year career.
Zappa was without peer, a singular entity who branched out in countless directions, and in the process, became one of the most important and influential musical artists of the latter-20th century. With his most famous band, The Mothers of Invention, he blended rock, jazz, classical, doo-wop, R&B and avant-garde stylings with strange, sexually-tinged lyrics and absurd stage theatrics to create a wholly unique live experience, while in the studio producing outside-the-mainstream albums.
Stop Making Sense
Over the course of three nights at Hollywood's Pantages Theater in December 1983, filmmaker Jonathan Demme joined creative forces with Jordan Cronenweth and Talking Heads... and miracles occurred. Following a staging concept by singer-guitarist David Byrne, this euphoric concert film transcends that all-too-limited genre to become the greatest film of its kind. A guaranteed cure for anyone's blues, it's a celebration of music that never grows old, fueled by the polyrhythmic pop-funk precision that was a Talking Heads trademark, and lit from within by the geeky supernova that is David Byrne.
This circus of musical pleasure defies the futility of reductive description; it begs to be experienced, felt in the heart, head, and bones, and held there the way we hold on to cherished memories. On those three nights in December 1983, Talking Heads gave love, life, and joy in generous amounts that years cannot erode, and Demme captured this act of creative goodwill on film with minimalist artistic perfection. Stop Making Sense is an invitation to pleasure that will never wear out its welcome.
Spike Lee documents the former Talking Heads frontman's brilliant, timely 2019 Broadway show, based on his recent album and tour of the same name. David Byrne and his small troupe of performers take to the stage – barefoot, surprisingly – for a conceptual concert film-cum-performance piece, which melds a presentation of his 2018 album – his first solo album in 14 years, in fact – with a slew of classic Talking Heads tracks.
What even non-fans will appreciate from minute one is Byrne’s tenacity as a showman. Beyond mere musical aptitude he spices witty parlance between the songs, commenting on subjects as disparate as human neural pathways, dating apps, the dada 'Nonsense' movement, the utility of TV, inclusion, and voting.
David Bowie The Last Five Years
Experience the evolving genius of rock icon David Bowie in this documentary that chronicles the last five years of his life.
The film features never-before-seen footage of Bowie as well as conversations with the musicians, producers, and music video directors who worked with him on his final tour back in the early 2000s (when he had a heart attack that compelled him to turn away from live performances); the Man Who Fell to Earth–inspired musical Lazarus; and his final two albums, 2013’s The Next Day and Blackstar, which was released two days before Bowie died of cancer.
Foo Fighters commemorate their 20th anniversary by documenting the eight-city recording odyssey that produced their latest, and eighth, studio album. Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl directs the series, which taps into the musical heritage and cultural fabric of eight cities: Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington D.C. and New York. The band based themselves at a legendary recording studio integral to the unique history and character of each location. One song was recorded in each city, and every track features local legends. Even the lyrics were developed in an experimental, unprecedented way: Grohl held off on writing them until the last day of each session, letting himself be inspired by the experiences, interviews and personalities that became part of the process. Foo Fighters Sonic Highways is, in Grohl’s words, “a love letter to the history of American music.” Each episode delves into the identity of each city -- showing how each region shaped these musicians in their formative years and, in turn, how they impacted the cultural fabric of their hometowns. Every artist who appears in the show, regardless of genre or locale, started as an average kid with universal dreams of making music and making it big. Grohl made his feature film directorial debut in 2013 with the universally acclaimed Grammy-winning Sound City, a celebration of the human element in the creation and recording of music. Foo Fighters have won 11 Grammy Awards, including four for Best Rock Album, more than any other band. Premiering on the eve of Foo Fighters’ 20th anniversary, Foo Fighters Sonic Highways aims to “give back” to the next generation of young musicians. As guitarist and singer Buddy Guy, an interviewee from the Chicago blues scene, explains, “Everything comes from what’s come before.”
In the first episode, Dave Grohl and friends discuss the rise of the famous Chicago music scene from the roots blues of Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy to the Rock and roll of Cheap Trick.
Blue Planet II
Through the Wormhole
The Last Dance
How the Universe Works Series 8
The Story of Maths
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