19 Jul 2017

Music of the NZ International Film Festival

From Nine To Noon, 11:06 am on 19 July 2017
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Photo: Supplied

The NZ International Film Festival is here. Music 101's Tony Stamp gives us his picks on the best music flicks on offer.

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

Taking its title from the 1958 single by Link Wray, Rumble aims to showcase the contributions Native Americans have made to the musical landscape.

Wray’s song was one of the first to employ the guitar techniques of distortion and feedback, and use the power-chord. It was banned on radio at the time due to fears it may incite violence, but proved hugely influential. Pete Townsend of The Who is quoted as saying he would have never picked up a guitar if he hadn’t heard Link Wray.

Rumble’s purpose is twofold: it profiles Native American musicians like Wray, Buffy St Mary, and Robbie Robertson from the Band, who is quoted as saying “Be proud you’re an Indian but be careful who you tell.”

It also uncovers the influence Native American heritage has had on modern music, joining the dots between such unlikely subjects as 1920s bluesman Charley Patton and former Ozzy Osbourne drummer Randy Castillo.

Bill Direen: A Memory Of Others

Originally hailing from Christchurch, Bill Direen is a prolific novelist, poet, and composer. In the early 80s he released, with his band The Bilders, a series of indie rock EPs that were collated and re-released by Flying Nun, and whose influence is still felt today.

Direen attracts a raft of desirable collaborators, among them Chris Knox in the 80s, and in present day, founding Clean member Hamish Kilgour. The latter is one of the rotating cast of band members that now make up The Bilders, spread across the globe and keen to perform with Direen when he makes it to their part of the world.

A Memory Of Others follows Direen on his first national tour in a decade, performing music as well as spoken word, and will hopefully convert some new fans of this singular musical voice.

Swagger Of Thieves

Head Like A Hole came to prominence in the early 90s through a combination of outrageous performances (often sans clothing), and great heavy-metal-infused songwriting.

The band dissolved in 2000, citing inner turmoil, before reforming 8 years later, albeit without three of the founding members. The two remaining members were frontman Booga Beazley and Nigel Regan, both of whom, the film reveals, have a history of intravenous drug use.Swagger Of Thieves charts the course of the band since their reformation, focusing on the relationship between Booga and his partner Tamsin, as well as checking in with past member, and charting the road to recovery as the Nigel and Booga leave their youths behind.