The fifth annual Music on Film Film on Music Festival’s (MOFFOM) kicks off today, offering a four-day all you can take buffet of music, film, and every genre in between. Centered around the character-saturated Palác Lucerna, the festival will also screen movies at Svetozor and Evald cinemas.
Indicative of this year’s New York City theme, today’s events cover the far corners of the cultural spectrum of NYC, opening with a screening of The Producers and closing the night with DJ Organic and Kevin Fitzgerald’s mix of reggae, soul, hip-hop, and funk.
Other NYC-themed films being shown include a documentary of the essential New Yorkers, Gogol Bordello, Gogol Bordello Non-Stop. A look back on the infamous 1977- year of serial killers and Studio 54, NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell. A Great Day in Harlem is a remembrance of a day in 1958 where some of the greatest jazz portraits were shot. Style Wars is a documentary focusing on the city’s graffiti artists and b-boy culture that was made before it was cool.
The festival’s PANORAMA section will present biopics, including the Bob Dylan documentary I’m Not There, and the Czech Television made Czech Christmas Mass including music by various Czech musicians and animations by Josef Lada.
A special presentation by Brad Abramson, the executive producer of VH1’s Rock Docs, will include the six-part series, “The Night James Brown Saved Boston” a four-part series on The Who and the historical “Sex: The Revolution.”
If you are a little confused at first by what a music film festival is, be sure to catch one of the cine-concerts to see a uniquely MOFFOM experience. Saturday the festival peaks as it establishes itself through the multimedia fusion Ship of Fools by Alexander Hacke (of the German industrial band Enstürzende Neubauten) and filmmaker Danielle de Picciotto. Based on Sebastian Brant’s novel by the same name, the performance focuses on the commonality between greed, anger, and sex in the medieval and modern world. A live performance consisting of Picciotto’s vocals and Hacke’s eclectic mix of rock, country, and electronic is the backdrop to a showcase of Picciotto’s films and artwork.
As Saturday’s performance may ignite a craving for the music, film, modern and ancient fusions, don’t miss Sunday’s cine-concert. Classic electronic English group, In the Nursery, plays a live set to the 1928 French, silent movie, The Passion of Joan of Arc.
The festival’s possible surprise delight (think Little Miss Sunshine) is the so-called real-life This is Spinal Tap, Anvil! The Story of Anvil. Canadian heavy-metal band, Anvil, rose to fame in the 1980’s, playing with Bon Jovi and influencing bands such as Anthrax and Metallica, but then simply disappeared. But not for lack of gusto; the band has been raging in Canada for the past 20 years, while also maintaining paying jobs. One member is a school food’s delivery worker. The film follows the ageing group through an impromptu European tour, and shows the band’s heart-warming bond and dedication through their financial woes and rejections. Added on as a last-minute surprise guest, the group will hopefully have a live performance.
Other special guests include the makers of Gogol Bordello Non-Stop, Escape from Luanda, and The Man, Who Sings. If you tire of movie watching, you can meet the special guests every day of the festival between 17:00-18:00 at Java café. Also don’t miss the nightly parties at Lucerna Café, which showcase collaborations by Czech and NYC DJs.
The festival will close on Sunday with an award presentation. Free screenings of the winning films will take place afterwards.
Browse the entire program and find pricing information at http://www.moffom.org/en