SXSW Day 5 - Music and Film

Day five starts with a Conversation with Nick Cave.  We are all shoehorned into a flat auditorium, so the people like me at the back cannot even see the stage.  They finally get the screen working so we can see footage of the stage, but the inexperience of the interviewer with a reticent subject like Nick Cave, makes it an opportunity missed.

Next up is Twenty Feet from Stardom, a music documentary about back up singers in the music industry.  This is a great documentary that shows you the the music industry's version of character actors.  The singers featured and the stories told are joyful, sad, triumphant and real.  The hollowness of American Idol can be seen in direct contrast to the richness of voice and love of music that these singers bring to this art form.  

The third and fourth films for the day are both music documentaries that are both variations of a memoir for a lover of music  This Ain't No Mouse Music, is about Chris Strachwitz and as the blurb on the film says, 'since 1960, he has been the guiding force behind legendary Arhoolie Records, bringing Cajun music out of Louisiana, Tex-Mex out of Texas, blues out of the country -- and into the living rooms of Middle America.' This is an interesting look at a man who has most probably saved many ethnic American music that would have been lost to time.

The final film for the day is, you guessed it, a music documentary - Good Ol' Freda about Freda Kelly, who was the secretary for The Beatles from the very beginning.  This is the first time Freda has given any sort of insight into her time with The Beatles and she has finally done it so her grandson can get to know a bit about his grandmother.  This is a delightful doco that is anchored by the charm of Freda herself, as she reminisces about her time with the Beatles.  Sit down have a cuppa and listen to a couple of good stories.