Hendrix at the Monterey Pop Festival

D.A. Pennebaker’s Monterey Pop: 50 Years on from the Monterey International Pop Festival

Held fifty years ago this month on the virtual solstice of the Summer of Love, the Monterey International Pop Festival was a dazzling counterculture coming-out party. Its infectious good vibes and series of revelatory performances that soon passed into rock ’n’ roll legend were captured by documentarian D. A. Pennebaker, fresh off the release of…

By Rick Ouellette
Jewel's Catch One

Interview: How Jewel’s Catch One made history

It’s easy to see a documentary filmmaker’s passion shine through when they are deeply invested in a project. Such is the case with C. Fitz’s new film, Jewel’s Catch One, which will have its Australian premiere at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival. Focusing on the history of Los Angeles’ legendary gay nightclub Catch One and…

By James Curnow
Todd Who? Todd Lundgren

Interviewing Gavin Bond: Todd Who? Todd Rundgren!

Ahead of the premiere screening of his new film, Todd Who?, at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, I sat down with filmmaker and film critic Gavin Bond to discuss two things. Firstly, I wanted to know what inspired his love of cinema. And secondly, I wanted to know more about how his life-long obsession with…

By James Curnow
Zeffirelli otello

Opera Onscreen: How to Resurrect a Dying Genre

Given the fact that Placido Domingo instinctively ruffled his fingers through my hair 30 years ago as I—then a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus—marched by him on stage during a production of Carmen, I can’t help but admit a personal bias toward the legendary singer … which includes admiration for his efforts in…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Amy Winehouse

The Emotional Hangover of Asif Kapadia’s “Amy”

There are times when a film will come along that is constructed and executed in such a way that it lingers in the audience’s minds. It leaves an ‘emotional hangover’ that viewers have to deal with well after the final curtain. The latest documentary film release, Amy, is set to be one of those films.…

By Stuart Greenfield
Amy Winehouse

Asif Kapadia’s Amy: Amy Winehouse and the Public Eye

Legend has it that when American blues artist Nehemah James (more commonly known as “Skip”) suspected a listener of studying the way he was performing a song, he would change up the way he played it on purpose. He needn’t have bothered. Even if some rival musician could figure out Skip’s intricate finger picking, there…

By Jonathan Eig
Django Spaghetti Westerns

Ten Great Spaghetti Westerns NOT directed by Sergio Leone

For most people, the term Spaghetti Western applies almost solely to the films of Sergio Leone, particularly those starring Clint Eastwood. But the reality is that close to 600 Westerns were produced in Europe between 1960 and 1980, and during it’s peak, Italy was churning out more than 40 Spaghetti Westerns a year. Of course,…

By James Curnow