London’s East End Film Festival has a particular strong music strand this year, with several screenings and performances that will be of interest to FACT readers.
It’s all about the VISIONÄRE pop-up cinema, which is being installed at Village Underground in Shoreditch for three days and nights. On Sunday 25 April, festival-goers will be treated to two NYC-flavoured documentaries: first up (2pm) is Graffiti/Post Graffiti, which looks at the dissolved boundary between street art and “fine” art, focussing on the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe and Kurt Hope. Then (at 4.30pm) comes the European premiere of Shan Nicholson’s Downtown Calling. The 2009 film, narrated by Debbie Harry, is focussed on the downtown music and filmmaking explosion of the late 70s, particularly the birth of hip-hop, and features reminiscences from the likes of Arthur Baker, ESG and Fab Five Freddy.
The evening culminated in a rare live performance by Quiet Village, the the Balearic and exotica-influenced project of Joel Martin and Matt ‘Radio Slave’ Edwards. The duo will be premiering the visual side of their amazing Silent Movie album, and they’ll be supported by exploitation film-inspired a/v shenanigans from Cherrystones and Jigoku, and Andrew Weatherall playing a special DJ set of post-punk and no wave.
Monday 26 April is David Byrne Night, a celebration of the Talking Heads man’s behind-the-camera achievements. At 6.30pm there’s a screening of True Stories, Byrne’s surreal 1986 film charting his visit to a fictional Texas town and his interactions with its colourful inhabitants. This is followed at 8pm by ÎLé AIYé [The House of Life], Byrne’s “impressionistic docu-poem on Candomblé, the Brazilian spirit cult of the Bahia region with its life-affirming rituals, rhythms, music, dress and culture.” Post-screening music comes from Django Django and Mat Motte.
For tickets and more information on the East End Film Festival and its full range of events, click here.