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Music Movies and Documentaries

edited January 2015 in Off-topic

Hello everyone. I was wondering if anyone could recomend some good documentaries or movies about synth music or just music in general. I have some movies like 24 hour Party People, Talking Heads Stop Making Sense, Dig, Human Trafic, Groove, Better Living Through Chemistry, Depeche Mode 101, I'm Not There, etc. Also in Europe with the BBC there are some great documentaries that we can't get here in the United States like Synth Britannia. If you have any recommendations post them here. Thanks. :)



  • Moog the documentary is a good one.

  • Sound City is a good documentary about the recording studio.

    The Muscle Shoals documentary is also good. It covers Rick Hall who started the studio, and there is a lot of footage from recording sessions.

    A movie titled Once never got much attention. It's about a songwriter and busker in Dublin who meets a girl and they wind up going into a small studio to record an album.

    I know next to nothing about sythesizers so I'm not help in that area.

  • One giant leap. The makers have made 2 documentaries, both about life & philosophy about life. Not directly about music but they go around the world talking to people about life & they record artists famous and nonfamous from around the world & mix different styles together throughout the documentary. Peeps who enjoy world music will love them.
    Very inspirational & highly recommended for all!

    One Giant Leap (2002)

    One Giant Leap: What about me (2008)

  • @Janie, I had to go look up the movie description to be sure and the part about him also being a vacume repairman told this was indeed the movie I was thinking of when you told of it. It was a GREAT flick! Might watch it again tonight , thanks.

  • Here's a nice documentary on Flamenco (sorry no synth)

  • Damn! I love Flamenco Synth music too. Oh well.

  • Made in Sheffield is good. It's about some 80's sythn bands like ABC, The Human Leauge, Heaven 17, Caberet Vlotarire.

  • @janie Once was a pretty big hit in the UK and is now a musical in the West End starring Ronan Keating. Anyway, you can learn everything you need to know about professional music by watching Spinal Tap many, many times.

  • I always liked these:

    10cc I'm not in love documentary:

    Yes going for the one sessions:

    That film mentioned above is titled Better Living Through "Circuitry"... I'm the graphic designer interviewed in that movie lol

  • This is a brilliant history of synthesis in the UK

  • The Classic Album series is brilliant if you can find it, particularly Steely Dan's Aja. There's a Zappa one in the series I'd LOVE to see but haven't been able to track it down. Anyone found it online anywhere? @Zetagy thanks for those links, I'm going to enjoy those :)

  • That little 10cc clip was amazing to watch, I will never hear "I'm Not in Love" quite the same again.

  • Spectacle has Elvis Costello interviewing and performing with other artists.

  • edited February 2015

    @gsm909 that one was brilliant-! Thanks
    Here's a another goody:
    Synth Brittania BBC special

    Edit haha just found talk about this one in the kraftwerk thread too... I didn't lift it I swear-!

  • edited February 2015

    The greatest ears in town, a doc about arif mardin, incredible. It's on amazon prime.

    The language of music, a doc about Tom dowd, just as incredible.

    Calle 54. Amazing if just for the scene with Michel camilo, but the whole movie is great.

    And of course, the greatest music documentary of all time, decline of the western civilization pt. 2, the metal years! ;-)

  • Searching for Sugar Man and Alive Inside...both are worth a watch.

  • Recently seen two good documentaries, 'Blondie's New York... and the Making of Parallel Lines' and 'The Punk Singer' about Kathleen Hanna of 'Bikini Kill', 'Le Tigre' and 'The Julie Ruin'

    Also good is three part TV series on the BBC (sorry) called 'Sound of Song' where composer and musician Neil Brand presents a series which explores the elements that come together to create our favourite songs. Ep 1 'The Recording Revolution,' Ep 2 - 'Reeling & Rockin' and Ep 3 - 'Mix It Up and Start Again' the latter one discusses some electronic music especially Kraftwerk.

  • Best music documentary I have seen:

  • Touch The Sound, searching for sugar man, throw Down your heart, I dream of wires, the musical instinct.

  • Here's a quick 'blipvert' from the not so distant past,

  • edited February 2015

    Delia Derbyshire - Sculptress of Sound. Anyone interested in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop should enjoy this one.

  • The Dave Grohl/Foo Fighters Sonic Highways series on HBO last fall was excellent. Each episode explored the music and a famous recording studio of a different city.

  • That synth brittainia movie was amazing, thanks for posting the link. That movie just made Korg gadget even more fun !

  • Net Flix is a great resource for music related documentaries. Got the Nick Cave bio for Christmas. Haven't watched it yet. I'm expecting it to be great. Let you know.

  • edited February 2015

    Beware of Mr. Baker is one of the more "entertaining" music docs you'll find :)

    Marley is another decent one that hasn't been mentioned yet.

  • Sound City, Chasing Trane.

  • I’ve watched Amy on Amazon Prime recently and thought it was well made.

  • edited February 2018

    This prompted a fascinating realization.

    Movies about music for some reason leave me cold. Outside of “The Kids Are Alright,” which I saw as an enormous Who fan as a kid (it’s the only funny music documentary I can name offhand), I can think of only one music doc that I love:
    “Beware of Mr. Baker” — fantastic movie.

    Others? They all seem boring to me. Even “Stop Making Sense,” which is so formally inventive, and the musicians are amazing — I liked it but I wouldn’t watch it twice.

    It seems to me that filmmakers just kind of don’t get musicians. Music for them seems to be some kind of mysterious, mystical ritual that can only be portrayed as some alchemical moment. it’s always so damn serious!
    (Or to get the movie made, the filmmaker has to devote a lot of time to the artist’s recent, less interesting career, which is the problem with “The Future Is Unwritten,” a very watchable documentary about Joe Strummer, my hero.)

    Thank you for starting this thread. It really got me thinking.

    EDIT: Oh, just remembered two more. “Dig!” about the Brian Jonestown Massacre, which really nails the competition among bands who are friends and then not friends.

    “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me.”

  • Great Rock and Roll Swindle :D

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