Six Music Films not to miss at the 2016 SXSW Film & Music Festival in Austin

This week, the SXSW festival kicks off in Austin, Texas – and as part of it, organisers have put together one of the most ambitious and impressive collections of music focused films ever seen at the festival. Under the “24 Beats Per Second” program, over a dozen music focused documentaries and films will be lighting up the event, and to help you get your head around what is in store – and what you should see – here are the six films that we’re most excited about in the program:

miles Davis Miles Ahead

Miles Ahead

A new biopic on the life of legendary Jazz musician Miles Davis will be one of the highlight music films showing at this years SXSW music festival. Don Cheadle – who plays the role of Davis – is also the director and screenwriter of the film and the film was an entirely crowd funded project.  Buzz is strong on this one, and sure to be a strong choice for anyone looking for a solid biopic, as well as for fans of the iconic artist.

Click here for more details about the film and SXSW screening times.

Sharon Jones 2

Miss Sharon Jones!

Directed by Barbara Kopple, Miss Sharon Jones! is an insight into the life of the great soul singer Sharon Jones  and her struggle with pancreatic cancer.  This looks set to be a great film for fans of the celebrated artist, as well as anyone who who wants an insight into the hardships of a personal plight. While this dark period of Sharon’s life was documented, the film does have a (spoiler alert!) happy ending – and we find out how she made a positive recovery and a returned to performing.

Click here for more details about the film and SXSW screening times.

Sideman

Sidemen: Long Road to Glory

This documentary unravels the stories of three sidemen to the great Blues artists Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf. Directed by Scott Rosenbaum,  piano player Pinetop Perkins, drummer Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith and guitarist Hubert Sumlin are closely examined in this film, as we get to know who they are and the legacies that they left to the blues genre. This is a must see for anyone that loves the blues and wants a detailed account into who the sidemen musicians were for the great Blues artists that are still loved and admired today.

Click here for more details about the film and SXSW screening times.

The Smart Studio Stories

The Smart Studio Story

This documentary, directed by Wendy Schneider, takes us from the roots of the 70’s independent music scene in America into the story behind the Smart Studio in the midwest which helped make the forge of the 90’s alternative rock scene.  With never before seen archival footage and interviews, this documentary has been made for fans of early 90’s grunge and alternative rock bands. And it’s no surprise why – Legendary producer Butch Vig founded Smart Studios with Steve Marker  and the bands who recorded in Smart Studios  were a direct influence on the sound and the attitude of the bands of the 90’s. Look out for Billy Corgan, Dave Grohl and many, many more popping up into the film and sharing their stories from this once great Wisconsin recording studio. You can also read The Iris’ interview with the Director HERE.

Click here for more details about the film and SXSW screening times.

X Film

We Are X

For all the Heavy Metal fans at SXSW, this documentary is one not to be missed. Directed by Stephen Kijak, this is the story of Japanese metal band X Japan. Yoshiki and Toshi started X Japan in the late 80’s, launching a Heavy Metal craze in their home country, but in 1997, at the height of their success, the band broke up and disappeared from the music scene. The documentary explores the inside story of the band’s history – from having acclaimed success to delving into cultish activities and walking a dangerous path. The band is reuniting this year at Madison Square Garden but watching the documentary is a good chance to understand the full story of the mysterious journey of X Japan.

Click here for more details about the film and SXSW screening times.

Broken Spoke

Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of the Broken Spoke

In Director Brenda Greene Mitchell and Sam Wainwright Douglas’ new documentary Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of the Broken Spoke,  we  get to know the stars of the Honky Tonk dance scene. The film brings in accounts from George Strait, Willie Nelson, Ernest Tubb, Bob Wills, George Jones and Roy Acuff – all of whom have graced the The Broken Spoke stage; a true Texas dance hall that started 50 years ago. The film look at the venue, and shows what it takes for a family business to survive in modern economic times.  This documentary is sure to be a favourite for locals attending SXSW this year, promising insight into a great American cultural tradition.

Click here for more details about the film and SXSW screening times.

For more about SXSW, visit sxsw.com. The AU Review and our sister site The Iriswill be bringing you all the action from the event from this Friday!