Friday, June 28, 2013

Big Star doc hits Toronto July 5th

BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME is a feature-length documentary about the legendary Memphis band Big Star which opens at the IFC Center in New York on July 3 and will also be available that same day on iTunes and via most on demand video services. Big Star tribute concerts in Chicago and New York are taking place this weekend, featuring drummer Jody Stephens, the band's sole surviving original member, in anticipation of the film's release. The film has been scheduled for a brief run at Toronto's Cineplex Odeon Yonge & Dundas from Friday (July 5) through Wednesday (July 10), check the Cineplex site for times.

While mainstream success eluded them, Big Star's three albums have become critically lauded touchstones of the rock music canon. A seminal band in the history of alternative music, Big Star has been cited as an influence by artists including REM, The Replacements, Belle & Sebastian, The Velvet Crush and Teenage Fanclub, to name just a few. With never-before-seen footage and photos of the band, in-depth interviews and a rousing musical tribute by the bands they inspired, BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME is a story of artistic and musical salvation.

Big Star, is widely regarded as one of the greatest bands in rock history by music critics and music fans who have more records than they know what to do with. Never experiencing popular success in their time; even today somewhat sadly, their greatest notoriety is from having their tune "In the Street" used as the theme song for That 70s Show, which isn't even Big Star's version – it's Cheap Trick's cover from the second season on.

Despite their unique distinction of being famous for not being famous, Big Star's influence can be heard in the music of many of your favourite artists. BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME traces the origins and history of the legendary band from the late sixties with lead singer Alex Chilton sky-rocketing to stardom at the age of 16 with The Box Tops and their #1 hit, "The Letter" to the serendipitous meeting of Chilton and local Memphis singer-songwriter-guitarist,Chris Bell; through the tumultuous recording of the group's three landmark albums, #1 Record, Radio City and Third/Sister Lovers (Ardent Records); culminating with their implosion due to failed record sales, personal breakdowns and the tragic death of Chris Bell in 1978.

This film is a unique portrait of an incredibly talented group of musicians who crafted three albums now considered pop masterpieces (all of which charted on Rolling Stone's Top 500 albums of all time). The group had enormous aspirations but fell victim to the corporate stranglehold of the major record labels and radio stations who dominated the music business at that time. BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME is seen as a cautionary tale of the growing corporatization in pop music in the 70's as great American independent labels like Memphis-based STAX (Ardent's distributor), were swallowed whole or marginalized by the music conglomerates.

06/28 Chicago, IL - The Vic Theater - A Tribute to Big Star's Third
06/30 New York, NY - Central Park Summer Stage: A Tribute to Big Star's Third
07/03 New York, NY - IFC Center - film opening *
07/05 to 07/10 Toronto, ON - Cineplex Odeon Yonge & Dundas+
07/10 Detroit, MI - Magic Bag - film opening
07/12 Memphis, TN - Ridgeway - film opening
07/12 Nashville, TN - The Belcourt - film opening
07/12 Minneapolis, MN - Lagoon Cinema - film opening
07/12 Pittsburgh, PA - Hollywood Theater - film opening
07/13 Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa - film opening
07/13 & 07/17 Chicago, IL - Music Box - film opening
07/19 San Francisco, CA - Roxie - film opening
07/19 Phoenix, AZ - Valley Art - film opening
07/19 Seattle, WA - The Grand Illusion Cinema - film opening
07/19 Miami, FL - The O Theater - film opening
07/19 Cambridge, MA - The Brattle - film opening
07/20 Portland, OR - Hollywood Theater - film opening 07/21 & 07/22 Austin, TX - Alamo Ritz - film opening
07/25 Portland, ME - Space Gallery - film opening
07/26 Dallas, TX - Texas Theater - film opening
07/26 Denver, CO - Sie Film Center - film opening
07/30 New Orleans, LA - Contemporary Arts Center - film opening
08/03 Jacksonville, FL - The Sun-Ray - film opening %
08/09 Columbus, OH - Wexner Center for the Arts - film opening
08/10 Ooltewah, TN - The Barking Legs Theater - film opening

* = followed by Q&A w/ Jody Stephens & filmmakers 
# = followed by Q&A w/ Jody Stephens & filmmakers, plus live acoustic performance from Jody Stephens 
% = followed by Q&A w/ filmmakers 
+ = Friday showing canceled due to technical glitch 

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