Sure, it's a movie festival … but with a name like Sundance, music must be a factor.
As is usual, the annual Sundance Film Festival — which begins today in Park City, Utah, and runs until Jan. 28 — will feature plenty of movies about music, movies with new music, and plain and simple music, in shows occurring throughout the week.
Wayne's World director Penelope Spheeris delivers the banner musical event of the festival with We Sold Our Souls for Rock 'n Roll, a documentary following last year's 30-city Ozzfest tour. While featuring lots of live music, the film also shows the rock stars as humans. Ozzy Osbourne, once known for biting rodent heads, is shown as an adoring husband and father who drinks special herbal concoctions and gets massages between sets.
One of the festival's most anticipated films also has a musical angle: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, an adaptation of an off-Broadway play, tells of a boy in Communist East Berlin with aspirations of becoming an American rock star. The soundtrack to the Broadway show, written and recorded by Stephen Trask, was nominated for a Grammy award last year.
Icelandic movie 101 Reykjavik also features a soundtrack of interest, put together by Blur singer Damon Albarn and former Sugarcubes member Einar Örn Benediktsson. The moody pop sound pervades each scene of the simple slice-of-life narrative.
Closer to home, Austin, Texas-based Richard Linklater, director of Slacker and Before Sunrise, will premiere his latest effort, Waking Life. The film features a cameo by bluesy singer Guy Forsyth, who will redirect his tour in support of his latest album, Steak, for a gig at a Jan. 23 party following the movie's first screening.
For those looking for a break from the movie house, DJ Q-Bert — in town to promote his animated Wave Twisters — will join rap crew Jurassic 5 and Mixmaster Mike for an show going late into the night Jan. 22 at Harry O's. All three acts are featured in Scratch — a documentary put together by Hype director Doug Pray — which has several screenings at the festival.
Rock act 3 Doors Down — who recently earned two Grammy nods — will also swing through Park City for a Jan 24 show at the Snow Park Lodge.
Other performers throughout the week include dance duo Ming & FS, who play Jan. 22; singer-songwriter Katrina Carlson, who will play material from the soundtrack to Go Tigers! on Jan. 23; and the Dandy Warhols, who play Jan. 25 at Harry O's.