Performing Arts - 5

Mad Hot Ballroom

Mad Hot Ballroom

Mad Hot Ballroom is the new Spellbound, a thoroughly charming, uplifting, and inspiring documentary that celebrates youthful perseverance. In contrast to the pressure-cooker setting of the national spelling bee, though, filmmakers Marilyn Agrelo and Amy Sewell chronicle the annual fifth-grade...


Shut Up and Sing

Shut Up & Sing

This Chicks flick by Barbara Kopple (Academy Award winner for Harlan County, U.S.A.) and Cecilia Peck is powerful testament to the inconvenient truth that free speech can come at a very high cost. The Dixie Chicks, Texas-based and one of country music's most successful acts, found out just how...


A Hard Day's Night

A Hard Day’s Night

Very little needs to be said about this trend-setting 1964 classic: Simply put, A Hard Day's Night is the finest rock 'n' roll comedy ever made. It hit America shortly after the Beatles themselves did, and with the Fab Four as popular as they were, Stateside audiences would've been happy just...


The Beatles Anthology

The Beatles Anthology

When the Beatles Anthology first aired worldwide in 1995, the miniseries -- paired with the simultaneous release of three double-CD sets that included the first new Beatles songs since the band's 1970 breakup -- played out as a global media event. Although the songs, Free as a Bird and Real...


Bob Dylan: No Direction Home

Bob Dylan - No Direction Home (2005)

When our foremost modern film director turns his sights on the great modern singer-songwriter, a definitive documentary is assured. Martin Scorsese's No Direction Home follows the early career of Bob Dylan, from his days as a fledgling folk singer to his burst of popularity as the socially...


The Last Waltz

The Last Waltz (1978)

Martin Scorsese's 1978 capsule history of the Band is mixed with footage of the group's allegedly last performance (certainly their last performance as a quintet) in this particularly stylish concert film. Scorsese shoots the players and their sundry guests with the same flair and enthusiasm...


Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser

Thelonious Monk - Straight No Chaser (1988)

Expanding on footage of Monk's 1967 tour shot by Christian Blackwood, Charlotte Zwering (Gimme Shelter) has created the definitive filmic portrait of the master bop pianist-composer. This captivating DVD digs deeper into the life of the famously eccentric pianist-composer than the Ken Burns's...