Posted by & filed under Festivals, Movies.

Why just hear your music when you could see it too? That seems to be the premise of the huge rise in the production and popularity of music documentaries, taking audiences on tour through the histories and mythologies of their favourite music personalities and movements. Not in its third year, the Sounds on Screen program in the Sydney Film Festival will be serving up an eclectic feast of this brand of film, and a tasting plate is prepared for you here:

The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector

The legendary music producer who worked with both Elvis and The Beatles is a notorious recluse who lives alone in his 30-room mansion. This rare look at the peculiar outsider reaches us just months after his charge with second-degree murder.

Soul Power

A three-day festival that took place in Kinshasa in 1974, Zaire ‘74 brought together America’s biggest R&B talents – including James Brown, Bill Withers, B.B. King, and the Spinners – along with top African acts such as Miriam Makeba and Afrisa.The promoters hired a team of documentary cameramen to film everything, then the footage sat unedited for over thirty years. Finally it’s been compiled into this remarkable documentation of the heady days when the musical  crossover between Africa and America was just emerging.

It Might Get Loud

Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, U2’s The Edge and the White Stripes’ Jack White. Three generations of electric guitar virtuosos talk about the electric guitar and get loud.

Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love

Follow the Sengalese pop sensation (named by Time Magazine as one of the hundred most influential people in the world of art) on his world tour after the controversy of his album Egypt. An ode to his love of the Islamic faith, the album won him a Grammy Award but is labeled as a work of blasphemy by conservative spiritual leaders.

Liza with a Z            

A concert filmed for television in 1972 straight after Cabaret finished, Bob Fosse’s Liza with a Z won of four Emmy awards, including best performance by Liza Minnelli. This remastered print enhances the soundtrack and gets fans ready for Minnelli’s Australian tour later this year.

For the full program go to