It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll

June 13–August 31, 2019

Rock ’n’ roll is the soundtrack to summer at BAMPFA as we celebrate the roots and resonance of rock in cinema. Three free events on our outdoor screen take the music to the streets.

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  • Wattstax

  • Stop Making Sense

  • Gimme Shelter

  • Dave Chappelle’s Block Party

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Upcoming Films

  • Stop Making Sense: Free Outdoor Screening!

    Jonathan Demme
    United States, 1984

    BAMPFA Student Committee Pick
    Also screens in the Barbro Osher Theater on Sunday, June 16

    • Thursday, June 13 7 PM

    Often heralded as the greatest rock concert film ever, Demme’s rendering of a Talking Heads performance moves from David Byrne’s solo “Psycho Killer” to the joyously collective “Take Me to the River.” The cumulative effect is of “life being lived at a joyous high” (Roger Ebert).

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  • King Creole

    Michael Curtiz
    United States, 1958
    • Saturday, June 15 8:15 PM

    Elvis Presley is at his big-screen best in this classic set in New Orleans, the only Elvis movie that “attempted to articulate his complex relation to African American culture” (David E. James).

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  • Stop Making Sense

    Jonathan Demme
    United States, 1984

    BAMPFA Student Committee Pick
    Also presented in a free outdoor screening on Thursday, June 13

    • Sunday, June 16 7 PM

    Often heralded as the greatest rock concert film ever, Demme’s rendering of a Talking Heads performance moves from David Byrne’s solo “Psycho Killer” to the joyously collective “Take Me to the River.” The cumulative effect is of “life being lived at a joyous high” (Roger Ebert).

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  • Rock ’n’ Film: Cinema’s Dance with Popular Music


    • Saturday, June 22 5:30 PM
    Illustrated Lecture by David E. James

    USC professor and writer David E. James presents a lecture exploring the rich legacy of cinema’s dance with popular music and what these films share with classic film musicals.

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  • Three by Kenneth Anger


    • Friday, June 28 6:30 PM

    The great experimental filmmaker weds avant-garde cinema with rock, doo-wop, and leather-clad motorcycle hunks in his underground classics Scorpio Rising, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, and Rabbit’s Moon.

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  • Dont Look Back

    Richard Leacock, D. A. Pennebaker
    United States, 1967
    • Saturday, June 29 6 PM

    Pennebaker and Leacock’s influential look at Bob Dylan’s 1965 British tour is “the young Mr. D’s definitive portrait” (J. Hoberman). It also “established documentary as the primary form of the countercultural US musical film” (David E. James).

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  • A Hard Day's Night: Free Outdoor Screening!

    Richard Lester
    United Kingdom, 1964
    • Thursday, July 11 7 PM

    Richard Lester captures the Fab Four at the height of Beatlemania, spiritedly weaving together documentary and fiction. With Mick Gochanour’s expanded edit of Peter Whitehead’s look at the Rolling Stones on tour, Charlie Is My Darling: Ireland 1965.

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  • Privilege

    Peter Watkins
    United Kingdom, 1965
    • Saturday, July 13 6 PM

    Released during the Summer of Love and set in “Britain in the near future,” this radically dystopian tale from the director of Punishment Park follows a pop star (former Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones) whose music becomes a tool for tyranny.

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  • Gimme Shelter

    Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin
    United States, 1970
    • Friday, July 19 8:45 PM

    Scrutinizing the 1969 Altamont Festival organized by the Rolling Stones, an ill-fated “anti-Woodstock” that devolved into violence and chaos, this documentary skillfully interweaves performance footage with behind-the-scenes glimpses of the preparations for the show and its aftermath.

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  • The Harder They Come

    Perry Henzell
    Jamaica, 1973
    • Saturday, July 27 8 PM

    Starring Jimmy Cliff and buoyed by an infectious soundtrack featuring the music of Cliff, the Maytals, the Slickers, and Desmond Dekker, this Caribbean noir shot on location in Kingston, Jamaica, introduced reggae to an international audience.

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  • Wattstax

    Mel Stuart
    United States, 1973
    • Saturday, August 3 8:15 PM

    This vibrant, essential document of the Stax soul scene (and the Black Power era) captures a seven-hour concert held in commemoration of the Watts uprising. Featuring Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Richard Pryor, and more.

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  • Monterey Pop: Free Outdoor Screening!

    D. A. Pennebaker
    United States, 1968
    • Thursday, August 8 7 PM

    Legendary performances by Otis Redding, the Mamas and the Papas, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, and more jump off the screen in Pennebaker’s document of the legendary music festival. “The first great pop festival, the first great festival film” (Greil Marcus). With Jimi Plays Berkeley, filmed at Hendrix’s 1970 Berkeley shows.

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  • Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

    D. A. Pennebaker
    United Kingdom, 1973
    • Friday, August 16 8:30 PM

    David Bowie and his band headline London’s Hammersmith Odeon, and bid farewell to the Ziggy Stardust persona, in this spectacular concert film. The glam rock era at its flamboyant, alienated—and alien-identified—best.

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  • The Last Waltz

    Martin Scorsese
    United States, 1978
    • Saturday, August 24 8:15 PM

    Scorsese’s loving portrait of The Band’s farewell concert in San Francisco is “arguably the most beautiful of rock movies, while the musical highlights . . . still astound” (Time Out). With guest appearances by Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and more.

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  • The Decline of Western Civilization

    Penelope Spheeris
    United States, 1981

    BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

    • Thursday, August 29 7 PM

    Spheeris’s writhing and raucous portrait of the L.A. punk scene circa 1979/80 showcases the energy and anger of youth shut out of the American dream. Featuring X, Black Flag, Fear, The Germs, and others.

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  • Dave Chappelle's Block Party

    Michel Gondry
    United States, 2005
    • Saturday, August 31 8 PM

    Featuring a stellar lineup of R&B and hip-hop artists including Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, the Fugees, Dead Prez, Erykah Badu, and Jill Scott, this concert movie hosted by Dave Chappelle is an exuberant ode to the legendary Wattstax.

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