Better Than Something: Jay Reatard

The 7th Tucson Film & Music Festival (TFMF) opens up today October 6 and runs through Monday, October 10, 2011.

The Southwest Premiere of Better Than Something: Jay Reatard is the opening event. Directed by Alex Hammond & Ian Markiewicz, the film is described as Tirelessly devoting his entire life to music, Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr, better known as Jay Reatard, has become a garage rock icon, having created a massive discography spread out over dozens of singles, EPs, and full-length albums. A relentless live performer, Jay toured the world with dozens of bands including The Pixies, Spoon, Beck and many more. A devoted – and oftentimes notorious – fixture in his hometown of Memphis, Jay celebrated and continued the city’s long-standing history of American music. In BETTER THAN SOMETHING, filmmakers Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz present an intimate portrait, captured just months before Jay’s untimely passing, which brings us incredibly close to Jay and his complicated punk-rock world.

The festival’s 2011 film lineup include a list of documentary films including Bloodied But Unbowed,Kumaré, Barbershop Punk, Color Me Obsessed: A film about The Replacements, Blood, Sweat + Vinyl: DIY in the 21st  Century and The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi. Narrative features include the Southwest Premiere of the indie comedy Pleasant People and the Arizona Premiere of Take Me Home directed by and starring Sam Jaeger of NBC’s Parenthood. Short films, music videos and live music performances are also part of the exciting program slate.


The Centerpiece Film event is the Southwest Premiere of Bloodied But Unbowed. Directed by Susanne Tabata, BLOODIED BUT UNBOWED is the first in-depth chronicle of Vancouver’s original and groundbreaking punk scene. Told by key participants who helped create this unique musical era, the documentary captures the raw essence of the kids who lived through it (and some who didn’t) and the rise and fall of an epic era. Performances by D.O.A., The Subhumans, Pointed Sticks, The Modernettes, Young Canadians and more, as well as interviews with Henry Rollins, Joe Keithley, Ron Reyes, Randy Rampage, Zippy Pinhead and other icons of punk, offer a rare glimpse at a music scene that inspired decades of rock and hard living. Not to be missed.


Closing night film event is the Arizona Premiere of Vikram Gandhi’s Kumaré. Into a society of people searching for something real to cling to, filmmaker Vikram Gandhi spawned KUMARÉ.  Portraying an enlightened guru from the East, Gandhi (as Kumaré) builds a following of loyal disciples in the West. As the social experiment continues, he begins to forge profound, and real, spiritual connections with people from all walks of life. At the same time, in the absurdity of living as an entirely different person, Gandhi is forced to confront difficult questions about his own identity. A fascinating and insightful look at belief and spirituality, Kumaré’s ultimate teaching of finding your true self, becomes a revelation for both the filmmaker and his unwitting followers.


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