Music on Film

by DanCushing | created - 04 Apr 2018 | updated - 08 Nov 2018 | Public
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1. The Rock 'n' Roll Years (1985–1994)

30 min | Music, News

Music from a particular year is played and seen against clips of new and events of the time.

Stars: Adam Ant, Tony Benn, Björn Borg, Sebastian Coe

Votes: 40

2. Video from Hell (1985 Video)

60 min | Music

In a little over an hour, 'VIDEO FROM HELL' provides a preview of current and projected Honker releases, including 'BABY SNAKES', 'THE TRUE STORY OF 200 MOTELS' and 'UNCLE MEAT' (all 1987 ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Zappa | Stars: Phyllis Smith Altenhaus, Dick Barber, Adrian Belew, Jimmy Carl Black

Votes: 75

3. The True Story of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels (1988 Video)

59 min | Comedy, Documentary

Using takes and rehearsals discarded from the original edit plus interviews made during the shooting, Zappa reconstructs the bizarre story of 200 Motels, one of the most problematic ... See full synopsis »

Director: Frank Zappa | Stars: Phyllis Smith Altenhaus, Dick Barber, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Theodore Bikel

Votes: 90

4. The Work of Director Spike Jonze (2003 Video)

200 min | Documentary, Music

The music videos, documentaries and short stories of director and actor Spike Jonze.

Directors: Spike Jonze, Lance Bangs, Roman Coppola, Kim Gordon | Stars: Mark Gonzales, Lauren Curry, Rico Bueno, Gavin Scott

Votes: 1,155

5. Does Humor Belong in Music? (1985 Video)

57 min | Documentary, Comedy, Music

Frank Zappa and his band in a digitally recorded live performance at "The Pier" in New York, NY on August 26, 1984.

Director: Frank Zappa | Stars: Frank Zappa, Ray White, Ike Willis, Bobby Martin

Votes: 310

6. The Cramps: Live at Napa State Mental Hospital (1981 Video)

20 min | Documentary, Short, Music

The psychobilly rock group The Cramps perform a free concert for the patients at a state mental hospital in Napa, California.

Director: Joe Rees | Stars: The Cramps, Bryan Gregory, Lux Interior, Nick Knox

Votes: 128

7. Nine Inch Nails: Broken (1993 Video)

20 min | Short, Music

Trent Reznor presents his dark vision of the EP 'Broken' by telling the story of a man kidnapped and forced to watch Nine Inch Nails videos, disturbing in their own right, while being ... See full summary »

Directors: Serge Becker, Peter Christopherson, Eric Goode, Jon Reiss | Stars: Trent Reznor, James Duval, Bob Flanagan, Nine Inch Nails

Votes: 945

8. Talking Heads: Storytelling Giant (1988 Video)

52 min | Music

Storytelling Giant was a 1988 compilation of ten music videos produced by Talking Heads during the 1980s. The videos are linked by apparently real people (not actors) telling stories from ... See full summary »

Directors: Ted Bafaloukos, Toni Basil, Jim Blashfield, David Byrne, Jim Jarmusch, Stephen R. Johnson, Melvin Sokolsky | Stars: David Byrne, Talking Heads, Tina Weymouth

Votes: 52

9. The Work of Director Jonathan Glazer (2005 Video)

90 min | Documentary, Music

This DVD is a collection of the work of the director Jonathan Glazer and includes his music videos, commercials, short films , excerpts from his feature films as well as commentaries and ... See full summary »

Directors: Jonathan Glazer, Nick Cave | Stars: Milo Addica, Jean-Claude Carrière, Nick Cave, Olegar Fedoro

Votes: 276

10. From the Basement (2012– )

23 min | Music

From the Grammy-Award-winning Radiohead music producer Nigel Godrich and Dilly Gent, Producer of the original 'From the Basement' series comes the third season of 'From the Basement' in 3D.... See full synopsis »

Star: Moby

11. Roots of Rhythm (1984– )


A three-part historical survey of the African musical roots of Latin Jazz, Salsa, and popular genres. Featuring narration by Harry Belafonte, this documentary traces the evolution of Latin ... See full summary »

Stars: Harry Belafonte, Desi Arnaz, Rubén Blades, Celia Cruz

Votes: 18

12. The Blues (2003)

Documentary, Music

A documentary series about the origin and history of The Blues.

Stars: B.B. King, Pinetop Perkins, Ike Turner, Dick Waterman

Votes: 1,011

13. Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

PG-13 | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

79 Metascore

Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez.

Director: Malik Bendjelloul | Stars: Rodriguez, Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, Dennis Coffey, Mike Theodore

Votes: 60,999 | Gross: $3.97M

14. Filmage: The Story of Descendents/All (2013)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

Long before punk rock inflicted its puncture wound on the map of mainstream music, the Descendents were in a van brewing a potent mix of pop, angst, love and coffee and influencing a ... See full summary »

Directors: Deedle Lacour, Matt Riggle | Stars: Bill Stevenson, Milo Aukerman, Karl Alvarez, Stephen Egerton

Votes: 870

15. Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (2011)

R | 97 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

Michael Rapaport documents the inner workings and behind the scenes drama that follows this innovative and influential band to this day.

Director: Michael Rapaport | Stars: Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi White

Votes: 3,338 | Gross: $1.20M

16. Rock the Bells (2006)

Not Rated | 103 min | Documentary, Music

70 Metascore

An inside look at what it took to bring the Wu-Tang Clan together for their final performance at the Rock the Bells Hip-Hop festival.

Directors: Denis Henry Hennelly, Casey Suchan | Stars: Chali 2na, D.J. Abilities, Babu, Jerome Baldwin

Votes: 335

17. They Call It Acid (2009)

100 min | Documentary, History, Music

The late 1980s in the UK saw the birth of a new culture, they called it Acid House. Driven by a media hate campaign, the British Government acted against it by pushing a bill through ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Mason | Stars: Steve Nallon, Robert Owens

Votes: 14

18. They Call It Acid (2009)

100 min | Documentary, History, Music

The late 1980s in the UK saw the birth of a new culture, they called it Acid House. Driven by a media hate campaign, the British Government acted against it by pushing a bill through ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Mason | Stars: Steve Nallon, Robert Owens

Votes: 14

19. Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back (1967)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Music

Documentary covering Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England, which includes appearances by Joan Baez and Donovan.

Director: D.A. Pennebaker | Stars: Bob Dylan, Albert Grossman, Bob Neuwirth, Joan Baez

Votes: 7,951

20. Jimi Plays Monterey (1986)

Not Rated | 50 min | Documentary, Music

Jimi Hendrix's landmark concert in Monterey County Fairgrounds in California in which he plays signature songs like "Purple Haze," "Foxy Lady," and "Wild Thing."

Directors: Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker | Stars: Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, John Phillips

Votes: 943

21. Monterey Pop (1968)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary, History, Music

77 Metascore

A film about the greatest pre-Woodstock rock music festival.

Director: D.A. Pennebaker | Stars: Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar, Country Joe McDonald

Votes: 3,499 | Gross: $0.00M

22. Marley (2012)

PG-13 | 144 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

82 Metascore

A documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, Rita Marley, Jimmy Cliff

Votes: 12,805 | Gross: $1.41M

23. Scratch (2001)

R | 92 min | Documentary, Music

77 Metascore

The story of the hip-hop DJ from the birth of hip-hop to the invention of scratching and "beat-juggling" vinyl, to the more recent "turntablism" movement. Underdogs and virtuosos who have radically changed the way we hear and create music.

Director: Doug Pray | Stars: The Allies, A-Trak, Craze, D.J. Infamous

Votes: 2,658

24. The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson (2015)

92 min | Documentary

Tells the extraordinary story of legendary musician Wilko Johnson who, diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer and given a few months to live, managed to accept his fate with uplifting ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Temple | Stars: Wilko Johnson, Roger Daltrey, Charlie Chan

Votes: 247

25. The Last Waltz (1978)

PG | 117 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

88 Metascore

A film account and presentation of the final concert of The Band.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robbie Robertson, Muddy Waters, Neil Young, Van Morrison

Votes: 15,370 | Gross: $0.32M

26. Street of Dreams - Musical Mirror Maze (1988)

Documentary, Music

Luna Park is an aged amusement park located in an area of prime real estate in Sydney Australia. Tiny Tim, at the time of this documentary, was an aged entertainer, who mined all of popular... See full summary »

Director: Martin Sharp | Stars: Tiny Tim, Martin Sharp, Don Lane

Votes: 7

27. Thoth (2002)

40 min | Documentary, Short, Music

Thoth is a street performer currently in New York. Thoth is an individual with a complicated life and background. Thoth plays on opera with a violin in a loincloth in Central Park. Thoth is.

Director: Sarah Kernochan | Star: S.K. Thoth

Votes: 188

28. Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony (2002)

PG-13 | 108 min | Documentary, History, Music

78 Metascore

Interviews, archival footage, and filmed performances highlight the role of music in the South African struggle against apartheid.

Director: Lee Hirsch | Stars: Abdullah Ibrahim, Duma Ka Ndlovu, Vusi Mahlasela, Walter Cronkite

Votes: 550 | Gross: $0.40M

29. Baby Snakes (1979)

R | 166 min | Documentary, Comedy, Music

Rock artist Frank Zappa hosts a concert in New York City. This movie contains tons of on-stage footage, off-stage footage, and animation.

Director: Frank Zappa | Stars: Frank Zappa, Adrian Belew, Tommy Mars, Terry Bozzio

Votes: 794

30. We Are Together (Thina Simunye) (2006)

PG | 83 min | Documentary, Music

Tells the moving and inspiring story of 12 year old Slindile and her remarkable friends at the Agape orphanage in South Africa.

Director: Paul Taylor | Stars: Lorraine Bracco, Alicia Keys, Mbali, Mthobisi Moya

Votes: 200

31. Sigur Rós: Heima (2007)

97 min | Documentary, Music

In the summer of 2006, Sigur Rós returned home to play a series of free, unannounced concerts for the people of Iceland.

Director: Dean DeBlois | Stars: Amiina, Hildur Arsaelsdottir, Jon Thor Birgisson, Orri P. Dyrason

Votes: 7,680

32. Sprout Wings and Fly (1983)

Not Rated | 30 min | Documentary, Short, Music

A documentary about Tommy Jarrell, a fiddler from North Carolina. This films shows a bit of his current life and those around him and includes a lot of his Appalachian Old-Time music.

Directors: Les Blank, Cece Conway, Alice Gerrard | Stars: Edith Hicks, Benny Jarrell, Earlie Jarrell, Tommy Jarrell

Votes: 194

33. A Band Called Death (2012)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

77 Metascore

A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded.

Directors: Mark Christopher Covino, Jeff Howlett | Stars: Bobby Hackney, David Hackney, Dannis Hackney, Robbie Duncan

Votes: 3,407 | Gross: $0.13M

34. Tropicália (2012)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary, Music

Set against the turbulent atmosphere of the 1960s, Tropicália is a feature length documentary exploring the Brazilian artistic movement known as tropicália, and the struggle its artists ... See full summary »

Director: Marcelo Machado | Stars: Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso

Votes: 541

35. Style Wars (1983 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 69 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary that exposes the rich growing subculture of hip-hop that was developing in New York City in the late '70s and early '80s, specifically focusing on graffiti art and breakdancing.

Director: Tony Silver | Stars: Demon, Kase 2, Eric Haze, D. 5

Votes: 2,552

36. A Poem Is a Naked Person (1974)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

Les Blank's first feature-length documentary captures music and other events at Leon Russell's Oklahoma recording studio during a three-year period (1972-1974).

Director: Les Blank | Stars: Leon Russell, Eric Andersen, Malissa Bates, Les Blank

Votes: 292 | Gross: $0.09M

37. The Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins (1970)

Not Rated | 31 min | Documentary, Short, Music

A portrait of the great Texas bluesman, 'Lightnin' Hopkins. The film includes interviews and a performance by Hopkins.

Director: Les Blank | Stars: Lightnin Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb

Votes: 571

38. In Heaven There Is No Beer? (1984)

Not Rated | 51 min | Documentary

A portrait of the life, culture and food surrounding the lovers of Polka music. The title is taken from an old Polka standard. Stars of the Polka world are highlighted.

Director: Les Blank | Stars: Henry Cygan, Louie Dusseault, Jerry Halkoski, Michelle Osowiecki

Votes: 236

39. A Well Spent Life (1971)

Not Rated | 44 min | Documentary, Short, Music

A deeply moving tribute to the Texas songster, Mance Lipscomb, considered by many to be the greatest guitarist of all time.

Directors: Les Blank, Skip Gerson | Stars: Mance Lipscomb, Elnora Lipscomb, Hattie Franklin, Alfred Franklin

Votes: 310

41. Stop Making Sense (1984)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Music

89 Metascore

An innovative concert movie for the rock group The Talking Heads.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: David Byrne, Bernie Worrell, Alex Weir, Steven Scales

Votes: 11,809 | Gross: $5.02M

42. The U.S. vs. John Lennon (2006)

PG-13 | 99 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

64 Metascore

A documentary on the life of John Lennon, with a focus on the time in his life when he transformed from a musician into an antiwar activist.

Directors: David Leaf, John Scheinfeld | Stars: John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Stew Albert, Tariq Ali

Votes: 5,229 | Gross: $1.10M

43. Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006)

PG | 103 min | Documentary, Music

85 Metascore

A film shot over during a two-night performance by Neil Young at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Pegi Young, Ben Keith

Votes: 2,753 | Gross: $1.83M

44. Sonita (2015)

90 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

After her family attempts to sell her into marriage, a young Afghan refugee in Iran channels her frustrations and seizes her destiny through music. Grabbing the mic, she spits fiery rhymes in the face of oppressive traditions.

Director: Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami | Stars: Sonita Alizadeh, Latifah Alizadeh, Fadia Alizadeh, Ahmad Ahmadi

Votes: 715

45. One More Time with Feeling (2016)

PG | 113 min | Documentary, Music

92 Metascore

Explores the creative process of Nick Cave and his band as the singer struggles with an unspoken personal tragedy.

Director: Andrew Dominik | Stars: Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Jim Sclavunos, Susie Bick

Votes: 4,071

46. PressPausePlay (2011)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Music