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CIMMfest 7 Boasts Another Strong Lineup Of Music And Movies

By Joel Wicklund in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 16, 2015 4:00PM

Promotional art from CIMMfest website.

In a city where there seems to be a film festival for almost every major genre, style and national cinema, CIMMfest (The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival) has benefited by going deep in an area other fests only touch on: music documentaries and performance films. Add an increasingly packed schedule of live music performances and it's easy to see why this has quickly become one of the city’s major cultural events.

CIMMfest 7 runs from April 16-19, with movies mainly showing at the Logan Theatre, but the live shows spread out among many venues all over town. The full schedule hasn't been announced yet, but a healthy portion of it has been made public and it covers everything from classic rock standbys to cutting-edge global boundary breakers.

Highlights depend on where your tastes fall, but the opportunity to see some films with live score accompaniment may be the most distinctive aspect of the programming. This year, those events include acclaimed composer and session musician Marc Ribot (a frequent Tom Waits collaborator) performing his solo guitar score for Josef von Sternberg's silent film classic, The Docks of New York.

Veteran filmmaker Julien Temple is being honored with the festival's 3rd BAADASSSS career achievement tribute, which will be accompanied by showings of several of his best-known movies, including the cult musical Absolute Beginners (1986) and his Sex Pistols documentary, The Filth and the Fury (2000).

Other documentaries showing include Sam Lay in Bluesland, about the legendary and still-active drummer who has played with icons like Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Bo Didley and Bob Dylan. Also intriguing are I Need a Dodge, which uses a search for a car lost by Joe Strummer as the launch point for a movie about the late Clash leader's time in Spain; and Danny Says, a portrait of the adventurous manager, journalist and music executive Danny Fields, who helped bring The Doors, MC5, The Ramones, Iggy and the Stooges and other giants to a wider audience.

The live concerts will take place at some of the city's top venues including Double Door, Metro, Martyrs, Hideout and City Winery. Headlining acts include Scott Lucas' much-loved rock duo Local H, alt-country favorite Todd Snider, a DJ showcase featuring Public Enemy's Hank Shocklee and Lisa Fischer, who has sung backup vocals for The Rolling Stones, Tina Turner and Nine Inch Nails, but is a star attraction in her own right.

Promising "99-plus films and 99-plus bands in four days," there should certainly be plenty to choose from when the complete schedule is announced. Check the festival's website for updates and early bird pass information.