Archive for “April, 2013”

Sundance London brings indie spirit of Park City festival to the UK

Sundance London returns to The O2 today through Sunday in a festival that mixes independent film with documentaries, music events and panel discussions.

Courtesy of Getty Images & Sundance Institute

Courtesy of Getty Images & Sundance Institute

At the opening press conference, festival director John Cooper said, “The reaction from the audiences was foremost in our minds when we decided to come back. The filmmakers also really enjoyed it. The notion that their films could travel outside American borders was really exciting for them.”

While the first Sundance London featured American independent films and documentaries, this year’s event contains a UK spotlight. This includes tonight’s premiere of Michael Winterbottom’s The Look of Love starring Steve Coogan, along with other narrative features and documentaries.

The festival also includes a large selection of music documentaries and live performances. Director Alison Ellwood’s History of the Eagles Part One will premiere tonight and will include a rare appearance from band members including Don Henley and Glenn Frey for the Q&A after the screening.

Filmmaker and Sundance Institute Founder Robert Redford discussed the link between music and film at the press conference. “Music and film have been more integrated over the last few years,” he said. “Rather than just being a background effect to a film, it’s become more integrated to the point where sometimes music is the film.”

Other music events include the UK premiere of the film Peaches Does Herself from the edgy Canadian musician and filmmaker. The premiere will be followed by a performance from Peaches in a neighbouring music venue.

The excellent documentary Muscle Shoals from Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier highlights the town in Alabama that gave birth to some of America’s most creative and defiant music. It features interviews with Aretha Franklin, Bono, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Gregg Allman and others. Allman will perform after the premiere on Saturday with John Paul White of The Civil Wars.

Beyond the festival in London, Sundance Channel across Europe and Asia will premiere five films fresh from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City from 26-30 April. The films will include award winners Computer Chess and This is Martin Bonner, along with Halley, I Used to be Darker and It Felt Like Love. More information can be found at

Line-up announced for Yoko Ono’s Meltdown

Meltdown, one the most prestigious events at London’s Southbank Centre, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Yoko Ono is the director for this year’s festival, which was lovingly curated by Mercury Prize winner Antony Hegarty in 2012.

The great thing about Meltdown is that distinguished musicians create their ultimate music and arts festival. Past directors have included Patti Smith, David Bowie, Ray Davies, Morrissey, Jarvis Cocker and John Peel.yoko-ono-meltdown-2013

The line-up this year is stunning. Yoko’s Plastic Ono Band will take the stage, along with a first-ever full-length performance of the classic John and Yoko Double Fantasy album with special guests. She’ll also put together a special film programme that will run throughout the festival.

The eclectic mix includes performers from around the world and across many generations. Pioneers of the British music scene Siouxsie and Boy George will be featured, alongside a show with Marianne Faithfull performing with jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. American acts will include Patti Smith with an evening of music and poetry as well as Iggy & the Stooges and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. Japan’s Cibo Matto will perform as well as a showcase featuring musician/activist Ryuichi Sakamoto with Germany’s Alva Noto.

The festival will take place 14-23 June, and more acts will be announced soon. The complete line-up announced so far can be seen below. Tickets go on sale next week.

Here is a performance by Faithfull, who just re-issued her classic Broken English album to much acclaim.