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The Film Comment Podcast: Music Documentaries

This week’s episode is inspired by the recent release of The Beatles: Get Back, Peter Jackson’s eight-hour docuseries about the making of the band’s 1970 album, Let It Be. The flurry of conversation provoked by the series—about its length, its restored archival footage, and the ways in which it captures the process of music-making and rehearsal—got Film Comment editors Devika Girish and Clinton Krute thinking about music documentaries more generally. What makes them good, beyond the music itself? How do concert documentaries differ from artists’ portraits? And which documentaries truly capture—and maybe even re-envision—the craft of their subjects? To dig into these questions, they invited Geeta Dayal, a noted music, art, and film critic, and Ashley Clark, the curatorial director at the Criterion Collection. Their conversation covers a number of documentaries: The Velvet Underground, Milford Graves Full Mantis; Ornette: Made in America, Sisters with Transistors, and of course, Get Back

Links & Things

The Beatles: Get Back on Disney+
Geeta’s review of The Beatles: Get Back in 4Columns
Ornette: Made in America on streaming
The Velvet Underground on Apple TV+
Geeta’s review of The Velvet Underground in 4Columns
Summer of Soul on Hulu
Milford Graves Full Mantis on streaming