(Frank Tashlin, USA, 1956): Arguably less impressed by the new sound of rock & roll than it is Jayne Mansfield's natural wonders, Frank Tashlin's The Girl Can't Help It is about things busting out all over. Opening with a photo-Godardian gesture of self-reflexivity in which hangdog adman Tom...

(Busby Berkeley, USA, 1937): About an hour and eighteen minutes into Hollywood Hotel, a call comes into the switchboard of the place the movie is named for. "Benny Goodman?" says the bobbed blonde operator. "I'm sorry but he's rehearsing in the Orchid Room and can't be disturbed."...

(Bob Dylan, USA, 1978): Bob Dylan's love affair with movies has never been exactly requited. From his charming but awkwardly self-conscious turn as one of the gang in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid to those shield-your-eyes performances in Hearts of Fire and Masked and Anonymous, his mangling of D.A. Pennebaker's...

(Alan Crosland, USA, 1927): The movie sound barrier was definitively shattered about nineteen minutes into The Jazz Singer, at the moment Al Jolson first appears as the grown-up Jakie Rabinowitz. A cantor's son who ran from home to the floodlights whose name is now Jack Robin, Jakie's just been...

(Andrew Stone, USA, 1943): Even if the manifest story told by Stormy Weather is a tad whimsical and dubious -- it's the divine tap maestro Bill Robinson's account of his own life in showbiz as told to a group of superkeen Hollywood kids gathered on a studio front...

(Vincente Minnelli, USA, 1943): In what certainly qualifies as one of the more dubious but revealing attempts at corporate political correctness, the Warner Brothers' DVD release of Cabin in the Sky begins with the following unskippable pre-credit disclaimer: "The films you are about to see...

(John Badham, USA, 1977): Nearly forty years after Saturday Night Fever busted disco out of the urban ghetto and sent it to die in the suburbs, it's clearer than ever that it's a movie about living desperately in the moment because the present is the only place worth...

(Julien Temple, UK, 1980): As dubious as it is as history, there are reasons to be grateful for this particular load of bollocks. First, it contains some truly essential stuff, including some of the Sex Pistols' most electrifying performances and that splatterific Wild Bunch Go Vegas Sid...

(Martin Scorsese, USA, 1978): Almost instantly considered a jewel in the rock-doc crown, Martin Scorsese's reverentially mounted movie of The Band's final bow on Thanksgiving Day, 1976 has become somewhat tarnished over the years, and largely because the late Levon Helm successfully called it -- in his...

(D.A. Pennebaker, UK, 1973): By the time D.A. Pennebaker's documentary of David Bowie's final show in the 1973 'Ziggy Stardust' tour was released ten years later, it already seemed ancient. For one thing, the film's fuzzy, handheld, verité style was sharply at odds with the prevailing...