(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...

(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...

(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...

Note: this originally appeared in The Globe and Mail in September, 2012. Whoever said LSD should stand for “Let the Sixties Die” won’t be nearly as pleased as I am to see that The Criterion Collection, the world’s finest purveyor of off-road home cinematic distractions, has just released...

(Bill Pohland, USA, 2014): If director Bill Poland's decision to shoot key scenes of Brian Wilson's most inspired recording moments in EastWest Studios were premised on the hope that the environment might bring some haunted mojo to the production of Love & Mercy, you might want to dust...