(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...

(Peter Clifton, Joe Massot, UK/USA, 1976): When Robert Plant once dismissed this movie as "a load of bollocks", he was of course observing a long tradition of rock stars dumping on documentaries they appeared in. Dylan hated Dont Look Back because it made him look like a dink....

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...

The following originally appeared in The Globe and Mail in July, 2014. Among the many ways in which the Beatles changed everything, there was the matter of time. They accelerated and warped it, so that the very decade of the 1960s seemed to unfold on according...

Note: This was written for publication in January 2014, on the occasion of a public screening at Toronto's TIFF Bell Lightbox of Robert Frank's Cocksucker Blues. (Robert Frank, USA, 1972): Nothing looms quite like something you can't see, and in the forty-two years since Robert Frank shot his...

(D.A. Pennebaker, USA, 1967): "God, I'm glad I'm not me," chuckles Bob Dylan over a newspaper article as he's being schlepped by limo to the next gig in his ten day English tour of 1965. Then he adjusts his heavy-duty shades, rests sharp chin in those delicate hands,...

(Brett Morgen, USA, 2015): As a immersion into the mind of Kurt Cobain, Brett Morgen's Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is a suggestive and selective knockout, a provocative approximation of a painfully susceptible brain jolted by the constant barrage of ideas, images and sounds. In these passages, when...

(Danny Tedesco, USA, 2014): Raging against the machinery of pop may be a perfectly reasonable response in certain contexts, and in others absolutely, rejuvenatingly essential. Where would any significant pop cultural movements -- from punk to hip hop, underground comix to Banksy, the nouvelle vague to Dogma '95...