19 Burning Questions for Sundance 2014

Which Music Doc Will Be the Wildest?

finding fela sundance
Stein Kertechian

Messy, nutso and inspiring music docs have become a Sundance linchpin and crowdpleasing spectacle over the years – from Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, DiG! and The Black Power Mixtape to Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer and this year's Oscar contender 20 Feet From Stardom. This year, curators queued up Alex Gibney's Finding Fela, an in-depth tribute to Fela Kuti; Lambert and Stamp, about aspiring filmmakers who became managers of The Who; and Alive Inside, a look at how music can trigger memories in patients whose minds have been ravaged by Alzheimer's or dementia. But the contest for oddest music doc comes down to two: My Prairie Home is a stylized, theatrical take on the life of transgendered Canadian singer-songwriter Rae Spoon, partly shot amid museum dinosaur dioramas. And 20,000 Days on Earth is just barely a "documentary": a video-essay largely composed of staged, highly stylized scenes from the life of Australia's Nick Cave.

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