Dennis Anderson and Lois Kahlert – the music-obsessed New York couple who inspired a Happy Mondays song and transcended traditional fandom with their decades of rock dedication – are the subjects of filmmaker Chris Cassidy’s new documentary Dennis and Lois. The movie will premiere as an official selection at the ninth-annual DocNYC Film Festival on November 14th at 3 p.m. ET (IFC Center) and November 15th at 9:45 p.m. (SVA Theater).
A new trailer introduces the duo with glowing salutes from some of their favorite artists, including Happy Mondays’ Paul Ryder (“These aren’t strange cats. These are really whacked-out cats – in a really good way”), the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn and Joy Division/New Order’s Peter Hook (“They’re iconic in the way that they were there when a movement started”).
The clip shows images of Anderson and Kahlert in their early days, attending punk shows at New York’s CBGB, but focuses on the present – including their daunting road trips of following bands on tour and working merch tables. The pair boast about attending at least “four shows a week” but sometimes up to three a day.
“Just because you had another birthday, that doesn’t mean you’ve gotta give up what you love,” Kahlert says, reflecting on how rock overpowers the aging process. “We still go to music because we love it. Why should we give it up?”
The preview also includes interview snippets with Ramones graphic designer Arturo Vega, A Place to Bury Strangers’ Jason “Jay Space” Weilmeister and the Charlatans’ Tim Burgess. Other acts featured or spotlighted in the film include the Smiths’ Andy Rourke, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Elbow, the Stone Roses, Badly Drawn Boy, Doves, John Grant and Budgie.
Cassidy compiled Dennis and Lois from over 550 hours of footage, which he recorded over the years after meeting them at a show in 2010. “The subjects I tend to gravitate towards are musicians (or music-related people) that have had an impact on the industry but haven’t had the chance to have their stories told,” the filmmaker said in a statement. “So before I knew it, I was out on the road touring with Dennis and Lois. From small dingy clubs in Brooklyn to big concert halls in England, I documented these two legends doing what they do best, seeing more live music than anyone could ever imagine and giving back to the bands and musicians they love, all the while facing the challenges that come with getting older.”