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Must-see Music Films & Documentaries

by Abbie Franks |

Below we've collated some of our favourite music films and documentaries for you. There's some outright classics listed along with a few which you hopefully may not have heard of. Read on to find out more. 

 

Shot! The Psycho Spiritual Mantra of Rock

Shot! follows the life of rock and roll’s iconic photographer - Mick Rock - as he works his way through glam rock London and New York Punk. Photographing the likes of David Bowie, Blondie, Iggy Pop and Queen, this documentary will open your eyes to the wildest years of Rock.

 

Supersonic

Supersonic is the award-winning documentary which tells the unforgettable story of one of Manchester’s own - Oasis. It’s a raw account of two seminal brothers who defined an era with their music, concerts and testing relationship.

 

The Stone Roses: Made of Stone

Another documentary based on one of Manchester’s most defining bands is The Stone Roses: Made of Stone. Released in 2013 and directed by This Is England’s Shane Meadows, this humorous and emotional film follows the band as they work up to their much-anticipated reunion.

 

Control

2007 saw the release of Control, a biographical film about the life of the late Ian Curtis. Depicting his personal journey throughout the post-punk band Joy Division, this spectacular and heart wrenching film sheds a light on his romance, epilepsy and depression, as he slowly loses control.

 

Amy

Amy is an intimate documentary which narrates the life and death of Amy Winehouse. Following her life from an early teenager, this raw, powerful and often shocking film includes home-video footage which shows her rise to stardom before spiralling into self-destruction.

 

Spike Island

Released in 2015 before The Stone Roses returned to play Glasgow Green, this coming-of-age film tells the story of a group of Mancunian teenagers who lived and breathed music in 1990s Britain. Although fictional, this film symbolises the love and energy held towards The Stone Roses on the lead up to their now-iconic gig at Spike Island, May 27th 1990.

 

Quadrophenia

Set in 1964, Quadrophenia is based on the rivalry between the Mods and Rockers in the coastal town of Brighton. Driven by The Who’s soundtrack of the same name, the film shows the life of Jimmy - a working-class youth who lives for his scooter and Mod friends.

 

Soul Boy

Soul Boy is coming-of-age drama set in the 1970s Northern Soul music scene. Although rather cliche with it’s story, it salutes to one of the greatest British youth culture movements through it’s great performances, production and soundtrack.

 

The Summer of Love - How Hippies Changed the World

This BBC Four documentary focuses on the tribe of hippies throughout 1967 in San Fransisco. It looks at the ideologies, music and lifestyles of the hippies and gives a real insight into the impact of left-wing politics and LSD.

 

Eight Days A Week

8 Days A Week is an award-winning documentary which tells the story of the Beatles right through from their tiny gigs in Liverpool to their world-wide success. Including real footage of their live performances, this film captures the significance of the Beatles during their touring years.

 

Nowhere Boy

Nowhere Boy explores John Lennon’s working-class early years, not far from Strawberry Fields in Liverpool. Rather than focusing on the birth of the Beatles, it’s a film based on the childhood and youth in Liverpool and gives a deeper understanding of John Lennon as a teenager.

 

Svengali

Svengali is a feel-good British comedy telling the story of Dixie, an ordinary guy who carries a big dream. He leaves his small Welsh hometown for London, intending to become the manager of the best band in the world. Expect to hear a class soundtrack throughout the film as well, including tracks from the likes of The Coral, Miles Kane, Jake Bugg, The Libertines and The Stone Roses.

 

24 Hour Party People

If you're interested in the Manchester music scene, this film's for you. Spanning the seminal years of music in the city from the late 70s to the early 90s, 24 Hour Party People follows the career of Tony Wilson as him and his friends create the legendary Factory Records and the Hacienda Club.