Don’t Knock the Rock is a film festival that’s taken place now for ten years. Each year filmmaker Allison Anders (Gas, Food Lodging, Grace of My Heart, and Mi Vida Loca) and her daughter, Tiffany, curate probably the best film festival of its sort in Los Angeles, focusing on rare or new music documentaries about personality-driven cult bands and under-exposed music movements and scenes.
Last year I attended the screening of Jobriath A.D. (2012). The year before I was at The Beat Is The Law: Fanfare For The Common (2010), the sequel to 2001’s Made In Sheffield — about the independent music scenes of Sheffield, UK. All screenings take place at The Silent Movie Theatre in Fairfax Village (on the border between the Fairfax District and Beverly Grove) and are hosted by Michael Des Barres of the TV series MacGyver.
This year there are two films showing on the opening night (30 August) for which I’ve already procured my tickets and will quite likely be first in line — and additionally violate my own rule against watching two films in the same day AND break my strict 10:00 pm bedtime — Lawrence of Belgravia and Autoluminescent.
LAWRENCE OF BELGRAVIA
The first film is Lawrence of Belgravia, a 2011 documentary directed by Paul Kelly (of Birdie and East Village — not the Aussie singing/songwriting institution) about Lawrence of the bands Felt, Supermarket, Denim, and Go-Kart Mozart (as well as songwriter for Shampoo). For those unfamiliar, Lawrence is — without exaggeration — one of the greatest things to come out of England ever.
It took Kelly eight years to complete and isn’t available on any sort of video currently. For fans wanting more about Lawrence, seek out the David Cavanagh‘s The Creation Records Story: My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry for the Prize (2001) and Will Hodgkinson‘s Song Man: A Melodic Adventure, or My Single-minded Approach to Songwriting (2006), two books which have graced Amoeba‘s shelves in the past. 7:30 — 86 min.
Autoluminescent is a 2011 documentary directed by Richard Lowenstein (Dogs in Space) and Lynn-Maree Milburn about Rowland S. Howard, a beautiful, bat-like waif who was my favorite (I’m putting The Triffids‘ Evil Graham Lee in a separate category for “Aussie steel guitarists”) guitarist to come from Australia.
He famously brought his song “Shivers” from his band The Young Charlatans to Nick Cave‘s Boys Next Door and in doing so helped transform them into something worth listening too before moving on to The Tuff Monks, Crime + The City Solution, These Immortal Souls and collaborations with Lydia Lunch, Jeremy Gluck, and Nikki Sudden. He tragically passed away at just 50-years-old in 2009. 9:40 — 110 min.
Eric Brightwell is an adventurer, writer, rambler, explorer, cartographer, and guerrilla gardener who is always seeking writing, speaking, traveling, and art opportunities — or salaried work. He is not interested in writing advertorials, clickbait, listicles, or other 21st century variations of spam. Brightwell’s written work has appeared in Amoeblog, diaCRITICS, and KCET Departures. His work has been featured by the American Institute of Architects, the Architecture & Design Museum, the Craft & Folk Art Museum, Form Follows Function, Los Angeles County Store, Skid Row Housing Trust, and 1650 Gallery. Brightwell has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Magazine, LAist, Eastsider LA, Boing Boing, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, and on Notebook on Cities and Culture. He has been a guest speaker on KCRW‘s Which Way, LA? and at Emerson College. Art prints of his maps are available from 1650 Gallery and on other products from Cal31. He is currently writing a book about Los Angeles and you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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