Music documentary

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Monsters of doc: Mark Kermode’s top 20 music documentaries
For our festival-averse film critic, movies about concerts and musicians are essential viewing – and he believes we are living through a golden age for the form

Mark Kermode, Observer film critic

27, Nov, 2022 @9:00 AM

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Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues review – swinging doc is a stirring tribute
Freewheeling across the trumpeter’s pathbreaking career, Sacha Jenkins’ immensely enjoyable study speeds through giddyingly rich source material

Leslie Felperin

26, Oct, 2022 @8:00 AM

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This Is National Wake review – the story of South Africa’s multiracial punk rockers
The rise and fall of the apartheid-era band is unspooled in this occasionally dazzling but often lacklustre documentary

Sammy Gecsoyler

25, Oct, 2022 @8:00 AM

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In the Court of the Crimson King: King Crimson at 50 review – a rollicking workplace comedy
This unflinching portrait of the prog rock band is like an episode of The Office but with huge drum kits, grizzled roadies and rapturous fans

Leslie Felperin

19, Oct, 2022 @8:00 AM

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In the Court of the Crimson King: angular, hilarious portrait of prog rock’s noodlers-in-chief
Toby Amies’s fascinating documentary gets right inside the exacting world of Robert Fripp and co as they approach their 50th anniversary

Wendy Ide

16, Oct, 2022 @11:00 AM

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Nothing Compares review – the uncompromising talent of Sinéad O’Connor
Documentary celebrates maverick musician once ridiculed for championing causes that have since become mainstream

Peter Bradshaw

05, Oct, 2022 @8:00 AM

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Nothing compares: how Sinéad O’Connor’s fearless activism helped change the world
When the singer ripped up a picture of the pope on US TV, it capsized her career. Thirty years on, a new documentary showcases her brave defiance

Sylvia Patterson

30, Sep, 2022 @7:00 AM

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Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song review – a thorough, respectful documentary
Contributions from John Cale, Judy Collins and more illuminate the singer-songwriter’s art through his best-known song

Xan Brooks

18, Sep, 2022 @11:30 AM

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Not a wonderful world: Louis Armstrong tapes reveal how racism scarred his life and career
Audio diaries including previously unheard material tell of the jazz giant’s anger over the prejudice he faced

Dalya Alberge

03, Sep, 2022 @3:00 PM

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George Ezra: End to End review – singer-songwriter’s charming cross-Britain hike
After months of isolation and anxious about touring again, Ezra and two friends walk the length of the UK meeting musicians in an uplifting documentary

Cath Clarke

24, Aug, 2022 @12:00 PM

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This Is Gwar review – bodily fluids spray freely in oral history of monsters of metal
In-depth rock doc about the unmistakable legends of heavy metal and their outrageous antics will be best appreciated by their fans

Leslie Felperin

19, Jul, 2022 @2:00 PM

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Laurent Garnier: Off the Record review – upbeat spin on pioneering DJ’s career
Docu-tribute to club hero offers uncritical praise but also tells an intriguing history of electronic dance music since the 80s

Leslie Felperin

12, Jul, 2022 @10:00 AM

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