32nd Reel Music Festival

  • October 10, 2014 — October 22, 2014

Welcome to our 32nd edition of Reel Music. We’ve been on the lookout all year for new works—and timely classics— for this annual celebration of sound and image, music and culture, and the origins of sounds infused in our experience. Whether your passion is jazz, blues, rock, soul, folk, funk, or punk, we hope you find this mixture of old and new, familiar and strange, to be full of inspiration and discovery. As always, our special thanks go to Music Millennium, Willamette Week, Walker, Day & Koch LLP, Oregon Music News, KINK.fm, MusicFestNW, All Classical Portland, PDX Jazz, KIND Healthy Snacks, XRAY.FM, KMHD, PDX Pipeline, Yelp!, Vortex Magazine and Portland Radio Project.


The soundtrack to Heaven Adores You, featuring music by Elliott Smith, comes out Feb.

Heaven Adores You

Directed by Nickolas Rossi

When Portland singer/songwriter Elliott Smith died in 2003, it left a gaping hole in the indie rock community throughout the


Charlie Haden: Rambling Boy

Directed by Reto Caduff

Music legends don’t come any more unassuming than Charlie Haden. Courtesy of Reto Caduff’s charming documentary, we discover that the


The Winding Stream

Directed by Beth Harrington

“The Winding Stream begins at the source of what we know as classic country music—the original Carter Family from the


Nas: Time is Illmatic

Directed by One9

Multimedia artist One9’s follows the trajectory of Nas’ 1994 landmark debut album, Illmatic, one of the most important and revolutionary albums in


The 78 Project Movie

Directed by Alex Steyermark

The 78 Project Movie is a road trip across America to make one-of-a-kind 78 rpm records with musicians in their hometowns


The Case of the Three-Sided Dream

Directed by Adam Kahan

Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1935-1977) was more than a blind musician who could play three horns at once, more than one


20,000 Days on Earth

Directed by Ian Forsyth, Jane Pollard

An inventive ode to creativity, 20,000 Days on Earth fuses drama and reality by weaving the journey of a fictional


Velvet Goldmine

Directed by Todd Haynes

“This witty, evocative re-creation of the heady days of glam rock is loosely structured on the lines of a Citizen


Breadcrumb Trail

Directed by Lance Bangs

Even those who haven’t heard Slint have heard Slint. Not only did the band’s members go on to perform with


Billy Mize and the Bakersfield Sound

Directed by William J. Saunders

Billy Mize was instrumental in defining the Bakersfield Sound, the exhilarating, innovative movement that both changed country music and influenced


Tosca’s Kiss

Directed by Daniel Schmid

Giuseppe Verdi called it his “finest work”: the world’s first home for retired opera musicians. Standing in Milan since 1896,


The Byrd Who Flew Alone: The Triumphs and Tragedy of Gene Clark

Directed by Paul Kendall, Jack Kendall

Bob Dylan described Missouri-born country boy Gene Clark as one of the three best songwriters in the world. The original


Razing the Bar

Directed by Ryan Worsley

Loud, messy, and often outrageous, The Funhouse was one of Seattle’s landmark punk rock venues. From 2003 to 2012, the


Strictly Sacred: The Story of Girl Trouble

Directed by Isaac Olsen

Tacoma garage rock band Girl Trouble has always traveled on their own unique and idiosyncratic musical path. For over 30


The Ballad of Shovels and Rope

Directed by Jace Freeman

When filming started, Cary Ann Hearst was waiting tables and Michael Trent was working as a studio artist while the


Stop Making Sense

Directed by Jonathan Demme

Thirty years after its release, Demme’s extraordinary Talking Heads concert movie, filmed over the course of three days at Hollywood’s


Lady be Good: Instrumental Women in Jazz

Directed by Kay Ray

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm. The Syncoettes. Carol Kaye. The substantial contributions of woman to jazz music have been largely


Harlem Street Singer: The Guitar Gospel of Reverend Gary Davis

Directed by Simeon Hutner

One of the truly great American ragtime, blues and gospel musicians, Reverend Gary Davis’ (1896-1972) unique style and virtuoso skill


Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty

Directed by Greg Olliver

Director Greg Olliver spent two years following Johnny Winter to France, Japan and beyond to create this intimate, aptly named



Directed by F.W. Murnau

The first gothic horror film, and a key work of German expressionism, Nosferatu was influenced by Freud’s new ideas of sexual


Beautiful Noise

Directed by Eric Green

"Although it's one of the most radical and influential movements in contemporary music, having given birth to some of the


Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story

Directed by N.C. Heikin

This soulful documentary illuminates the hell-and-back life of the late, great L.A. alto sax legend Frank Morgan. A prodigy who


Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew

Directed by Matthew Buzzell

Jazz vocal legend Jimmy Scott’s (1925-2014) distinctive voice was able to effortlessly caress high notes in a range that no


Jingle Bell Rocks!

Directed by Mitchell Kezin

Christmas music is sort of a love-it-or-hate-it affair. Whatever your persuasion, however, you’re bound to be caught up in the


Super Duper Alice Cooper

Directed by Reginald Harkema

Born Vincent Furnier, the son of a preacher, Alice Cooper emerged from the Detroit scene of the 1970s in a