Don’t Knock The Rock Film And Music Festival

This weekend Cinefamily will be hosting, for the sixth year in a row, Don’t Knock The Rock Film And Music Festival. The festival is curated by the mother and daughter duo, Allison and Tiffany Anders, two great people and big supporters of us over the years.  The films that are featured are some of the best under the radar music documentaries. Below is this years lineup with additional information about the films and showtimes.


Don’t Knock the Rock 2013:
Friday, August 30th | 7:30pm


“Arguably the greatest pop star Britain never had.” – The Guardian

For the first time, fans of dreamy ’80s U.K. indie pop can finally know the true story of Lawrence, the enigmatic bandleader of brilliant cult outfits Felt, Denim and Go-Kart Mozart. Having only screened in L.A. once before, and still without a video release of any kind, this DKTR festival opener might be your only chance to catch this film for some time to come! “At the start, the eponymous subject looks into the camera and asks: ‘Are you ready, Paul?’ It’s a question never truly answered, as director Paul Kelly indeed may not have been ready to embark on a film which ended up taking eight years to make. But Kelly chooses not to focus on Lawrence’s many ups and downs, allowing a minimal number of images of methadone, notices of eviction and arrest warrants to stand as evidence of a life unravelling. Instead, he mounts a deeply personal investigation into what makes Lawrence tick, a portrait of someone who cares little for everyday things, but instead obsesses about his art as a musician to exclusion of practically everything else. A funny, sad, insightful and refreshingly honest meditation on the mundanities and the mythology of rock and pop.” (Nicholas Abrahams, The Quietus)

Dir. Paul Kelly, 2011, digital presentation, 86 min.


Don’t Knock the Rock 2013:
Friday, August 30th | 9:40pm


“Rowland was Australia’s most unique, gifted and uncompromising guitarist. He was also a good friend. He will be missed by many.” - Nick Cave

From myth to legend, Rowland Howard (member of dark rock masters The Birthday Party, Crime & The City Solution and These Immortal Souls) appeared on the early Melbourne punk scene like a phantom out of Kafkaesque Prague or Bram Stoker’s Dracula. A beautifully gaunt, gothic aristocrat, Rowland was impeccable, with obscure tastes, and with a unique, distinctive guitar attack that shot him directly into the imagination of a generation. Beginning in the wild days of Australian ’70s pub rock with Nick Cave and their earliest collaborators, the film delves into the promising beginnings, the overseas ventures, the falling out with friends and lovers, and the late career renaissance before illness claimed Howard too soon in 2009, at the age of 50. Autoluminescent captures moments with the man himself, and intimate missives from those who knew him behind closed doors; words and images etch light into what has always been the mysterious dark. Co-directed by Richard Lowenstein (Dogs In Space).

Dirs. Richard Lowenstein & Lynn-Maree Milburn, 2011, digital presentation, 110 min.

Don’t Knock the Rock 2013:
Saturday, August 31st | 2:00pm


Join us for an intimate discussion of the changing landscape for music rights and new media. Musicians can find out how to get their music into films, TV and new media, and filmmakers can learn how to clear the rights for music for their work.

Panel moderated by Michael Des Barres, panel guests include: Allison Anders (director,Grace of My Heart, Strutter), Tiffany Anders (music supervisor, Like Crazy, Kaboom, Smashed), Karen Kloak (publisher, Music Sales West), Richard Gibbs (composer, 10 Things I Hate About You, Natural Born Killers, Battlestar Galactica), Lily Haydn (recording artist/composer, Anita, Broken Kingdom), Tracy McKnight (head of film music, Lionsgate), Aaron Rottinghaus (editor, Strutter, Ring of Fire), Chirs Figler (editor, Mad Men, Big Love), James Ponsoldt (director, The Spectacular Now, Smashed) and Reema Iqbal (BMI).


Don’t Knock the Rock 2013:
(filmmakers in person!)
Saturday, August 31st | 4:15pm


NOTE: This show is free (first-come, first-serve). To help us track attendance, you must pre-register for “first-come, first-serve” admission. All current 1-year “Black Card” Cinefamily members get first entry. Your registration does not guarantee you a seat. Early arrival is highly recommended.

Backstage rock stories are a dime-a-dozen, but they’re usually well-rehearsed anecdotes told by hangers-on who’ve dined out on them for years. Kelly, on the other hand, hasn’t told these stories even to her family.“ - The Hollywood Reporter

Freda Kelly was just a shy Liverpudlian teenager when she was asked to work for a local band hoping to make it big. Though she had no concept of how far they would go, Freda had faith in The Beatles from the beginning, and The Beatles had faith in her. As the group’s devoted secretary and friend, Freda was there as history unfolded, and was witness to the evolution – advances and setbacks, breakthroughs and challenges – of the greatest band in history. In Good Ol’ Freda, Freda tells her incredible stories for the first time in 50 years! One of few films with the support of the living Beatles and featuring original Beatles music, the film offers one of the only true insider perspectives on the beloved Fab Four that changed the world of music forever. Filmmakers Ryan White & Jessica Lawson in person, Q&A moderated by Michael Des Barres!

Dir. Ryan White, 2013, digital presentation, 86 min.

Good Ol’ Freda opens 9/13 at Sundance Cinemas.


Don’t Knock the Rock 2013:
(filmmaker and special guests in person!)
Saturday, August 31st | 7:30pm


“Full of inspired detours and colorful non sequiteurs, Jeff Broadway’s doc will be greeted as a godsend by hardcore hip-hop fans.” - Variety

This impossible metropolis of ours is damned lucky to have as part of its indigenous arsenal a crown jewel like Stones Throw Records. Founded almost twenty years ago by Chris Manak (better known to hip-hop heads around the world as Peanut Butter Wolf), this avant-garde record label has taken more chances and fearlessly crossed more genres than any other of its kind – and, thanks to filmmaker Jeff Broadway (Cure For Pain: The Mark Sandman Story), is finally getting to reveal its storied history. Featuring original music by Madlib, and drawing on live concert footage, never-before-seen archival material, inner-circle home video and photographs and in-depth interviews with such Stones Throw staples as Peanut Butter Wolf, Madlib, MF DOOM, Mayer Hawthorne and Dam-Funk, Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton delves deep into the label’s enigmatic artists, history, culture and global following. 

Director Jeff Broadway & special guests in person, Q&A moderated by music writer Jeff Weiss!

Dir. Jeff Broadway, 2013, digital presentation, 94 min.


Don’t Knock the Rock 2013:
(filmmakers & cast in person!)
Saturday, August 31st | 10:00pm


No strangers to portraying a hidden Los Angeles that’s both melancholy and picaresque, co-directors Allison Anders and Kurt Voss — with their spitfire rock ‘n roll fable Strutter – complete a loose, lean trilogy that across the decades has also included the pioneering ’80s indie Border Radio and the evocative ’90s music industry ensemble piece Sugar Town.   Filmed at many classic L.A. haunts (including the Silent Movie Theater!), this tale of a fresh-faced, struggling rock singer gingerly vacillates between healthy dollops of Angeleno angst and touching life lessons facing idealistic twentysomethings, as our hero must learn to put his past behind him, form an oddly simpatico relationship with his idol/former romantic rival, and navigate the many complications and compromises that come with adulthood.   With an original score by J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr., Strutter is soulful stuff for swingin’ lovers.  Co-directors Allison Anders and Kurt Voss, plus cast members, in person! 

Dirs. Allison Anders & Kurt Voss, 2012, digital presentation, 87 min.


Don’t Knock the Rock 2013:
(filmmaker in person!)
Saturday, September 1st | 4:30pm


The best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.” - Dr. John

“Brilliant jazz pianist James Booker was known at various points in his career as the Black Liberace, the Ivory Emperor and Little Chopin – yet his incredible, tumultuous life has never received proper attention, until now. A brilliant pianist, his eccentricities and showmanship belied a life of struggle, prejudice, and isolation. Director Lily Keber’s portrait traces Booker’s life from his early years as a chart-topping child prodigy to the end, where he performed onstage in his underwear, dishing out drug-fueled conspiracy theories. Featuring interviews with the likes of Harry Connick Jr., Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint, as well as a generous helping of archival footage, the film brings to life the unforgettable story of this amazing musician.” (Outfest) Filmmaker Lily Keber in person, Q&A moderated by music critic Chris Morris!

Dir. Lily Keber, 2013, digital presentation, 90 min.


Don’t Knock the Rock 2013:
(filmmaker in person!)
Sunday, September 1st | 7:30pm


It’s ‘Grey Gardens’ on the highway to hell.“ - John Beifuss, Memphis Commercial Appeal

Jerry McGill: a Confederate flag-wearing, self-described “Yankee killer”, the legendary wild man featured in William Eggleston’s Stranded in Canton, and a true moonshine-drinking, pill-popping saint of Memphis rock’n'roll.  Decades ago, Jerry spurned a promising music career for a life of crime, robbing banks and running from the FBI, all while touring incognito with legends of country music like Waylon Jennings, and even appearing in movies.  After three jail sentences, and while suffering from terminal cancer at the age of 70, Jerry announced his return to recording.  Very Extremely Dangerous follows a heavily armed McGill, (out of jail but decidedly not reformed) and his long-suffering fiance Joyce through four states, as he steals whatever’s not nailed down, and charms his way in and out of trouble.  As the film’s journey progresses on, director Paul Duane learns a difficult lesson: when you point a camera at a man who will do anything for notoriety, how responsible are you when he goes too far? Filmmakers Robert Gordon and Paul Duane in person, Q&A moderated by music critic Chris Morris!

Dir. Paul Duane, 2012, digital presentation, 85 min.


Don’t Knock the Rock 2013:
(filmmaker & Black Lips’ Cody Alexander in person!)
Sunday, September 1st | 10:30pm


After two years of planning and tremendous changes throughout the region, the Black Lips’ tour of the Middle East finally came to fruition in the fall of 2012, but it wasn’t easy: promoters in Jordan and Egypt backed out because the band had just played in Israel, and a show in Iraq had to be changed at the last minute when an explicit band video was viewed by a government official. Kids Like You And Me documents this journey through one of the most exciting regions in the world, including three groundbreaking stops in Egypt (the last known American rock band to play in that country being The Grateful Dead in 1978!) Get on the bus with The Black Lips and their friends, Lebanese indie rockers Lazzy Lung. See the people of the Middle East the way they really are: shopkeepers and restaurant owners, skaters, graffiti artists and musicians, revolutionaries and dreamers. Kids like you and us. You’ll never look at the Middle East the same way again.  Filmmaker Bil Cody and (schedule permitting) Cole Alexander of the Black Lips in person!

Dir. Bill Cody, 2013, digital presentation, approx. 90 min.


For tickets and additional information visit