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Down From the Mountain

The country and bluegrass sound track for O Brother, Where Art Thou? has sold more than two million copies, which might explain how this video by Nick Doob, Chris Hegedus, and D.A. Pennebaker, documenting a concert by most of the O Brother artists at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium prior to the film’s release, managed to win […]

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20 Years of Einsturzende Neubauten—20 Years of Desire: Listen With Pain

This fawning 2000 video documentary by Christian Beetz and Birgit Herdlitschke traces the bizarre career trajectory of Germany’s pioneering industrial band Einsturzende Neubauten, interspersing recent interviews with performance footage that spans the group’s 20-year history. Their name translates as “collapsing new buildings,” and when they began in 1980, flailing away at heaps of scrap metal, […]

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Benjamin Smoke

Benjamin Smoke (aka Robert Dickerson), the gay, cross-dressing, gutter-mouthed southern Oscar Wilde who fronted the wild, eclectic Atlanta band Smoke, was HIV-positive and died in January 1999, not long after this 2000 documentary was shot. Filmmakers Jem Cohen (who also directed the 1998 Fugazi documentary Instrument) and Peter Sillen capture his corrosive charisma, his debilitating […]