The third edition of CIMM boasts seventeen venues with seventy films and ten concerts in four days this weekend, and the range of attractions promised, from experimental work to music bio-docs looks extremely strong. One feature I previewed, Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler’s “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone,” narrated by Laurence Fishburne, is a model of how to tell the tale of a powerful punk-funk band’s rough road in a twenty-five year career. The power of musical and political conviction carries the day. Musicians in various lineups include Tim Rutili and Gillian Lisee as well as legendary Chicago art-punks Tutu & The Pirates. I’m most excited to witness Sam Green (“The Weather Underground”) and Dave Cerf’s “live documentary,” “Utopia in Four Movements,” a look back at the twentieth century that encapsulates the possibility of utopian ideals in the twenty-first. Debuted to acclaim at Sundance 2011, Green narrates a visual barrage of stills and moving images, while Cerf does live sound from samples and loops, while The Quavers, fine soundtrack composers, play a live score. No two performances are the same. Without having seen the live version, I’ll leave it to the words of documentary collagist Adam Curtis: A “brilliantly witty, but also moving meditation on our loss of faith in the dream of progress. Sam has created something completely original—a new form of live story-telling that draws you in emotionally in a way that traditional documentaries almost always fail to do.” There’s a promise to deliver on. Full schedule at cimmfest.org. (Ray Pride)
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.