Music, film passions shape Hollywood event
Founder Allison Anders had an epiphany at the end of a screening of rock concert film “The T.A.M.I. Show” at this year’s festival in Hollywood.
“When everybody gave the director Steve Binder a standing ovation, and I was watching him get that appreciation from the audience, I thought, ‘I don’t know how it gets better than this, really,’ ” recalls the L.A.-based indie filmmaker, who often sets her movies (“Sugar Town,” “Grace of My Heart,” “Things Behind the Sun”) in the music world.
Her film career has had its ups and downs, but with Don’t Knock the Rock, whose sophomore session ran Aug. 12-15, she seems to have found an ideal outlet.
“There’s something about just sharing with people things that you dig yourself,” she says of her role as programmer. “Your ego’s not involved, and you’re not fretting over the ramifications of your own work. You’re just incredibly happy.”
For the most part, so were the fans at the four-night, three-day event, which took place at the ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood and a few venerable nightclubs a walkable distance away.
Singer-songwriter Tiffany Anders, the filmmaker’s daughter, programmed the live-music portion of the fest — several showcases of newer acts, plus an appearance by John Doe and a sold-out show by P.J. Harvey.
Then there were the cinematic enticements, which included the L.A. premiere of new docu “Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel”; a last-minute world premiere of “Amazing Grace,” about the late Jeff Buckley; and “EdgePlay: A Film About the Runaways,” directed by the former bassist for the all-girl band.
The festival’s mix of brand new and archival films brought out the kind of luminaries it takes a hardcore fan to appreciate, from Gretchen Parsons, Gram’s widow, to Buckley’s mother, Mary, to author and legendary rock groupie Pamela Des Barres, whose former husband Michael served as the event’s cheerleading emcee.
Though DKTR, as it’s called, is singular in its menu of rock movies and live shows, music sidebars are popping all over the festival map, attests Gandalf Henning, German director of the Parsons doc, whose itinerary has included events in Munich, Germany; Melbourne, Australia; and, next up, Woodstock, N.Y.
DKTR itself may soon be expanding, says Anders, who considers London an ideal sister city in terms of its musical roots.
After counting up the number of sold-out shows in the fest’s second edition, she and her all-female programming staff realized, “We’ve got something here,” says Anders.
“You never know,” Anders laughs. “This could be serious fun now.”