Films for the Music Aficionado

In college I, like many others, took Theater 101 just for an “easy A.” But after attending the first mandatory performance, I was hooked on live theater and live music. After the semester ended, I went to theaters when I could and googled local venues with live acts. By far the easiest and cheapest way to enjoy a piece of the live experience, was through great musical films and films about music. There is an endless number of great musical films, but here is a list of some films about music. These films pay homage to live music and its musicians while also creating an interesting narrative within each film.

In chronological order:

The Last Waltz (1978, dir. Martin Scorsese)

Musical Credit: features Woodstock players, The Band, and actual concert footage from their epic final show.

Across the Universe (2007, dir. Julie Taymor)

Musical Credit: Okay, this one might be a straight up musical, but it’s good! An entire period drama based on iconic songs by The Beatles and sung by the cast.

Control (2007, dir. Anton Corbijn)

Musical Credit: homage to real life band, Joy Division.

Nowhere Boy (2009, dir. Sam Taylor-Johnson)

Musical Credit: homage to real life band, The Beatles.

Begin Again (2013, dir. John Carney)

Musical Credit: performances by the cast, including Keira Knightley and Adam Levine, of an original soundtrack.

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013, dir. Joel & Ethan Coen)

Musical Credit: performances by the cast, including Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, and Justin Timberlake, and a cameo of Bob Dylan’s “Farewell.”

Mozart in the Jungle: Season 1 (2014, network: Amazon)

Musical Credit: inspired by the memoir of a New York Philharmonic oboist of the same title, has a behind-the-scenes vibe of classical music in modern day NYC.


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