Music film festival part of indie rock conference

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The Independent Culture

The College Music Journal's annual CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival, in Manhattan, October 20-24, has grown into an extensive showcase for emerging bands and independent films. Screenings are heavy on music oriented films, but also include shorts, documentaries and dramatic features.

Opening night of the film festival is The Perfect Age Of Rock ‘n' Roll starring Kelly Lynch, Peter Fonda, Jason Ritter and other young new actors. The story follows friends reuniting for a cross-country trip with a raucous crew of musicians along Route 66.

Other highlights include:

- Leonard Cohen: Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 with Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson and Judy Collins. Academy Award-winning director Murray Lerner and singer Collins will be on hand afterwards for a Q&A.
 - Speaking In Code, a documentary revealing today's world of techno music, from Boston to Berlin.
- War Child, a riveting testimonial of Sudanese child fighter turned hip-hop activist, Emmanuel Jal.
- Kid Creole And My Coconuts, a danceable and honest chronicle of Mama Coconut (Adriana Kaegi), of the trailblazing 1980s tropical funk act.
- Pardon Us For Living But The Graveyard Is Full, the tale of how The Fleshtones formed with abandoned instruments and are still rocking 30 years later.
- Mellodrama, a look at the musical device known as the Mellotron, heard on "Strawberry Fields" and Kanye West songs.

On closing night, an example of the dramatic films scheduled includes The Messenger starring Woody Harrelson and Steve Buscemi, about a US army officer home from Iraq, who is assigned to the Army's Casualty Notification service. A Q&A session with actor Woody Harrelson and director Oren Moverman takes place afterwards.

Film panels include "Déjà Vu All Again," about issues such as illegal downloads, piracy, and self-distribution affecting the film industry today, similar to the impact on the music business a decade ago. Also available is the "Breaking into Film Scoring" seminar.