Chicago’s CIMMfest bills itself as a festival “where movies and music meet” and it takes that description seriously. That meeting, however, can take a lot of different forms. In this, CIMMfest’s sixth year, events include everything from music documentaries to music-themed features to concerts to discussion panels to unique fusions of film and music. I’ve been going since the fest’s first year, and it’s been exciting to watch it grow. There’s a kick-off party tonight, and then the fest takes over a stretch of Milwaukee Avenue connecting Logan Square and Wicker Park.
This year The Dissolve signed on as a media partner for CIMMfest, which basically means you’ll see us introducing some events and conducting Q&As after them (and just generally hanging around the festival). Specifically, Nathan Rabin will be at Boyce & Hart: The Guys Who Wrote ’Em (about the famed songwriters behind many of The Monkees’ biggest hits), Pleased To Meet Me (a feature film inspired by a This American Life story and starring Aimee Mann), Jingle Bell Rocks! (which uncovers the story behind popular Christmas songs), and Led Zeppelin Played Here (a documentary from “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” director Jeff Krulik about the fabled night Led Zeppelin played a Maryland youth center—maybe). You’ll find me at Every Everything: The Life, Music, & Times Of Grant Hart (a doc about the punk stalwart and former Hüsker Dü member), and A Life In The Death Of Joe Meek (a documentary about the troubled genius behind some of Britain’s most stunning ’60s productions). Additionally, I’ll be moderating the panel “Reaching Critical Mass: Film Critics Facing The Digital Age.”
But, like all great festivals, there’s much more going on at CIMMfest, including a set from Yo La Tengo, Wrekmeister Harmonies providing a live score to Haxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages, an appearance from the immortal Booker T. Jones, blues documentaries from Robert Gordon, and an appearance from Goblin providing a live score to a screening of Suspiria. (The phrase “once-in-a-lifetime” gets thrown around pretty lightly, but it surely applies to that last event.) Here’s a link to the festival’s website. We hope to see you there.