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Audiophile Offerings 

Previewing the films with a musical slant from this year's Sundance lineup.

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MIRAMAX FILMS
  • Miramax Films

Just because Sundance is back to virtual for their second year in a row doesn't mean you can't still have a real Sundance time with the online programming. With streaming events scheduled out for the next two weeks, the viewings are just as exclusive and you still need tickets to see them—and a schedule of must-see films handy. So, not that different from normal Sundance—all that's missing is driving up the canyon dodging out-of-towners who've never driven up a hill.

As for things to watch, we've got the music nerds covered. Read below for the must-see films for the musically obsessed.

jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy
It would be moot to say that this Sundance premiere film is for the Kanye super fans, because it seems almost everyone has some kind of opinion or interest in the famous hip hop artist, who rose to fame in the early 2000s with some of the biggest and most brilliant music in the genre. While we may be used to trilogies in the franchise film movement, jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy is a definitive new look into the life and career of Kanye West that takes the longform trilogy model to the documentary sphere—as it should, since the scenes depicted in jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy span so much time they need the space.

The documentary calls back to the earliest days of Ye, when, as it's told, a 21-year-old West was interviewed by Clarence "Coodie" Simmons at the birthday party of Jermaine Dupri in 1998. Inspired by the interview and the film Hoop Dreams, Coodie felt compelled to keep up with West, following him from West's Chicago to New York City, filming all along the way—ranging from West's early producer days to his landing a record deal to having his jaw wired shut after a car accident and recording "Through The Wire" with said jaw still wired shut.

There's no assurance that the documentary-like music video for that song, which was directed by Coodie and his partner Chike Ozah, will have much in common with this much larger project by the two directors, but one thing's sure: jeen-yuhs will show us the life of Kanye West as it's never been seen before. View online at festival.sundance.org, Sunday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.; Tuesday, Jan. 25, 24-hour "second screening" window beginning at 8 a.m.

32 Sounds
An immersive documentary on sound and "how it affects our conscious and unconscious lives," this New Frontier performance-art piece blends documentary with live performance. Filmmaker Sam Green has shown this kind of work before—namely on works like 7 Sounds, another experimental sound piece, "something like a cross between a radio documentary, a sound walk and ASMR," which showed at Sundance in 2021.

This newer version features a more robust collection of "sounds," and in a post on his website about the making of the documentary, Green shares a board of words on white stock cards—"ice rink," "breath," "Phil Glass," "Doppler Effect," "wind chime" and "JD (interlude)." Whether these are all actual sounds in the doc remains to be seen ... or heard. But the last one on that list will definitely be there—compositions from JD Samson of Le Tigre and MEN are featured, as they were in 7 Sounds. Samson will perform compositions live for audiences tuning in, and said audiences are encouraged to listen with high quality personal headphones to truly appreciate "a cinematic poem about the power of sound to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception of the world." In a time where many are once again hunkering down into isolation, we could definitely use some world-bending chances at connection. View online at festival.sundance.org, Thursday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m.; Thursday, Jan. 27 at 11:30 a.m.; Friday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m.

Meet Me In The Bathroom
Here's a documentary to make elder millennials feel older than they're probably already starting to feel. Meet Me In The Bathroom is a film adapted from the book of the same name, written by Lizzy Goodman and released in 2017, which Pitchfork called "the juiciest book on rock 'n' roll in years." Certainly, the film adaptation brings even more life to the hugely detailed, 600-page account of our most recent romantic age of high rock 'n' roll—the first ten years of the 2000s.

The film, directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace (of Shut Up and Play the Hits) follows the post-9/11 musical landscape in New York City's Lower East Side, which, while plagued by industry ills and MTV obsession, still birthed a new movement of music anyways. Come for the never-before-seen footage of bands like The Moldy Peaches, LCD Soundsystem and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and stay for the tell-all stories. Spanning the years 2001 - 2011, Meet Me In The Bathroom is the perfect throwback to the birth of indie as we know it, whether you were there for it or not. View online at festival.sundance.org, Sunday, Jan. 23 at 11:55 p.m.; Tuesday, Jan. 25 "second screening" window beginning at 8 a.m.

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About The Author

Erin Moore

Erin Moore

Bio:
Erin Moore is City Weekly's music editor. Email tips to: music@cityweekly.net.

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