A few times a year, certain events occur in Copenhagen that make even the most passionate advocates of Netflix ‘n chill leave their cosy apartments and slap on their culture vulture hats instead. This time around, it’s CPH:DOX, the city’s annual documentary festival—which is basically the closest thing we’ve got to a film fest on steroids. Yeah, CPH:DOX screens the expected assortment of excellent docs about depressing things like Chinese workers with black lung and all that. However, the best thing about the festival is the seriously ambitious programming: for ten days, the city is all a-buzz with concerts, lectures, parties, conferences and films that touch on a dense variety of themes.
Naturally, one of those themes is music. Rejoice, music lovers, rejoice. However, with a festival as huge as CPH:DOX, there’s an overwhelming amount of music-focused documentaries to choose from—so we thought we’d do you a favour. Seeing as the festival is a few days in, we’ll relieve you of the responsibility of blindly choosing music films to drop your hard-earned kroner on. Here’s our list of the best music docs we’ve seen so far.
B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin
Are you that guy who often hops on a Berlin-bound EasyJet to lose your mind at Berghain for three days straight? Great—this film is pretty much made for you. Are you the opposite guy, who has somehow managed to avoid being infected with Berlinmania? Great—this film is pretty much made for turning you into EasyJet-Berghain guy. B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin captures the 80s in West Berlin through the lens of Mark Reeder—whose name you may recognize as the founder of MFS Records and Factory Records’ German rep. His memories take you through everything from krautrock to synthwave to techno, as well as show you intimate snippets of music legends like Nick Cave. Through a combination of archival footage of a rowdy and raw West Berlin and recreated scenes from Reeder’s memory, B-Movie manages to infect you with the long-gone, IDGAF spirit of West Berlin's music scene. Watch this film and you’re pretty much guaranteed to leave pulling out your smartphone, ready to book that EasyJet flight to Berlin.
Søn. 15/11, 21:30 - Grand Teatret
Born to Lose—A Film About Lorenzo Woodrose
You may know Uffe Lorenzen aka Lorenzo Woodrose as the frontman of legendary psych rock band Spids Nøgenhat and the equally psychedelic Baby Woodrose. However, perhaps you know him as a friendly bartender at Frederiksberg’s classic drinking joint, Café Svejk. That closer, more intimate version of him is what you get in Born to Lose—a film that follows Lorenzo through several years as Spids Nøgenhat slowly rises out of the underground into more of the mainstream. The film itself feels quite meditative in an understandably psychedelic way, which leaves space and room for the most important thing to flourish: a relatable and human exploration into somebody you’d usually only see on the periphery.
Tor. 19/11, 19:30 - DOX:ON:TOUR Viften
Ah, the weird and wonderful world of heavy metal. A world of blood-curling growls; of heavy-duty makeup that people spend hours toiling over; of flames spouted on stage, of stadiums filled to the brims with dudes with braided beards and other types you'd rarely encounter in actual life. Yes, those stereotypes are entertaining but also dehumanizing for metal as a genre—which is why Monsterman is such a relief. The film is about Lordi, the Finnish heavy metal musician who somehow managed to win Eurovision in 2006. Although his combination of hellish makeup and intense disposition charmed audiences back then, he's now broke and struggling making his heavy metal dreams come to fruition. It's hard to remain indifferent to a guy who's just trying to follow his dreams, however different from yours they may be, but the film goes beyond that. It shows you how cute Lordi is with his mom, for chrissakes, and basically humanizes him and the heavy metal genre to the point where you'll be leaving the threatre practically in tears rooting for Lordi. This is a tear-jerker in a very, very good way.
Lør. 14/11, 21:30 - Nordisk Film Palads
Tir. 17/11, 19:00 - DOX:ON:TOUR Korsør Biograf Teater
Waiting for B
Think about the most die-hard fan you know. Imagine their commitment, their passion, the money they've spent on things like band t-shirts and really, really overpriced concert tickets. Well, all of that won't even compare to the kinds of fans you'll see in Waiting for B—a documentary about the people who waited in line for 2 months (!!!) for a Beyonce concert in Brazil. On the one hand... yeah, these people are kind of nuts. Yet on the other hand, you can't help but feel for them as you watch them embrace the outcasts, the superfreaks, the weirdos and everyone else waiting for Beyonce into one big family united by love for Queen Bey. If you're going to pick one feel-good music doc to see, this is probably it.
Ons. 11/11, 21:45 - Bremen Teater
Søn. 15/11, 17:30 - Nordisk Film Palads