Get set for the Summer Music Film Festival | WBEZ
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Jim DeRogatis

Get set for the Summer Music Film Festival

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If you, like me, prefer your rock ’n’ roll at night in cool, dark places free of the broiling sun, drenching rain, and oppressive obnoxiousness of the festival scene, you’ll be glad to hear that Sound Opinions has once again partnered with the venerable Music Box Theatre on Southport to present the fourth annual Summer Music Film Festival, starting Friday with Jonathan Demme’s timeless Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense (with Greg Kot and me kicking things off) and running through Tuesday, Aug. 19.

Among my personal picks this summer: Prince’s enduringly campy Purple Rain; Richard Lester’s groundbreaking and still hugely influential A Hard Day’s Night; the new documentary about the legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, Finding Fela, and The 78 Project Movie, a film with Chicago roots about the all-consuming search for rare old 78 rpm discs.

The full schedule follows below, and a portion of the proceeds from all screenings benefit WBEZ/Chicago Public Radio. A five-admission pass is $45, individual tickets are $9 to $12, and more info can be found at

Friday, August 15

A Hard Day’s Night, 3 p.m.

Stop Making Sense, 7 p.m. (hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot) and 9:30

Purple Rain, midnight


Saturday, August 16

Finding Fela, Chicago premier, 2:30 p.m.

The 78 Project Movie, 7 p.m. (Midwest premier with director Alex Steyermark and producer Lavinia Jones Wright)

Good Vibrations, 9:30 p.m.

Purple Rain, midnight

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, midnight


Sunday, August 17

The 78 Project Movie, 3 p.m. (with Alex Steyermark and Lavinia Jones Wright)

Rubber Soul, 7:30 p.m. (Lennon interviews doc, with director Jon Lefkovitz)

A Hard Day’s Night, 9:45 p.m.


Monday, August 18th

God Help the Girl, musical feature directed by Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, 7:30 p.m.

A Hard Day’s Night, 9:45 p.m.


Tuesday, August 19

Stop Making Sense, 7 p.m.

Purple Rain, 9:45 p.m.


Follow me on Twitter @JimDeRogatis, join me on Facebook, and podcast Sound Opinions and Jim + Carmel’s TV + Dinner.

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