Cult Film Faves for Music Lovers
Cult Film Faves for Music Lovers

People looked at my early pictures and called them the most disgusting things ever, and now ‘Hairspray’ is being done at every school in Britain and America – John Waters


From Donnie Darko, to Eraserhead, and the forever classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, cult movies are there for times of need, times of stress, or just when you need to decompress. What better way than watching a cult movie fave to while away the hours? Cult films are little gems that offer new perspective, cutting edge directing and great dialogue. They have shaped the way movies are made and broken taboos and mores while providing social commentary or just outright entertainment. Without further ado, here are some new classics to check out, dealing with music in one shape or another.


Beware of Mr. Baker


From producer Erik H. Gordon (American Masters, Ghetto Klown), and director Jay Bulger (CounterPunch, We Are), Beware of Mr. Baker is a 2012 documentary that explores the story behind famed Cream drummer and famously forever off his rocks, Ginger Baker. Baker hit early success with Cream and Blind Faith. But success proved a vile mistress for Baker, whose predilection for drugs, bad finances and overall bad boy rock’n’ roll behavior led to a life full of tumult. And thus was born this instant classic.


Searching for Sugarman


From writer and director Malik Bendjellou, this documentary is similar to Baker in that it centers around the career of the American musician Rodriguez, whose fame rose to a peak in South Africa in the late 1960s and throughout 1970s before he disappeared, with rumors pointing to a suicide. Two fans from Capetown (Stephen “Sugar” Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom) attempt to discover the true fate of the musician. Their journey brings them to unexpected places as the search takes on a series of captivating twists. The film won an Academy Award as well as a BAFTA.


Velvet Goldmine


The last film is not a documentary but a riotous, lust filled, rock and roll extravaganza that follows the fictional pop star (think Bowie and Iggy Pop) Brian Slade during the glamrock days of the early 1970s. Set in Britain, the film has an all-star cast including Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Toni Collette, and Eddie Izzard. It was directed by Todd Haynes, who also directed Far From Heaven and  I’m Not There, a Bob Dylan biopic.


These cult movies provide a great glimpse into the music of an era, ranging from rock to glamrock and folk. They will not only entertain but also educate the viewer about music and film and how the two can work seamlessly together to create a visually arresting and captivating statement.