Sound Unseen film/music/art fest reveals 2015 lineup

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Mavis! was a smash hit at South by Southwest

Now in its 16th year, Sound Unseen film/music/art festival — the film fest for music people — kicks off Wednesday, November 11, and wraps Sunday, November 15.

The 30-plus showings should entice anyone from any corner of the art world, especially the opening night Minnesota premiere of Mavis!, a biographical documentary of soul legend Mavis Staples and her family band, the Staples Singers. Directed by Jessica Edwards, who will be at McNally Smith for screening, the film was a South by Southwest hit, and it features interviews with Jeff Tweedy, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, and Minnesota figureheads Prince and Bob Dylan.

In addition to Mavis!, highlights of Sound Unseen include I Am Thor, which chronicles the trials of a failed costume-rock act from Canada; Breaking A Monster, a doc that centers on seventh grade metal band Unlocking the Truth and their 70-year-old manager; Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead, Wes Orshoski's love letter to punk-rock legends the Damned; and Made in Japan, the oddball story of Japanese country star Tomi Fujiyama.

Showings will spread to three other locations across the five-day bash, with screenings at Trylon Microcinema (8), Bryant Lake Bowl Theatre (4), and Amsterdam Bar & Hall (1), Sunday's Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai, a Tuarge/Tamashek homage to "Purple Rain." Organizers are teasing TBA music guests to coincide with Mavis! and Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead, so stay tuned for those surprises. 

Tickets — typically $10-$25 per screening — go on sale Friday, October 16. Though the festival will surely spread into peripheral events and venues, the list below constitutes the full list of showings at Sound Unseen 2015. Get more details here.

Wednesday, November 11

8 p.m., Mavis!, McNally Smith College of Music (TBA music guest)

Thursday, November 12

7 p.m.: No Manifesto: A Film on Manic Street Preacher, Trylon Microcinema

7 p.m.: Rocksteppy, Bryant Lake Bowl Theatre

7:15 p.m.:The Scorpions: Forever and a Day, McNally Smith

9 p.m.: Keep in Touch, Trylon

9:15 p.m.: Sound Unseen’s Secret Screening, McNally Smith College of Music

9:30 p.m.: I Am Thor, Bryant Lake Bowl

Friday, November 13

7 p.m.: Heart of a Dog, Trylon

7:15 p.m.: The Glamour & The Squalor, McNally Smith

9 p.m.: Live From UB, Trylon

9:15 p.m.: Theory of Obscurity: A Film about The Residents, McNally Smith

Saturday, November 14

1:15 p.m.: Landfill Harmonic, McNally Smith

3:15 p.m.: Breaking a Monster, McNally Smith

5:15 p.m.: Morphine: Journey of Dreams, McNally Smith College of Music

7 p.m.: Revival: The Sam Bush Story, Trylon

7:15 p.m.: The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead, McNally Smith (TBA music guest)

9 p.m.: What’s Happening! The Beatles in the USA, Trylon

9:15 p.m.: As I AM: The Life & Times of DJ AM, McNally Smith

Sunday, November 15

1:15 p.m.: Made in Japan, McNally Smith

3:15 p.m.: Sound Unseen Shorts Program, McNally Smith

5:00 p.m.: Soldiers of Music: Rostropovich Returns to Russia, Trylon

5:15 p.m.: The Winding Stream, McNally Smith

6:30 p.m.: Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai (Rain The Color Of Blue With A Little Red In It), Amsterdam Bar & Hall

7 p.m.: Gimme Shelter, Trylon

7 p.m.: Never Get Tired, Bryant Lake Bowl

9:30 p.m.: Revolution, Riot Grrrl Style, Bryant Lake Bowl


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