Music and Film: Perfect Together

Joni Mitchell and Neil Young performing in The Last Waltz

April 3, 2017 – What do you get when you combine music and film?

Aside from two of my favorite things – or a great soundtrack – if you’re a Philadelphia area resident, you get the WXPN Music Film Festival.

WXPN is a public radio station operated by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, which broadcasts adult alternative music, and may be best known for its World Café music programs. This year’s festival, which ran from March 31 through April 2 at the Prince Theater, celebrated the 25th anniversaries of both the World Café music radio program and the Philadelphia Film Festival. It featured classic concert films as Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense and The Band’s The Last Waltz. It also featured movies about music, like High Fidelity, Singles and Almost Famous.

I attended the viewing of The Last Waltz on Saturday night, and although I’ve seen it several times, the experience of watching it on the big screen, and at the loud volume it was meant to be shown, made the great concert film even better. Martin Scorsese directed the film, which chronicles The Band’s farewell performance in 1976, and features guest appearances by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and several other notable artists.

The WXPN Music Festival and Philadelphia Film Festival are perfect ways to celebrate the spring and the fall each year. The Music Film Festival takes place each March/April, and the Philadelphia Film Festival in September/October.

WXPN Film Festival kicks off this week

imagesApril 9, 2013 – The second annual WXPN Film Festival is back.

A collaboration between WXPN, the listener-sponsored radio station that broadcasts from the University of Pennsylvania campus and the Philadelphia Film Society, the festival begins Thursday and runs through Sunday.

This year’s event features 17 musical films (documentaries, musician biopics and movies with great soundtracks), live music performances and a variety of other activities, such as an audience sing-along to the musical “Grease”.

The festival kicks off at the Annenburg-Zellerbach Center (36th & Walnut Streets) with the “Good Ol’ Freda”, the documentary about Freda Kelly who worked as the Beatles’ secretary for 11 years. After the screening there will be an opening night party featuring Philly’s AfroDJiak playing songs by the Fab Four. I’ll be there to cover the event and will review the film on Friday.

To purchase tickets or review a complete lineup of movies and activities, visit http://www.xpn.org/events/music-filmfest.

Music and film: Perfect together

April 13, 2012 – What do you get when you combine movies and music?

Aside from two of my favorite things – or a really great soundtrack – if you’re an area resident of Philadelphia, you get the first-ever WXPN Music Film Festival.

WXPN is a public radio station operated by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, which broadcasts adult alternative music, and may be best known for its World Café music programs. The popular radio station is well-known for introducing new and local artists to listeners by broadcast and the variety of concerts and music festivals held in the area; an event combining both music and movies is a first for the station and the Philadelphia scene.

The XPN festival, produced by the Philadelphia Film Society, and sponsored by the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, The University of Pennsylvania, The Wyncote Foundation, and Philadelphia Weekly, features four days of rockumentaries and biopics about musicians, beginning April 26. View the complete list of 25 films here. 

Most screenings will show at the Annenberg Center, located at 3680 Walnut Street in University City, and selected others, either at the TLA, located at 334 South Street in Philadelphia, or the World Café Live, located at 3025 Walnut Street in University City. The cost of individual tickets is $12 for general admission, $8 for students and members, or an all-access badge may be purchased for $125.

For more information on the festival, visit www.xpn.org.