Trailers for the music-related documentaries at the New Orleans Film Festiva.

jingle bell rocks poster

[Updated] The New Orleans Film Festival started Thursday night and continues until next Thursday. Last year, Lily Keber's The Bayou Maharajah ended the festival on a local note, and this year will ended similarly when Joe Lauro’s documentary The Big Beat on the music of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew screens at The Carver Theater. Between now and then, there are a number of music-related documentaries worthy of your attention, as well as a collection of music videos that will screen Tuesday at 8:15 p.m. at the Contemporary Arts Center..

For a complete schedule and tickets, go to

Jon Brewer’s B.B. King: Life of Riley will show Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in the Musicians’ Village. That show is free, and there will be a second showing Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at the Prytania Theatre

Saturday night at 5 p.m. at Canal Place 1, The Case of the Three-Sided Dream tells the story of blind avant-garde saxophone player Rahsaan Roland Kirk, who continued to perform even after a 1975 stroke left him partially paralyzed.
There will be an encore screening Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. at Canal Place 2.

Singer Edwyn Collins is best known for his song, “A Girl Like You,” which appeared in the movie Empire Records. In 2005, he suffered a stroke and was only able to say “yes,” “no,” “Grace Maxwell”—his wife’s name—and “The possibilities are endless.” The Possibilities are Endless tells the story of his efforts to regain language and his life. It shows Sunday at noon at Canal Place 1 and Wednesday at 6 at Canal Place 8.

Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. at Canal Place 2, Jingle Bell Rocks! looks at the world of Christmas music with an emphasis on its more unusual manifestations. I’ve long contended that Christmas music occupies a far more complicated place music culture than it’s given credit for, and it’s more important. Singing great Johnny Mathis recent said, “Christmas music is so important [to my career],” he said in an interview. “Every year, people are listening to my Christmas music, so that means they remember me and I don’t have to beat the bushes as much as I have to to let people know Hey! Hey! I’m still here. Because my music is played at Christmas time, my next few concerts after that are filled. It means a lot. It’s a big career boost.” He released four albums of new Christmas music and one compilation over the course of his career, and his first, Merry Christmas, charted 28 times between 1958 and 1999. His second, Sounds of Christmas, charted five times at ins included in the new Mathis box set, The Complete Global Albums.
There will be an encore presentation Monday at 8 p.m. at Canal Place 2.

Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark examines the cultural importance of the singer, who was the only Black television star when The Nat King Cole Show aired in 1954. It shows Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Prytania, and there will be a free screening Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center.

NAT KING COLE - AFRAID OF THE DARK from Cardinal Releasing Ltd on Vimeo

We Won’t Bow Down enters the world of Mardi Gras Indians Monday at 6:15 p.m. at the Joy Theater.
There will be an encore screening Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the Prytania.

When Alex Chilton died in 2010, one of the more unusual careers in rock ’n’ roll came to a premature end. In 2012, the Big Star documentary Nothing Can Hurt Me was released shining a light on one phase of Chilton’s career. Earlier this year, Holly George-Warren’s Chilton biography A Man Called Destruction told a larger tale, and at the film festival, Big Star: Live in Memphis tells one of the last chapters, capturing the final incarnation of the band with original members Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens joined by Posies Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer. It shows Monday at 9 p.m. at the Joy Theater and Wednesday at 10 p.m. at the Prytania.

Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at Canal Place 9, The Last Kamikazis of Heavy Metal tells the story of the Chicago-based band Hessler, and follows them on a couple of tours that don’t go quite as planned. At times the film presents the band as awkwardly close to a real life Spinal Tap, but there’s more to the story.

The Big Beat focuses on the musical relationship between Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew, and it’s more poignant after the passing of Cosimo Matassa, who recorded them at his J&M Studios. The film is produced and written by Rick Coleman, who wrote the Domino biography Blue Monday. It shows at the Carver Theater Thursday night at 7 and 10 p.m.

Updated October 20, 3:50 p.m.

The information on We Won't Bow Down lacked details about Monday's screening. The information has been updated.