Film Forum

Filmworks Fans Love Music Docs

John Scheinfeld’s “Chasing Trane,” about the impact of jazz great John Coltrane, is only one of many popular music documentaries Filmworks has shown over the years. (Credit: Abramorama)

On May 12, Filmworks will close its 2016-17 season and head into a 3-month summer break by presenting the music documentary “Chasing Trane,” a documentary exploring the life, work, and influence of jazz icon John Coltrane. The film features interviews with legendary musicians and rare performance footage from Trane himself.

Los Angeles Times critic Noel Murray says “Chasing Trane,” which is directed by journeyman filmmaker and screenwriter John Scheinfeld, “ought to appeal to longtime fans as well as neophytes.”

It won’t be the first time that Filmworks has shared an intimate look on film at a musician or group of musicians. Since our founding, we have previously shown at least nine music documentaries of varying styles and approaches. For Filmworks completists, here’s your homework list:

“20 Feet from Stardom” (October 2013) — The Morgan Neville doc about the underappreciated backup female backup singers behind some of the greatest hits of all time.

“Following the Ninth” (May 2014) — Following the footsteps of Beethoven’s famed final symphony and its transformation of people’s lives.

“Lightning in a Bottle” (January 2005) — The Antoine Fuqua doc about legendary B.B. King and the blues, shot at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

“Miss Sharon Jones!” (October 2016) — A powerful documentation of the most intense and courageous year in the life of the iconic soul diva Sharon Jones and her band, the Dap-Kings.

“The Music of Strangers” (November 2016) — Opening night of the 2016 Fresno Film Festival featured this intimate look at Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.

“Searching for Sugar Man” (November 2012) — The Oscar-winning doc about the unheralded and nearly forgotten Detroit singer/songwriter Sixto Rodriguez.

“Standing in the Shadows of Motown” (April 2003) — The story of the Funk Brothers, a group of Detroit-based musicians for most Motown recordings from 1959 to 1972.

“The U.S. vs. John Lennon” (December 2006) — Long before “Chasing Trane,” John Scheinfeld co-directed this thrilling account of the former Beatle’s political dissent.

“The Wrecking Crew” (May 2015) — The Denny Tedesco doc about the unsung session musicians behind the most popular pop songs of the 1960s and early ’70s.

Jefferson Beavers serves as development director for Filmworks.

Every second Friday of the month, Fresno Filmworks screens first-run independent and international movies at the historic Tower Theatre.