February WPRB Film Series Will Explore Alternative Music

Members of the legendary Memphis band Big Star.
Members of the legendary Memphis band Big Star.


A series of films exploring alternative music will be screened during February at Princeton Public Library. The series is co-sponsored by the Princeton Public Library and WPRB-FM  103.3.

Films include:

Monday, Feb. 2 – “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me”

This feature-length documentary tells the story of legendary Memphis band Big Star. While mainstream success eluded them, Big Star’s three albums have become critically lauded touchstones of the rock music canon. A seminal band in the history of alternative music, Big Star has been cited as an influence by artists including REM, The Replacements, Belle & Sebastian, Elliot Smith and Flaming Lips, to name just a few. The film features never-before-seen footage and photos of the band, in-depth interviews and a rousing musical tribute by the bands they inspired. 2 hours

Monday, Feb. 16 – “A Band Called Death”

Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was a band called Death. Punk before punk existed, three teenage brothers in the early ’70s formed a band and began playing a few local gigs and pressed a single in the hopes of getting signed. But in the era of Motown and emerging disco, record companies found Death’s music and band name too intimidating and the group was never given a fair shot, disbanding before finishing an album. This film chronicles the fairy-tale journey of what happened almost three decades later, when a dusty 1974 demo tape made its way out of the attic and found an audience several generations younger. Playing music impossibly ahead of its time, Death is now being credited as the first punk band and its members are finally receiving recognition as rock pioneers. 1 hour, 38 minutes.

Monday, Feb. 23 – Film and Discussion: “Tropicalia”

In this documentary, director Marcelo Machado explores the Brazilian artistic movement known as Tropicalia that took shape in the 1960s, its political reach and the struggles of its artists. 1 hour, 27 minutes. Dan Buskirk of WPRB will lead a post-screening discussion of “Tropicalia.”

The free screenings will be held at 7 p.m. in the library’s community room.