SXSW Film Review: 'Born in Chicago'

Archival footage meets contemporary performances in this music doc

SXSW Film Review: 'Born in Chicago'

24 Beats per Second, World Premiere

D: John Anderson; with Barry Goldberg, Sam Lay, Elvin Bishop, Paul Butterfield, Michael Bloomfield, Nick Gravenitas, B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Buddy Guy, and many others

“You cannot play music that hasn’t passed through Chicago.” So declares Marshall Chess, scion of legendary Chess Records and narrator of Born in Chicago, which focuses on “the transition” from the city’s blues giants – Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, et al. – to the very young white musicians who sat at their feet, studied their licks, and took their places among the bands that both extended the tradition and spun off the myriad genres of rock & roll. The film began, said director John Anderson, as a concert film of the Chicago Blues Reunion, and grew into a broader project of Out the Box Records, sustaining the music chronicled here. Fascinating archival footage is mixed with contemporary performances – often yearningly brief. Survivors recount the early South and West side clubs, and inheritors (e.g., Jack White) describe the influence and transformations of the blues as the central matrix of popular forms. Enjoy, and ponder.

Friday, March 15, 5pm, Alamo Ritz

READ MORE
More SXSW Film
SXSW Announces Keynotes, First Speakers
SXSW Announces Keynotes, First Speakers
Geneticist, Transparent creator head up first round

Richard Whittaker, July 25, 2016

SXSW: <i>Lucha Underground</i>
SXSW: Lucha Underground
Wrestling star Johnny Mundo on the gamechanging promotion

Richard Whittaker, March 14, 2016

More SXSW
White House Announces South by South Lawn Lineup
White House Announces South by South Lawn Lineup
Event features Leonardo DiCaprio, Lumineers, Stranger Things cast

Tucker Whatley, Sept. 26, 2016

Fede Alvarez Says <i>Don't Breathe</i>
Fede Alvarez Says Don't Breathe
On Detroit, Uruguay, and shooting that scene

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 26, 2016

More by Michael King
Election Notes
Election Notes
Gallo goes solo on the Grove; don't be like Zim; and other election stories

Sept. 30, 2016

Point Austin: Vote Your Brain
Point Austin: Vote Your Brain
In a crazy political year, the choices for sane voters should be obvious

Sept. 30, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

SXSW Film, SXSW, South by Southwest, Born in Chicago, John Anderson

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)