We’ve asked the filmmakers for the 11th annual Oxford Film Festival the same five questions. Meet Robert Parker, co-director of Meanwhile in Memphis: The Sound of a Revolution. This film will be screening Friday, Feb.7 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 9 at 4:00 p.m.
#1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.
MEANWHILE IN MEMPHIS: THE SOUND OF A REVOLUTION is a Memphis music documentary featuring maverick bluff city DIY musicians from 1978 to present day. The film documents the fact that Memphis music never stopped (even after Stax Records closed, Elvis died, & the music industry left town).
The film tracks the history of the city’s independent underground in the post-Stax era, focusing on influential figures like Jim Dickinson (producer / played piano on sessions for the Rolling Stones & Bob Dylan), Alex Chilton (The Box Tops / Big Star / The Panther Burns), Monsieur Jeffery Evans (68 Comeback), the Oblivians, the Grifters, Al Kapone, the North Mississippi Allstars, Jay Reatard, Jack O, The Reigning Sound, Tav Falco among others. Voices include Sid Selvidge, Ben Nichols (Lucero), Jody Stephens (Big Star), Craig Brewer (HUSTLE & FLOW), Eric Friedl (Goner Records), Alicja Trout (The River City Tanlines) and many others.
#2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?
I learned many valuable lessons while making this film, but the biggest would be letting the story be formulated by those being intereviewed. As a documentary film director, the subjects you interview are the screenwriters and it is their story to tell. Best part of getting the film made was realising that we are spotlighting and giving recognition to many modern Memphis musicians who deserve it.
#3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?
I have no previous experience making movies, but I have always been a musician with an interest in archiving things. As a long time guitarist in Memphis, I have been interested in the past and present history of Memphis music. This documentary was a very a natural idea.
#4 What do you want the Oxford Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title or description?
I want them to know that this film is for anyone with an interest in modern Memphis music or modern creative Southern music in general.
#5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?
Myself and co-director Nan Hackman will be showing our film at some other festivals and then looking into TV and online exhibition.
To learn more, visit the Meanwhile in Memphis website.