Every year, in late April, our Matt invariably goes missing for a weekend. When he does make his way back to the store on Monday morning, he has dilated pupils and a big smile on his face.
It’s not what you think.
Blame it on the Nashville Film Festival, an eight-day festival where this year local cinephiles like Matt can take in up to 250 movies and short films, shedding light on stories and subjects from around the world and close to home.
Among the latter is Bobby Bare Jr., a local musician and friend of many at our store, whose hard-partying, hard-charging life on the road and at home here in Nashville is dissected in the new film Don’t Follow Me (I’m Lost).
Bobby’s film was directed and has been tirelessly promoted by William “Hank” Miller, who shot the movie using a variety of formats, including Super 16m, 16mm, Super 8, and HD. As for the content, this is his official description:
“Don’t Follow Me is a film about Bobby Bare Jr., but it’s not a concert film. Rather, it’s a gritty fly-on-the-wall look at the ups-and-downs of a touring musician: the endless driving, the monotony of the road, the lack of stability, and the constant separation and disconnect from loved ones back home. It’s a portrait of a man, doing the only thing he knows to provide for his children and keep his world afloat. There’s more that goes into being a performer than getting up in front of a crowd, and it’s not all pretty.”
Though Miller put in hard time, touring with Bobby and crew for months and shooting copious amounts of film, he was not alone in bringing the production to live. The film was quarterbacked by Miller’s NYU advisor, the legendary director D.A. Pennebaker (Don’t Look Back, Monterey Pop) and features music supervision by Joe Rudge (George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Blue Valentine). Pretty great company to be in, if you ask us.
Bobby’s mug isn’t the only face in the movie that will be familiar to followers of the local music scene. There are appearances by and interviews with Justin Townes Earle, members of My Morning Jacket, David Vandervelde, Carey Kotsionis, Blue Giant, Hayes Carll, Duane Denison, and, of course, his famous country songwriter dad, Bobby Bare, Sr. (Check out a few of them talking up BBJr in the video above.)
The world premiere of Don’t Follow Me is, fittingly, here in Nashville, Bobby’s hometown, and where he hangs his cowboy hat (you’ll see it in the film) when he’s not speeding across the country in his tour van, heading to the next gig. Tickets to the 6 pm screening at the Regal Cinemas in Green Hills on Friday, April 20, are available at www.nashvillefilmfestival.org.
Because one is never quite enough with BBJr’s crew, there’s a second screening at 1 pm the next day at The Basement (owner Mike Grimes is in the movie). This event will celebrate not only the life and times of Bobby Junior, but also national Record Store Day.
Finally, as a way to give our thanks to Bobby and all the local musicians who make our city a more melodious place to live, i+w is opening our backyard to the film’s cast and crew this Sunday during store hours (1-5 pm) for a celebration of their hard work, and, of course, music. Bobby and a few of his friends will start strumming at about 2 pm. BYOB and blanket!