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Most Thrilling Musicians on Film

Reel Music Festival showcase begins

1/21/2020, 9:49 a.m.
Beloved Reel Music Festival features a line-up of cutting-edge work focused on some of today’s—and yesteryear’s—most thrilling musicians.
Aretha Franklin’s film “Amazing Grace,” finished in late 2018, captures the late Queen of Soul at her captivating best, recording a gospel album in 1975 at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. The film will screen Sunday, Jan. 26 at 4:30 p.m. as part of the Northwest Film Center’s Reel Music Festival at the Portland Art Museum. Photo courtesy Amazing Grace Movie LLC

The 37th edition of Portland’s beloved Reel Music Festival takes off this week featuring a line-up of cutting-edge work focused on some of today’s—and yesteryear’s—most thrilling musicians.

Whether in new films detailing careers and legacies or in archival films unspooling some of the greatest concert footage ever committed to celluloid, Reel Music strives to unearth the best in music-on-film.

Aretha Franklin’s “Amazing Grace,” completed in 2018 after 40 years of languishing, is one of the festival’s highlights, capturing the late Queen of Soul at her captivating best, recording a gospel album in 1975 at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. The film will show on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 4:30 p.m.

More than two dozen films in total, from jazz, blues, folk, rock, electronic, world, classical—and anything between—are scheduled over the course of the festival through Feb. 16, all at the Whitsell Auditorium at the Portland Art Museum, downtown. Admission is $10 and $8 for students and seniors. For a complete schedule, visit nwfilm.org.