BRADENTON – Film Fridays returns to the South Florida Museum this Friday night. The featured movie this week will be 20 Feet From Stardom. The 2014 film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The 90-minute production tells the story of some of the unsung heroes of pop music – background singers.
The relaunched Film Fridays series adds a vital new entertainment option to downtown Bradenton. The events are held in the museum's recently-upgraded planetarium, now equipped with state of the art audio that makes for a particularly-pleasing experience when the film has a musical component.
Two weeks back, I took in the Pete Seeger bio-doc, Pete Seeger: The Power of Song. Not only was it an excellent film, but the showing was preceded by an hour of live music by a local trio of young musicians, who were quite good. This week's show will also include a live opening act.
It was nice to see this wonderful venue being put to such good use, while providing aspiring local musicians with a top-notch venue. The acoustics in the planetarium are excellent, and the absence of the smoke or loud chatter you usually have to endure at a bar made it one of the most memorable local performances I've taken in in quite some time.
I caught a screening of 20 Feet From Stardom a few months back. It's an engaging and informative documentary that sheds light on a subject that even devout music fans often take little time to consider. The film introduces the audience to some of their favorite, if unknown voices – successful background singers, many of whom were essential components on their favorite songs and whose voices will be instantly recognizable on hit tracks. The film also explores the demise of the background singer in the age of digital music.
The film is rated PG-13. Live music will begin at 6 p.m. and the movie starts at 7. Tickets are $5 General Admission and $3 Member Admission. Seating is limited and many shows sell out, so I'd recommend buying tickets in advance at the museum website or call 941-746-4131, ext. 0 to purchase them over the phone.