CIMMfest rocks with cool retro movie showcases

The Clash’s Paul Simonon performing in 1979

Chicago’s spring showcase, CIMMfest 7, kicks off Thursday with spectacular music, films and kick ass concerts including a number of tantalizing Old School looks back at the punks, the pioneers and the punters that started it all.

On Saturday afternoon, the BAADASSSS Award will be presented to renowned director and UK music-head, Julien Temple, showcasing a selection of his best films and videos.

Temple, who stayed true to the ideas and principles of the original UK punk movement, is an outspoken and respected filmmaker whose films celebrate the power and the passion of musical inspiration.

To name a few: Temple’s bravura “Absolute Beginners” in glorious 35 mm; his Hollywood/MTV styled musical adaptation of music mad 1950s London (featuring David Bowie, Sade and Ray Davies); two documentaries on UK legends “The Kinks,” and the Chicago premiere of the SXSW hit The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson.”

Tickets are selling fast for these premium shows.

The Old School charm continues

“Basically, Johnny Moped” looks back at the band’s ‘70s punk impact (including band members Captain Sensible, iconic guitarist for The Damned, and Chrissie Hynde), “The Dicks from Texas,” showcasing the self-described “commie faggot band” from Texas, The Dicks and their DIY angry weirdness.

There’s also plus the Chicago premiere of “Danny Says” on the life and times of Danny Fields (manager for such ground-breaking artists like The Stooges, the MC5 and The Ramones. 

If this isn’t enough Old School music flashbacks, “Hardcore Devo Live” celebrates the seminal art-rock heroes DEVO reclaiming their musical past. The original “Truth about Devolution” short film will accompany this new feature showcase on Saturday with a set of Devo covers performed by The Gomers at The Emporium in Wicker Park after the film.

The Clash’s Joe Strummer is featured in “I Need A Dodge! Joe Strummer On The Run,” along with the ‘70s art punk provocateurs, The Mekons chronicled in Chicago native Joe Angio’s engaging documentary, “Revenge of the Mekons” completing the  gritty, in-your-face Old School cinema action.  

 Julien GrantCIMMfest is partnering with the overarching, all-inclusive arts Lake FX Summit + Expo, sponsored by DCASE (the Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Special Events) at venues up and down Milwaukee Avenue.   

Click here for tickets and schedules for these premium shows.


Reel Chicago welcomes Julian Grant as a regular columnist. He is a tenured professor at Columbia College Chicago in the Cinema Art + Science department. Email him at