The sounds of Berlin and Beyond - Page 2

Monks and Einsturzende Neubauten docs prick up Germanophile ears at this year's film fest.
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Whatever you make of songs like "Higgle-dy Piggle-dy" (lyrics: "Higgle-dy piggle-dy, way down to heaven, yeah!"), there's no denying the ballad of the Monks comes fully stuffed with rock 'n' roll lore. Dietmar Post and Lucia Palacios's lively doc Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback tracks down all the band members, now in advanced middle age and living quiet lives that barely hint at their prepunk pasts (drummer Roger Johnston passed away after filming his interviews). All five are given equal time to reflect as well as share impressive caches of memorabilia (especially photos with detailed captions) that suggest someone, at least, was aware that the Monks' lightning-in-a-bottle moment would later be eagerly revisited by future devotees of incredibly strange music. A reunion concert — marking the group's first-ever stateside show — nudges the film in a Bands Reunited direction, but for the most part Monks is propelled by the triumphs of the group's past, which include 30-year-old tunes that still sound wholly creative (and ever so off-putting) even today. (Cheryl Eddy)

Jan. 17, 3 p.m. Castro Theatre, 429 Castro, SF. $6–$9. (415) 621-6120, www.castrotheatre.com

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