Sundance Channel spotlights the creative fusion of music and film in October with "Hi-Fi Fridays," which returns for a second year of music-based feature films and original programming. This year, "Hi-Fi Fridays" presents the television premieres of three outstanding recent feature documentaries that look at – and listen to – the people who make music. "Sonic Cinema," hosted by Thurston Moore of the pioneering New York group Sonic Youth, looks at the harmonic convergence of music and film and also introduces viewers to the musicians, filmmakers and other independent artists involved in the creation of musical images.

Fresh from its critically hailed appearance at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, Mark Moormann's Tom Dowd and the Language of Music is an exhilarating portrait of the innovative recording engineer/producer Tom Dowd. Dowd is credited with helping to shape the sound of Ray Charles, Cream, Aretha Franklin, the Allman Brothers, Otis Redding, John Coltrane and many other musical greats.

Justin Mitchell's Songs For Cassavetes looks at the still-thriving world of underground music, capturing the scene's do-it-yourself energy in concert footage and interviews with 10 bands. The third premiere, Mike Gordon's Rising Low goes behind the scenes as 25 heroes of the bass guitar, including Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the late John Entwistle of The Who, join the Southern blues-rock trio Gov't Mule to record a new album. Rounding out the feature films of "Hi-Fi Fridays" is Sarah Share's If I Should Fall From Grace, the story of Shane MacGowan, who brought a poetic punk edge to traditional Irish music with his band, The Pogues.

"Hi-Fi Fridays" continues its stereophonic journey with the Sundance Channel original program "Sonic Cinema." "Sonic Cinema" looks at the ways in which filmmakers and musicians cross-pollinate, influence and inspire each other, and how these two artforms can add up to something greater than the sum of their parts. The program is presented in a magazine-style format, with host Moore introducing segments and providing background information and context for viewers.

Each episode of "Sonic Cinema" includes four distinct segments that highlight the many ways music and film come together. "Back to Back" canvasses the wide world of music video from a single vantage point, serving up clips that are linked by a common denominator, be it style, format, subject matter or artist. "Profiles" looks at the individuals who work on the music side of filmmaking. Rarities, oddities, and other audiovisual delights take center stage when filmmakers and musicians introduce the music-based works that have inspired, influenced or otherwise affected them. Musicians who go behind the camera are the focus of "I Made It Myself," which showcases the fruits of their visual labors, including music videos, short films and commercials.

"Hi-Fi Fridays" kicks off at 9:00pm ET/PT with a different feature documentary followed at 11:00pm ET/PT with a new episode of "Sonic Cinema," from October 3 through October 24.

[Published on: 9/15/03]

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