Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

Bang! The Bert Berns Story

2016, Brett Berns and Bob Sarles, USA, 94 min. Narrated by Steven Van Zandt.

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Show Times

  • Fri, May 19th 2:00pm
  • Sat, May 20th 5:15pm
  • Sun, May 21st 3:00pm
  • Mon, May 22nd 6:00pm
  • Tue, May 23rd 7:45pm
  • Wed, May 24th 6:00pm
  • Thu, May 25th 7:45pm
First Chicago run!

"Full of scrappy vitality. Oh, and killer tunes. Sit back and let the music free your soul." — Caroline Ely, Film-Forward

"A fitting and often exhilarating tribute." — Peter Martin, ScreenAnarchy

Bert Berns's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year brought long-overdue recognition to a neglected giant of American popular music, whose contributions as songwriter, producer, and mogul place him on a par with Phil Spector and Berry Gordy. Before his death at age 38, Berns placed over 50 songs on the pop charts, including "Twist and Shout," "Under the Boardwalk," "Here Comes the Night," "I Want Candy," "Piece of My Heart" — the list goes on and on. This fast-moving documentary, jam-packed with great music and juicy anecdotes, is not just a catalog of hits, but also a rounded portrait of a complex personality. Marked for early death by a childhood heart disease, Berns was a driven man, churning out hits, founding the major labels Bang! and Shout Records, consorting with gangsters, and using his mob connections to make nonrefusable offers to recalcitrant associates. Among those testifying to Berns's gifts are Keith Richards (who calls him "one of the greatest songwriters of all bloody time"), Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Ben E. King, Betty Harris, and Solomon Burke — some of whom note an underlying darkness and emotional depth in Berns's songs that distinguishes them from more disposable pop hits. DCP digital. (MR)

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