Paint it Black

Out of competition section, in which a retrospective selection of music documentary films are screened.

Tony Palmer was there. A Cambridge University graduate, Palmer joined the BBC under Ken Russell at the end of the sixties and quickly became a powerful documentary maker, highly aware of the effervescent social situation around him. He managed to spend time with and portray the top names in British music at the time: Beatles, Rolling Stones, Who, Cream, Jimi Hendrix. And he always did it with an eye to the context in which these artists were making their music, and the environment that was seared into their compositions. He made all this into a long series of films and documentaries with a driving immediacy that made him a key figure in understanding the development of popular music in the second half of the 20th century, as well as a large body of work as a theatre and opera director. Forty prizes at international festivals are the proof of a model career, to which Dock of the Bay pays homage this year.