Rock film fest meets 'Beatles'


The West Coast premiere of the full-length theatrical documentary "What's Happening! The Beatles in the USA" will kick off the American Cinematheque's eighth annual Mods & Rockers Film Festival on July 13 at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

The docu by filmmakers Albert and David Maysles chronicles the Beatles' first visit to America in 1964, but contractual conflicts with 1964's "A Hard Day's Night" prevented its intended theatrical release at the time.

The opening-night program also will feature "Gimme Shelter," the Maysles brothers' documentary of the Rolling Stones'1969 U.S. tour.

A three-week, 40-film program, Mods & Rockers — launched in 1999 as a salute to 1960s pop-culture flicks — has expanded to become an annual celebration of rock-related films.

The films in this year's lineup, which will play at the Egyptian and at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, cover a 50-year span from Elvis Presley's 1957 "Jailhouse Rock" to the world premiere of the new documentary "Respect Yourself," celebrating the 50th anniversary of Stax Records.

The American premiere of Tony Palmer's 1968 film, "All My Loving," featuring footage of the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, Cream, Donovan, Eric Burdon and Frank Zappa, will close the fest Aug. 1.

Other highlights will include a screening of D.A. Pennebaker's "Monterey Pop," marking the 40th anniversary of the Monterey International Pop Festival; a salute to Pennebaker, whose "Don't Look Back" and new "Bob Dylan: '65 Revisited" will be screened; a weekend devoted to Stax Records that also will feature Pennebaker's "Only the Strong Survive" and "Shake! Otis at Monterey"; a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun and celebration of the 60th anniversary of Atlantic Records; a salute to songwriters Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller; a tribute to Harry Nilsson; a salute to the Woodstock Film Festival; and a screening of Otto Preminger's psychedelic 1968 comedy "Skidoo."