As the wise bard Madonna once said, “Music makes the people come together,” and she was right. Music is a source of magic in the life of human beings on earth. Sometimes people want to live inside a song so much that they make documentaries, bringing some visual acuity to aural pleasure. The best examples of this particular genre take your favorite songs, or songs you haven’t even heard before, and show how music leaves a mark on us.
Whether it’s through history, sociology, or performance, these documentaries take a unique approach to a panoply of topics, and there’s great sounds to boot. Many of these films are true passion projects, with a lot of funding coming from Kickstarter campaigns. We rounded up a wild collection of 25 movies, from Oscar winners to cult oddities to Ken Burns, that you can watch tonight.
Notice that the film had to stretch to get Nilsson’s signature song, “Everybody’s Talkin’,” best known as the theme song to Midnight Cowboy, into the title. Besides that, the Nilsson documentary is about the short and wild life of one of rock’s most talented singer-songwriters, who found success at young age and had a legendary “lost weekend” with John Lennon, and the booze and drugs that made his life short and tortured.