Everyone has a passion for music, it doesn't matter what genre, or what era, everyone has music that connects with them and will always connect. For comedian Stewart Lee, his passion is the works of Derek Bailey and the free improvisational movement. His passion is celebrated and recognised in Taking the Dog For a Walk, which is an in-depth exploration of the British free improvisation movement, from Derek Bailey to the present. I really can't praise him enough – he's used his fame and comic talent to showcase his favourite genre for people to see. He doesn't let his ego take over the documentary, he stays out the way and asks questions to his idols. His passion leaps off the screen and makes me want to fall in love with this genre just like he has. He is the anchor of the film and without him, it wouldn't be as good as it is.
Documentaries have a very distinct audience. Not one documentary is going to appeal to everyone and this is the same, but even if the topic doesn't appeal to you, you can tell if a documentary is impressive if it is in depth, intelligent, balanced and most importantly passionate. Everyone who has helped make this is passionate about free improvisation and it is clear to see and a joy to watch – and that's coming from someone who has little to no interest in the subject.
It is a very niche subject and I'm worried whether it will find its audience. The wonderful EEFF is the best place for it, and I know they'll look after it, but will it have any life in it after that? I'm not so sure – but it deserves to. I just think the genre is a little too niche. I see myself as a massive music fan and I didn't have much knowledge on this genre. However, if you're willing to take the leap into the unknown, you'll discover a very intelligent genre of music, with some undeniable talent.
It is clear to see why the East End Film Festival has picked it amongst its impressive line up. Not only is it an accomplished documentary, but it also celebrates the East End of London. It documents is as a laid back, creative and bohemian area that is a wonderful place to live in.
Taking the Dog For a Walk goes to the heart of a committed, unique music community and showcases the passion that these people have for music. It's a wonderful documentary on a niche genre, but if you like the genre you're going to love this documentary.
Taking the Dog For A Walk is showing as part of the East End Film Festival. It will screen at Rio on the 24th of June. By tickets here.