Documentaries


Johnny has been a contributor for many music-related documentaries. Below are several he has been involved in.



When the Road Bends: Tales of a Gypsy Caravan - In Gypsy Caravan, Johnny discusses his love for Gypsy music and his relationship with Taraf De Haidouks, a Gypsy band he met while filming The Man Who Cried. The internationally acclaimed documentary follows five Gypsy bands, including Taraf De Haidouks, as they tour across North America. The film celebrates their music while telling the story of their lives and their heritage. Gypsy Caravan was screened at the 2006 Tribecca Film Festival.



Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten - Joe Strummer, front man for The Clash, is the subject of The Future Is Unwritten which debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Johnny, appearing with Jack Sparrow's beard braids and wearing the bandana he wore in Don Juan Demarco, was one of many celebrities interviewed.



Runnin' Down a Dream - This 2009 Grammy Award winning long form music video details the history of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. In the documentary, Johnny discusses his participation in the music video Into the Great Wide Open, and of the band's performance at the opening of The Viper Room. The four-hour film, named after a single on the first Tom Petty solo album, was shown at the 2007 New York Film Festival.



Rock and a Hard Place: Another Night at the Agora - On January 28, 2007, eight popular bands from South Florida reunited in Pompano Beach, Florida to play together in honor of Sheila Witkin, a local band manager in the '70s and '80s. Witkin, mother of The Kids' band member Bruce Witkin and instrumental in bringing music to South Florida, died in 2006.

Premiering at the Palm Beach International Film Festival in 2008, Rock and a Hard Place: Another Night at the Agora utilizes photos, videos and interviews with the participants, including The Kids, to tell the story of the bands, their music and the woman that brought them together. The film was screened at the 2008 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, scheduled to correspond with the Second Annual Sheila Witkin Memorial Concert. A newly recorded interview with The Kids was added to the documentary for the 2008 screening.

Click on the photo to view in full size.


Screencap from Another Night at the Agora
The Kids from the newly recorded interview




When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors - When You're Strange is a documentary narrated by Johnny that chronicles The Doors as they record six albums in a five-year period, and their live performances. It features previously unreleased footage of The Doors, and provides a look at the impact of their music. The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival with narration provided by the director, Tom DiCillo. It was shown again a few weeks later at Berlin Film Festival, where it was announced that Johnny would narrate the final version of the film. The final version of the film, complete with Johnny's narration, was screened in June of 2009 at the Los Angeles Film Festival.