Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

Country: Portraits of an American Sound

Year: 2015
Country: United States
Run Time: 88 minutes

Country: Portraits of an American Sound
Country: Portraits of an American Sound
Country: Portraits of an American Sound
Country: Portraits of an American Sound

Cowboy hats. Boots. Rhinestones. Johnny Cash’s obsession with black. Dolly Parton’s not-so-subtle dresses. These are just a few of the fashion phases that country music has inspired throughout the years. We often think of music only in terms of its sound, but its visual style can be just as integral to its appeal. This engaging documentary chronicles the history of the genre through the lenses of such notable photographers as Les Leverett, Raeanne Rubenstein, and Henry Diltz. It also features interviews with Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, LeAnn Rimes, The Band Perry, Tanya Tucker, Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Roseanne Cash, Marty Stuart, and Kenny Rogers (the latter two are actually skilled photographers themselves). From its humble beginnings in the Appalachian Mountains, to the glitz and glamour of modern stars like Taylor Swift, country music has always maintained a large presence in American culture. As the film demonstrates, the artists who had the biggest influence were those who stayed true to themselves, giving the camera an honest glimpse of their souls. COUNTRY: PORTRAITS OF AN AMERICAN SOUND tackles the beloved genre from another angle, making for one truly unique music documentary. –E.F.

CIFF40 Screenings

Wednesday, April 06, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Thursday, April 07, 2016 at 9:20 AM

Akron Art Museum

Saturday, April 09, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Film Is Art

Music Movies Competition

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The Style and Substance of Country

Steven Kochones

Steven Kochones is an award-winning producer and director based in Hollywood, California. He has directed a number of documentary shorts, as well as several television shows. Many of his films deal with the subject of photography and its effect on music, culture, and the environment.


Steven Kochones, Joe Russo

Luke Geissb├╝hler

James Pendorf

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