11th CUFF.Docs Documentary Film Festival

November 22-26, 2023

21st Calgary Underground Film Festival

April 18-28, 2023

Better Than Something: Jay Reatard

USA, 2011 : Alberta Premiere
Archives 2012
In Cinema Globe Cinema
Mon, Apr 16 9:30 PM


Better Than Something is a feature documentary about controversial and prolifi c rock musician Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr, better known as Jay Reatard. Tirelessly devoting his entire life to music, Jay Reatard has become a garage rock icon, having created a massive discography spread out over dozens of singles, EPs, and full-length albums, released on labels like Matador, Fat Possum and In The Red. A relentless live performer, Jay toured the world with dozens of bands including Reatards, Lost Sounds, Bad Times, Persuaders, Cheap Time, The Pixies, Spoon, Beck and many more. A devoted and oftentimes notorious fi xture in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, Jay celebrated and continued the city’s long-standing tradition of uniquely American music.

This intimate portrait, captured just months before Reatard’s untimely passing, brings us incredibly close to his complicated punk-rock world. Filmmakers Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz eloquently interweave cinéma vérité, interviews, and archival concert performances with scenes from an insightful and candid week spent with Jay, who reveals personal childhood stories and the struggles of his life in Memphis.

Silverdocs 2011
Doc NYC 2011
Melbourne International Film Festival 2011

press for Better Than Something: Jay Reatard

"Remarkably candid and eerily prescient"
- Eddie Cockrell, Variety
"If you care even one iota about punk rock, you should probably see this film."
- Patrick Rodgers, Nashville Scene


Documentary / Music

89 Minutes


Alex Hammond & Ian Markiewicz

Alex Hammond, Joseph A. Berger

Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr.

Jay Reatard