Very little needs to be said about this trend-setting 1964 classic: Simply put, A Hard Day’s Night is the finest rock ‘n’ roll comedy ever made. It hit America shortly after the Beatles themselves did, and with the Fab Four as popular as they were, Stateside audiences would’ve been happy just to see and hear John, Paul, George, and Ringo perform such hit songs as Can’t Buy Me
Performing Arts - Page 6
When the Beatles Anthology first aired worldwide in 1995, the miniseries – paired with the simultaneous release of three double-CD sets that included the first new Beatles songs since the band’s 1970 breakup – played out as a global media event. Although the songs, Free as a Bird and Real Love, didn’t quite hold up to Yesterday and Hey Jude, the sheer bulk of
When our foremost modern film director turns his sights on the great modern singer-songwriter, a definitive documentary is assured. Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home follows the early career of Bob Dylan, from his days as a fledgling folk singer to his burst of popularity as the socially conscious voice of his generation to his controversial turn to electric rock music in
Martin Scorsese’s 1978 capsule history of the Band is mixed with footage of the group’s allegedly last performance (certainly their last performance as a quintet) in this particularly stylish concert film. Scorsese shoots the players and their sundry guests with the same flair and enthusiasm one can see in the later The Color of Money or Goodfellas. He also proves a good
Expanding on footage of Monk’s 1967 tour shot by Christian Blackwood, Charlotte Zwering (Gimme Shelter) has created the definitive filmic portrait of the master bop pianist-composer. This captivating DVD digs deeper into the life of the famously eccentric pianist-composer than the Ken Burns’s tepid coffeetable documentary Jazz ever thought to.
Some unsung heroes of pop music get long-overdue recognition in Standing in the Shadows of Motown, a heartfelt documentary directed by Paul Justman. They called themselves the Funk Brothers, a talented group of a dozen or so musicians who were recruited by Berry Gordy from the jazz and blues clubs of Detroit to record the musical tracks for Gordy’s Motown label.
It was 1969 — the Summer of Love — and some 400,000 people gathered on a farm in upstate New York to get down and naked to the music of Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane, Arlo Guthrie, David Crosby, and many, many others. This was more than just a music festival featuring some of the most important rock and folk artists of the era.
This modestly produced documentary packs an emotional wallop unlike practically any other in recent memory. It takes place in the rural, blue-collar Tennessee community of Whitwell, where a middle-school class embarks upon a simple but ambitious project: In an attempt to gauge the magnitude of World War II’s Holocaust, students begin collecting paper clips, each of which
This DVD of Pare Lorentz’s remarkable agitprop documentaries… bring to light not only the poetry of their scripts… but also the spare elegance of Virgil Thomson’s music. The Plow That Broke the Plainscontains a new performance of Virgil Thomson’s renowned score for the film from the 1930s. Conductor Angel Gil-Ordonez showcases Thomson’s material from that film as
Elvis Presley was a man who knew how to rise to a challenge, and, in 1973, his manager, Col. Tom Parker, came up with one of the biggest stunts of their career — staging a live concert in Hawaii that would be beamed by satellite for TV broadcast in 40 countries to a global audience of 1.5 billion people. Elvis responded with a typically dynamic show, and this home video