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I love women but I'm not crazy about them - Sam Chatmon, sharing his personal views on relationships with a young John Miller

Author Topic: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content  (Read 17474 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« on: January 11, 2005, 10:37:23 AM »
Hi all,
I was just watching a video last night of a Finnish movie that came out in the past couple of years entitled "The Man Without A Past".  It's a really good movie, I think, with very distinctive super-dry Finnish humor and a rhythm to it that is so different from life in the U.S. that it is beneficial for those of us here to see it and realize how different other places in the world can be. 
Anyhow, there was a very surprising moment maybe a half-hour into the movie.  The protagonist, who sustains a shocking beating by some young hoodlums right at the beginning of the movie and loses his memory (barely survives), has moved into a derelict semi trailer in a shantytown area of Helsinki and he is walking around the neighborhood picking up likely items to furnish his new home with.  He finds a busted juke box by the side of the road and gets a sympathetic guy who works for the power company to take it back to his trailer, hook it up and fix it.  Those two fellows and a friend are in the trailer when the jukebox is repaired and the protagonist pushes a button to play a tune.  Immediately a crystal clear copy of Blind Lemon doing "Crawling Baby Blues" starts to play--and they let the whole song play!  I couldn't believe it, it was such an odd juxtaposition to happen in the middle of this movie.  It's great to be reminded how enormous the realm of possibility can be.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Montgomery

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2005, 07:54:23 PM »
Yes, I remember this scene...Kaurismaki, the director is a blues fan.  Most of his films have the same dry humor.  His first international hit was "Leningrad Cowboys Go America," a hilarious film about a terrible Finnish rockabilly band touring the states.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2005, 05:49:48 PM »
Well good ole Roger Ebert lifts his thumb for Say Amen, Somebody. Review here http://www.ebertfest.com/four/say_amen_rev.htm if anyone is interested. It's from the 80s, Slack, which may explain why it's difficult to find at Netflix.

Quote
UB, Alex has high standards -- he's just a little confused, but we'll try to straighten him out again. (Looking forward to PT Alex)..

If he has such high standards, what's he doing rooming with us...

Offline lindy

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2005, 07:15:27 PM »
Quote


OK something related to content... Stuart, I'm interested in the documentary also.? I just joined Netflix on their $10 a month deal (I know, I'm behind the times and cheap) and I'm looking for good movies to add to my queue list.? Cannot find this title however.

Slack,

Believe it or not, the last time I saw Say Amen, Somebody, I was able to find it at Blockbuster, which has a large number of gospel music titles in its collection. Also, check your local library, I've seen it in some neighborhood libraries in a couple of towns.

Lindy

Offline Slack

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2005, 08:17:28 PM »
Quote
Believe it or not, the last time I saw Say Amen, Somebody, I was able to find it at Blockbuster, which has a large number of gospel music titles in its collection. Also, check your local library, I've seen it in some neighborhood libraries in a couple of towns.

Hi Lindy,

Thanks for the tip -- I'll check my local blockbuster!

Offline Slack

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2005, 08:21:34 PM »
BTW Uncle Bud --- my first Netflix video was "Ghost World"  - what a quirky movie that is - made the spouse watch it with me --  we enjoyed it!

Any other good movies to put in my queue?

cheers,
slack

Offline Stuart

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2005, 09:04:22 PM »
"Louie Bluie" comes to mind, but I'm sure that you all know about it and have seen it as it's so well known.

Stuart

Offline dj

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2005, 03:44:38 AM »
Check out the films of Les Blank at www.lesblank.com/main.html.  He's done several short films on blues subjects, including The Blues Accordin' To Lightnin' Hopkins and A Well Spent Life, which is just a lovely 45 minute film about Mance Lipscomb.  He's also done numerous films on other American folk musics (and on Huey Lewis!).

Offline Slack

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2005, 06:40:01 AM »
Actually, I have not seen Louie Bluie.... I had an opportunity to a couple of years ago at Port Townsend - but passed.

Thanks guys.

crawley

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2005, 11:30:40 PM »
this may be obvious, but check out the documentary series produced by scorsesse. the wim venders shorts about johnson and skip james are cool. speaking of louie blue, how can i get one? i don't think it's available anymore. at least not at my local rental shop. another one is the short film of st. louis blues starring bessie smith. that's the best version of that song i've ever hear'd.

just a side note,.. i spoke to the gentleman that made the last of the mississippi juke joint film a while back and he told ma that p diddy was gonna play robert johnson in movie sometime real soon.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2005, 05:04:41 PM »
I have been reading "Paramount's Rise and Fall" and ran across the following book in the bibliography:

Harris, Michael W?
"The rise of gospel blues : the music of Thomas Andrew Dorsey in the urban church
(New York : Oxford University Press, 1992 )


I haven't read it, but both the King County Library System and the UW Music Library list it among their holdings. Seattle Public Library doesn't list it, but you can get it through SPL via Inter-Library Loan from KCLS. (Hint--Ryan and John). For you non-Puget Sounders, check you local libraries. Bookfinder.com lists used copies as being available starting at $9.00.

And on the topic of the KCLS, they also have in their holdings:

"Oh, what a beautiful city" : a tribute to the Reverend Gary Davis (1896-1972) :gospel, blues, and ragtime / compiled by Robert Tilling.?
Publication info. Jersey : Paul Mill Press, 1992.

I haven't read this one either.

Can't wait to get back home...

Stu

P.S. Book reports should be submitted by e-mail no later than this Friday. (double-spaced, 1" margins all around)

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2005, 09:48:52 AM »
Howdy:

Years ago (mid '80's) I remember seeing a mainstream film of the life of Leadbelly. I remember watching it with a ladyfriend so I never got to see the end ;D .

Anybody know the name of this?

Alex

Offline Mike Billo

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2005, 02:11:12 PM »

   The movie was called "Leadbelly" and I've seen it in various Blockbuster stores. Starred Roger Mosley (from "Magnum P.I.) and the singing voice of Leadbelly was done by a San Francisco/Oakland guy named Hi Tide Harris who was an excellent singer/guitarist. I have no idea whatever became of him.

  Another movie that comes to mind is "Crossroads" in which aspiring young guitarist Ralph Macchio (the Karate Kid) befriends an old Harmonica player (played by Joe Senneca) and they head south in a re-telling of the "sell your soul to the devil at the crossroads to play the blues" legend.
   Most people I know *hated* this movie, but I thought "It is what it is. A Hollywood movie about the Blues". As with all movies, a certain suspension of disbelief is required to be entertained by it.

   I recall a movie from the early '70's called "Sweet, Sweetback" that had a good soundtrack by Taj Mahal.

   Although not strictly Blues content, the Yazoo produced "Times Ain't What They Used To Be" has some *great* footage of music from the '20's and '30's.
   I recently rented this through Netflix.

Offline Slack

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2005, 02:33:21 PM »
Quote
Although not strictly Blues content, the Yazoo produced "Times Ain't What They Used To Be" has some *great* footage of music from the '20's and '30's.
   I recently rented this through Netflix.

Thanks Mike -- added that one to the queue.  I notice that Grossman has a number of the "Legends of Country Blues Guitar" series at netflix also.  I own some of these -- but netflix would be a cheap way to check some of these out.

cheers,
slack

Offline a2tom

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2005, 02:46:20 PM »
Another movie that comes to mind is "Crossroads" in which aspiring young guitarist Ralph Macchio (the Karate Kid) befriends an old Harmonica player (played by Joe Senneca) and they head south in a re-telling of the "sell your soul to the devil at the crossroads to play the blues" legend.

guess I'd mostly put myself on the "hated it" list. ?Been a LONG while since I watched it, but I recall it started kind of fun, with good acoustic blues, and cliched terribly along getting worse and worse, ending in an absolutely preposterous electric mayhem guitar "showdown". ?Preposterous not in the sense that they players couldn't play, they darn well could (Steve Vai and Ry Cooder, as I understand it), but in the sense that we are led to believe that the logical and inevitable progression of this musical coming-of-age journey is from roots blues to heavy metal in the blink of an eye, that if you aren't playing electric head-cutting metal in the 1980's you've missed the boat. ?Guess it goes to show you, I'm a weenie - I still like acoustic, raw and natural, best.

That all said, I think it is one to see if you knew what you were gonna get - like you say, take it for what it is.

I notice that Grossman has a number of the "Legends of Country Blues Guitar" series at netflix also. I own some of these -- but netflix would be a cheap way to check some of these out.

really?? Cool - I'll have to explore Netflix deeper - we just joined ourselves.? (we've been wallowing in Red Dwarf episodes, though)

tom

 


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