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Author Topic: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content  (Read 17715 times)

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Offline Alexei McDonald

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2006, 09:18:39 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

It was called "Leadbelly" (amazingly enough).   I saw it sometime in the mid-80s at the Edinburgh Filmhouse.   "You won't need to book tickets," the woman at the box-office said, "blues films don't draw big audiences."

Good film, though.   Excellent soundtrack, and some funny banter between Blind Lemon and Leadbelly...

[Lemon gets into the driving seat of the Model-T]
Leadbelly - You can't drive!   You're blind!
Lemon - You can't drive!   You're drunk!

Offline Slack

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2006, 09:49:54 AM »
Quote
That's also a cool movie. Jim Jarmusch appears in it as a car salesman. For a laugh, check out this video of the Leningrad Cowboys playing cover songs in their "Total Balalaika Show" in front of some 50 000 people on Helsinki's Senate Square. It's with the Red Army Choir. Crazy stuff!

What a hoot!

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2006, 10:06:19 AM »
My pocket diary for 1976 tells me I went to see the UK premier of this at London's ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) on November 29th. I still have the program sheet which say that it was directed by the late, great Gordon Parks. It names the songs that Hi-Tide Harris overdubbed for Roger Mosely, notes that Lemon Jefferson was portrayed by Art Evans (who?) and soundtrack songs included those by Terry/McGhee, David Cohen and Dick Rosmini (who again?). There was a soundtrack LP available for purchase at the showing, but I passed on that. Here's a scan of an advertisement from a free weekly London paper of the time.

Offline Slack

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2006, 10:26:13 AM »
I never knew Leadbelly was into body building.

 :P

Offline Stefan Wirz

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2006, 10:32:01 AM »
"Dick Rosmini who?" discography (with sound clips!)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2006, 01:54:38 PM »
That Leadbelly ad is just a hoot...

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2006, 11:42:38 PM »
That Leadbelly ad is just a hoot...
Here's what Wolfe and Lornell say about the release of the film (Life & Legend Of Leadbelly p.261-2).

Parks had deliberately made a film with no Richard Roundtree or Diane Ross, eliminating the obvious star appeal. Leadbelly has plenty of violence, but no car chases or spectacular gore. The story line is compelling, but Leadbelly's own name was not enough to carry the film to create general public interest. Without Yablans to push the film, Leadbelly languished in advertising limbo for nearly a year. Paramount screened the film privately in New York City and a few other selected cities. The critical response from Variety and other printed sources was favorable and Parks was hopeful that Leadbelly would soon grace screens throughout the country.

Instead, Leadbelly dropped into oblivion. In the spring it quietly opened in Detroit, Boston, and Atlanta, outgrossing all of the other films playing in Detroit and Atlanta. Academy award winner One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, which was running on seven screens to one for Leadbelly, barely edged out Leadbelly in Boston. Following a private screening Charles Champlagne, entertainment editor of the Los Angeles Times, wrote that Leadbelly should be acknowledged as one of the finest films of 1976. Audiences at the annual U.S.A. Film Festival at Dallas and the Philadelphia Film Festival honored it with a standing ovation. Despite this success, Paramount Pictures continued to hedge on its support and promotion of the film. Its movie ads depicted a muscular young stud with a scantily clad brown beauty glancing in his direction. The commercial success of Mandingo must have weighed heavily upon the minds of these Paramount promoters.

Around June 1976 Parks decided to directly confront the Paramount behemoth himself:

I had a terrible fight with Barry Diller. He called me up and said, "Look, we are doing the best that we can with the film. But we are being crucified by the press and I wantyou to stop it. " I cussed him out on the phone . . . and called him some names about which I am a little bit ashamed. [Shortly thereafter; I sat with Barry Diller in the screening room. He sat next to me and said, "It's a marvelous film. We are going to do everything we can to promote it. "I don 't know if it's true, but word is, from one of his young assistants, that when they got upstairs, Diller said, "Kill it."

It appears that what Diller said upstairs is what counted, because by the end of the summer Leadbelly had ended its run. It played for less than two weeks at most venues.

Offline daddystovepipe

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2007, 02:41:49 AM »
I know this subject has been treated before but I'm a newbie and would like to add the following :
The excellent movie "Sounder" directed by Marty Ritt has never been mentioned.  It's a story about a sharecropper's family in the 30ties.  Taj Mahal plays the role of a neighbour who's a CB musician.  Made me chuckle when he remarks after playing some blues :"if they could hear me up north..."
During the credits, at the end of the movie, you hear "Needed Time" by Lightnin' Hopkins.
Another movie that has some great CB is "Little Big Man".  John Hammond jr plays several pieces times during the film.  Especially the opening scenes are very powerful.
The French movie "Le Fabuleux Destin d'Am?lie Poulain" has a short appearance of harmonica player Peg Leg Sam.
Cheers,
Carl

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2007, 03:53:43 AM »
The excellent movie "Sounder" directed by Marty Ritt has never been mentioned.  It's a story about a sharecropper's family in the 30ties.  Taj Mahal plays the role of a neighbour who's a CB musician.  Made me chuckle when he remarks after playing some blues :"if they could hear me up north..."
During the credits, at the end of the movie, you hear "Needed Time" by Lightnin' Hopkins.
In 1973 I attended a midnight press preview of it at the Haymarket Cinema in London's West End. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and see if I can bring to mind for whom I reviewed it. In the meantime here is something we were asked to complete and return which I never did. Hope it's not too faded to view.

mississippijohnhurt1928

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2007, 02:55:42 PM »
Interesting, I'm not familiar with that one:


Although this isn't quite a Hollywood production I enjoyed John Hammond's "The Search For Robert Johnson" On DVD.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #40 on: February 07, 2007, 05:47:26 PM »
Hi all,
Since the new thread, "When CB Goes to Hollywood" mirrored an earlier thread I merged them.
All best,
Johnm

dowling

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #41 on: February 10, 2007, 06:15:15 AM »
hi all
talkin films with blues content, i saw a film last year called chocolate(i think thats it)any way its a film to watch with ya girl ,back to the topic ,johnny depp plays some lap style and some swing blues in it and i think theres kind of a Gypsies blues acoustic river band,what a mouthfull, i got an email the other day from one of these film website advertising a new film with Samuel jackson in  were he plays a country blues singer who kidnap's a prostitute  and chains her to his radiator to change her ways, anyway there looks to be a kind of RL burnside thing going on and jackson actually looks a little like him, i think the film is released any day now dam carnt remember the name but ill find out and put a link to the site were you can watch Samuel jackson play the blues..
KID.CRUEL
just found out the name of the film, Black snake moan, a blind lemon tune i think and heres the link, this film looks like it could be funny as well. http://www.moanmovie.com/
have a good one weenies cheers,
C*KID....

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2007, 03:11:51 PM »
Blood of Jesus, early 1940s, by independent black director Spencer Williams, is a weird and beautiful film. Lots of terrific downhome religious music. Some jazz. Only a little bit of blues but it's interesting stuff. The great jook-joint scene, and the crossroads scenes, make it a must-see for CB fans. Enjoy. Cheers, SC

Offline Blind_Jim_G

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2007, 05:08:34 AM »
I think it's out of print, but the DC Blues Society helped produce a documentary called 'Blues House Party" that's a must-see.   It featured folks like Cephas and Wiggins and Archie Edwards, all filmed at John Jackson's house.   I saw it once, shortly after it came out around 1990.  If you have any DC folks attending your West Coast Workshops you ought to ask them about it.


Offline Alexei McDonald

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Re: Movies w/ Blues or Blues related content
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2007, 02:21:43 AM »
Blood of Jesus, early 1940s, by independent black director Spencer Williams, is a weird and beautiful film. Lots of terrific downhome religious music. Some jazz. Only a little bit of blues but it's interesting stuff. The great jook-joint scene, and the crossroads scenes, make it a must-see for CB fans. Enjoy. Cheers, SC

I've never seen more than a tiny clip of Blood of Jesus, but I'm told that Black Ace Turner appears in it.

 


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