Film in Elsewhere

Unusual or interesting DVDs, cult and classic films, movie reviews, genre overviews and interviews.

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THE SOUND OF HER GUITAR, a doco by BILL MORRIS

6 Aug 2018  |  2 min read

This charmingly low-key, often movingly honest documentary about New Zealand singer-songwriter Donna Dean takes her from a childhood in a state house in Glen Innes under blue Pacific skies (she ackowledges the drinking and violence between her parents) into Texas clubs and bars and radio stations singing her distictive and mature country music to appreciative audiences. Dean and her... > Read more

Pretty Buttons

THE BEATLES' YELLOW SUBMARINE RECONSIDERED (2018): Fantasia for the pot generation

19 Jul 2018  |  4 min read  |  2

Movie producer Al Brodax said it began with a 3am phone call from John Lennon: Wouldn't it be great if Ringo was followed down the street by a yellow submarine?" That -- allegedly/mythically -- was the start and (aside from them knocking off a few songs for the soundtrack and a short appearance before the credits) the end of the Beatles' involvement with the animated movie Yellow... > Read more

It's All Too Much

MAORI METAL, a doco by DAVID FREID

5 Jul 2018  |  <1 min read

You have to love this short (18 minute) film which starts with a warning: "The following film contains heavy metal. Viewer discretion is advised". It shines a spotlight on the formidable New Zealand metal band Alien Weaponry who are, as of this writing, taking their astonishing te reo hard rock to the world . . . and frankly we think they could be the Next Big Thing out of this... > Read more

THE SIXTIES: THE BRITISH INVASION; a Prime television documentary

1 Jun 2018  |  2 min read

As this hour-long doco proves, just because there isn't anything new to say doesn't mean you don't say it . . . with footage. One of the executive producers of this Sixties series, Tom Hanks, has long been infatuated with his own times and so inevitably attention turns the greatest musical – and arguably – cultural phenomenon – of that decade, the Beatles and then the... > Read more

THE SEVENTIES; WHAT'S GOIN' ON (Prime TV documentary)

2 May 2018  |  1 min read

Over a decade ago Elsewhere wrote about a collection of Seventies clips from Britain rock programme The Old Grey Whistle Test and concluded that, if nothing else, it was a decade of very strange and new hairstyles from massive Afros and dreadlocks to Ziggy, glam dye-jobs and on to punk jags and Mohawks. And every hairstyle was emblematic of a new style of music. In some circles the... > Read more

THE EIGHTIES: VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR, a television series on Prime

16 Mar 2018  |  2 min read

If – and it is a very big “if” – the Sixties were Swinging and the Seventies was The Decade That Taste Forgot, what then of the Eighties? The Decade Defined By Sound and Vision? Linn drums, synthesizers, the key-tar, CD technology making everything brighter, cleaner and somehow more soulless, the Sony Discman . . . And MTV which emerged as a white-bread... > Read more

ROLLING STONE: STORIES FROM THE EDGE, a TV doco series by ALEX GIBNEY and BLAIR FOSTER

25 Feb 2018  |  4 min read  |  1

When Jann Wenner launched Rolling Stone magazine in late 1967 his avowed intention was to take the emerging rock culture and its artists seriously as voice from and for the counterculture. He was also candid enough to admit however that, as an uber fanboy, he also wanted to meet his his idols like John Lennon and Mick Jagger who by that time were well on the way to becoming something... > Read more

GRACE JONES, BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI, a doco by SOPHIE FIENNES

21 Feb 2018  |  3 min read

It sometimes seems that anyone who ever encountered the extraordinary Grace Jones, or had even just been in an airport when she has walked through, has a story to tell: Of her sunbathing naked on a beach outside a swanky hotel in Barbados (or was it Jamaica?); her arriving punctually four hours late for recording sessions or photo shoots; her imperious demeanor and cast of minions . . .... > Read more

DAVID BOWIE: THE LAST FIVE YEARS, a doco on Prime Rocks by FRANCIS WHATELY

1 Feb 2018  |  2 min read  |  1

You could probably pick any five years in David Bowie's artistic life and find them of interest, but of course special resonance is attached to his final five because of the musical surprises they threw up . . . and of course his unexpected death in 2016. The title of this 90 minute doco is slightly misleading however in that it doesn't exclusively focus on those final years when he... > Read more

CHASING TRANE; THE JOHN COLTRANE DOCUMENTARY a doco by JOHN SCHEINFELD (Rhino DVD/BluRay)

29 Jan 2018  |  1 min read

If 1967 was a great year in rock music – debut albums by Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, Velvet Underground and others, and of course Sgt Pepper's – it was a bad year for jazz. In July that year the great John Coltrane died of liver cancer at age 40. A saxophone genius alongside Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins and others in the jazz pantheon, Coltrane came to wide... > Read more

ERIC CLAPTON: A LIFE IN 12 BARS, a doco by LILI FINI ZANUCK

26 Jan 2018  |  4 min read

When rock stars admit to having booze problems to the point of alcoholism we on the outside never quite understand what that means. Just hitting the bottle? Having access before and after gigs then staggering back to the hotel with the groupie-de-jour? When you dig deeper however it is something much... > Read more

THE NINETIES: A tele-doco series on Prime

2 Dec 2017  |  <1 min read

There are a couple of glaring ironies about this weak doco. The first is that it takes its subtitle “Isn't it ironic?” from the terrible Alanis Morissette song Ironic in which she seemed to confuse bad lack and coincidence with irony . . . thereby proving Bono's sweeping statement that “Americans don't understand irony”. But the other irony is the more... > Read more

SOUNDTRACKS: SONG THAT DEFINED HISTORY; BATTLE OF THE SEXES: A tele-doco series on Prime

22 Nov 2017  |  4 min read

Some years ago Elsewhere interviewed the American music writer and social historian Robert Gordon who, in passing about race in his country, said that his high school children didn't know which came first, the Civil War or the Civil Rights movement. Elsewhere's experience of university students in this country is sometimes similar, for many young people the past seems to co-exist and... > Read more

SOUNDTRACKS: SONG THAT DEFINED HISTORY; SPACE RACE: A tele-doco series on Prime

15 Nov 2017  |  2 min read

From this distance it's hard to explain to people, young people in particular, how engaged many people around the world were with the space race between the Russians and the USA in the Sixties. Kennedy said the US would put a man on the moon but the Russians had got a man, Yuri Gagarin, orbiting the Earth first. It was all on. When Neil Armstrong did walk on the moon in '69 the... > Read more

SOUNDTRACKS; SONGS THAT DEFINED HISTORY, a tele-doco series on Prime

11 Oct 2017  |  1 min read

Some years ago when the Occupy Wall Street movement was in full swing Stephen Stills – of Crosby, Stills and Nash (and sometimes Young) – told Elsewhere that what they lacked was an anthem.  “I kept waiting for a For What It's Worth of the Occupy Movement to show up,” he said referring his former band Buffalo Springfield's hit which captured the Sunset... > Read more

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, a doco by RAOUL PECK

18 Sep 2017  |  2 min read  |  2

Some years ago in New York I went up to Harlem and by chance there was an exhibition of photos and memorabilia about James Baldwin. It was interesting to note that among the many people there, were a significant number of college age kids, all of whom seemed quite engrossed in the life and times of this great black thinker and writer. A woman there with her dreadlocks piled... > Read more

NARCOS, Seasons One and Two (Madman DVD/BluRay)

1 Sep 2017  |  4 min read

Just how good is Narcos, this television series about the life and times and murderous regime of the Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar? Consider this: Recently we were in Stockholm in an air b'n'b and the absent owner had Narcos on his Netflix. One morning I turned on episode one and for the following two weeks would start the day with an episode or two before hitting the... > Read more

THE GENIUS OF JERRY LEWIS (2009): All fall down

22 Aug 2017  |  2 min read

Jerry Lewis is in his early 80s so it’s hardly surprising people don’t talk about him much anymore. His last decent movie appearance was in The King of Comedy in 83 as the arrogant television talkshow host Jerry Langford stalked by Robert DeNiro’s deluded Rupert Pupkin. Lewis was terrific, oozing oily indifference. The last time he rose in public consciousness was a few... > Read more

THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS; YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE, a film by MORGAN NEVILLE (Madman DVD/Blu-Ray)

31 Jul 2017  |  1 min read

If Chet Baker and Dean Martin shared one trait it was that of being cursed with gifts which came so easily to them they they treated them with casual indifference. Baker could sing and play trumpet without effort, Martin did the same with singing, acting and clowning around on stage or television. They became so indifferent to their gifts they rarely tried to push themselves beyond... > Read more

SGT PEPPER'S MUSICAL REVOLUTION, a film presented by HOWARD GOODALL

30 Jun 2017  |  1 min read  |  1

Like millions of others, says classical musician Howard Goodall at the start of this hour-long doco, he was spellbound when hearing the Beatles' Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in June 1967. Goodall has become the go-to guy for benign Beatle comment these days (he popped up in Ron Howard's Eight Days a Week also) and here he appears again as the smart, articulate and well spoken... > Read more