Film in Elsewhere

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MARC BOLAN; A WIZARD, A TRUE STAR, a doco by MIKE PARKINSON (Pride/Triton DVD)

15 Nov 2010  |  3 min read

It was hardly surprising that Ringo Starr, then an aspiring film-maker because he had little else to do other than churn out hits, should have made a film of Marc Bolan in 1972. Bolan was at the peak of his powers with T.Rex and the "T.Rexstacy" of screaming girls drowning out the music and trying to get a lock of Bolan's hair would have been instantly familiar to the former... > Read more

T.Rex: Jeepster (from Electric Warrior, 1971)

JIM CARROL INTERVIEWED (1996): Writing the junk and Basketball Diaries

8 Nov 2010  |  9 min read

Keep a diary and some day it’ll keep you. -- Mae West. The blizzard which has engulfed New York has abated a little although snow is still piled over parked cars and a flesh-freezing wind whistles between the tenement blocks. And Jim Carroll - former junkie and rock singer, writer, poet and most recently movie actor on the strength of a cameo slot in the film adaptation... > Read more

Jim Carroll: Reading from The Book of Nods (1981)

MOVE ON; STORMING THE GATE, a doco by ALEX JORDANOV and SCOTT STEVENSON (Roadshow DVD)

7 Nov 2010  |  1 min read

Because it in their interest to do so, many people exaggerate the power and influence of the internet. Websites inflate their readership and traffic, bloggers would pretend to have more sway than they actually have, and the champions of the new technology -- now quite old in fact -- see its power in every flicker of changing public taste. But the power of MoveOn.org is undeniable -- at... > Read more

PAUL McCARTNEY INTERVIEWED (2010): Band on the Run remastered

4 Nov 2010  |  <1 min read

While Elsewhere always does its own interviews, this one provided to coincide with the remastered version of Band on the Run -- which launches a whole McCartney remaster/reissue series -- is interesting, so an exception has been made. For an overview of McCartney's post-Beatles career -- including classical projects and oddities alongside his mainstream albums -- Elsewhere has made it easy... > Read more

THE SACRED TRIANGLE; BOWIE, IGGY AND LOU 1971-1973 (Sexy Intellectual/Triton DVD)

1 Nov 2010  |  1 min read

It's hard to believe but in the same year as the Velvet Underground's debut album came out, David Bowie's new single was The Laughing Gnome, a gimmick song and another desperate step in trying to crack the charts. As this interesting doco makes clear, for many years Bowie was trying all kinds of tricks and tropes (from new clothes to new styles of songs) in increasing desperation. It was... > Read more

David Bowie: Black Country Rock

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND; VANISHING POINT (Chrome Dreams/Triton DVD)

1 Nov 2010  |  1 min read  |  1

Although this 90 minute film of the career of the Velvet Underground leaps in when Lou Reed met John Cale --as if nothing of consequence had happened in each of their lives prior to that -- what follows is an interesting (if much canvassed) doco about a band which changed the face of contemporary music. This chronological account is described as "a film by Tom Barber" and that... > Read more

The Velvet Underground: Candy Says (alternate mix)

ALL MY LOVING, a film by TONY PALMER (BBC DVD)

25 Oct 2010  |  2 min read

At the time when this film screened on television in 1968 -- after the Epilogue, the last offical programme every night in Britain in those days, as director Palmer notes in the interview footage added to the DVD edition in 2007 -- pop music was widely spoken of as the new classical music. It was in those day-glo days when classical music of the traditional kind no longer captured the... > Read more

Jimi Hendrix: Wild Thing (Live at Winterland, October '68)

GRAND DESIGNS; SERIES SEVEN with KEVIN McCLOUD (Roadshow DVD)

18 Oct 2010  |  1 min read

One of the most interesting aspects of this series in which various Brits -- mostly well-heeled, but a few not -- undertake building a home of their own design is how the people involved refer to the "the build" . . . as if it is something outside of themselves. In most instances it is not: it is something which consumes their lives and bank accounts, sidelines any notion of a... > Read more

WATERMELON SLIM AND THE WORKERS; LIVE AT THE GROUND ZERO BLUES CLUB (NorthernBlues/Southbound DVD)

17 Oct 2010  |  <1 min read

Watermelon Slim has lived quite some dangerous and interesting life (see interview here) and he owns a face which, we might charitably described as "lived in". In this DVD of him and his band live at Clarksdale's famous Ground Zero blues club, he tells of once waking up in the local hospital with a dislocated jaw and then driving home to Oklahoma with steel pins in his face.... > Read more

Watermelon Slim and the Workers: Drinking and Driving

NORMAN McLAREN, ANIMATOR: Making the screen come alive

11 Oct 2010  |  4 min read  |  1

When a history of animated film is written, it is possible that the largest chapter about how this genre emerged will go not to Walt Disney or Otto (Felix the Cat) Mesmer but to a modest quietly spoken Scots-born Canadian, Norman McLaren. McLaren’s whimsical films charmed and delighted audiences for nearly 50 years. He entered the Glasgow School of Art at the age of 18 to study... > Read more

CHUCK CLOSE, a doco by MARION CAJORI (Madman DVD)

4 Oct 2010  |  2 min read

More than a documentary about the great American artist Chuck Close -- whom we see work on an astonishing self-portrait during the course of the filming -- this remarkable, revealing and important film weaves in the work of many of Close's contemporaries (Richard Serra, Robert Storr and others) and has friends and longtime colleagues (Philip Glass among them) speak about Close' significance . .... > Read more

ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL, a film by SACHA GERVASI

24 Sep 2010  |  1 min read

The story of this rock documentary -- or "rockumentary, if you will" -- is so soaked in parallels to the fictional Spinal Tap that you cannot help notice and mention it. But let's not because at heart here there is another and better story than a real life version of a parody. Anvil is a great story of love and faith: the love of two men -- singer/guitarist Steve "Lips"... > Read more

JAMDOWN, a film by EMMANUEL BONN (MVD DVD)

20 Sep 2010  |  1 min read

This unfocused and largely haphazard film -- part travel footage, part film of reggae artists, some political subtext hinted at -- dates from 1980 when French filmmaker Bonn took a camera to Jamaica and the streets of black Britain. There is considerable footage where the camera is looking out the window of a vehicle which travels though the Third World streets of somewhere in Jamaica... > Read more

ARCHITECTURE; THE COMPLETE BOX SET (Five DVDs, Ovation/Southbound)

13 Sep 2010  |  1 min read

Although at a first encounter the narration to this series -- 29 major architects and/or buildings in separate episodes over five DVDs -- might seem a little dry and distant, you warm to it as the images take hold and the voice-over offers clear and informative commentary. These episodes take the nature of self-contained films (character and period explored in relation to the work) and... > Read more

ERIC CLAPTON; THE 1960s REVIEW (Chrome Dreams/Triton DVD)

13 Sep 2010  |  1 min read

Eric Clapton has made a somewhat sudden appearance in the past month with a survey of his early career here, the album with John Mayall and also his Journeyman popping up as a Bargain Buy. Now by coincidence this interesting -- and rather detailed -- overview of his rapid career in the Sixties (Yardbirds, Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith) arrives. Another in the Chrome Dreams series... > Read more

SUFI SOUL by WILLIAM DALRYMPLE (DVD): Seeking the Beloved within

12 Sep 2010  |  1 min read  |  1

In these post -9-11 days it is odd to consider that the biggest selling poet in America in the Nineties was Islamic. The deeply philosophical works of Rumi, a poet of the Sufi branch of Islam, were outselling the biggest names America had to offer. And in the world of music the elevating sound of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was being hailed by the likes of Jeff Buckley, Eddie... > Read more

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Mustt Mustt (Massive Attack remix)

EDGEPLAY; A FILM ABOUT THE RUNAWAYS by Victory Tischler-Blue (Shock DVD, 2004)

11 Sep 2010  |  1 min read

Clearly timed to ride the coattails of the film The Runaways about this seminal all-girl band of the the Seventies which launched the careers of Joan Jett and Lita Ford and (based on the memoir Neon Angel by lead singer Cherie Currie), the re-presentation of a doco made by the band's former bassist Vicky Blue should be an object lesson in just how exploitive, abusive (emotionally and... > Read more

HERB AND DOROTHY, a documentary by MEGUMI SASAKI (Madman DVD)

11 Sep 2010  |  1 min read

This charming, low-key and multiple award-winning documentary introduces two remarkable, modest but fiercely intelligent art collectors, Herbert and Dorthy Vogel of New York who met in '60 and shortly thereafter began painting and drawing. But within a few years, despite some interesting work of their own as the doco shows, they had started collecting the work of others. Their brief on what... > Read more

YOUSSOU N'DOUR; RETURN TO GOREE, a doco by PIERRE-YVES BORGEAUD (Roadshow DVD)

6 Sep 2010  |  <1 min read

Goree is the island off the coast of Senegal through which thousands of slaves passed on their way to Middle Passage and, if they survived, various parts of the "New World", notably the US and Caribbean. Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour here traces a musical journey from Goree to the jazz and gospel music of the US, and digressions with the blind Swiss pianist/musical director... > Read more

BOOZE IN THE MOVIES: Through a glass, darkly . . .

2 Sep 2010  |  2 min read  |  1

For a few days in my late teens I stayed on Moturekareka, an island just south of Kawau Auckland's Hauraki Gulf. The sole other occupant was alcoholic old Snow who lived in a crude shack lined with newspapers. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t stay in the huge, deserted villa near the pier. It had formerly been a post office-cum-house and looked as if the occupants had only... > Read more