This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
com Autumn 2013
Music, Movies and the Ongoing Romance Between Sound and Vision
*** DIALOGUE AROUND G THE MOVIN IMAGE ***
Published as a bi-monthly, Film International covers all aspects of film culture in a visually dynamic way. This new breed of film magazine brings together established film scholars with renowned journalists to provide an informed and animated commentary on the spectacle of world cinema.
Issue Twenty One. Autumn 2013
06 | Spotlight Sweet Melodies: Music and the Movies 14 | Art & Film Signal Men: The Strange World of Public Service Broadcasting 18 | Music Matters Beethoven's 'Glorious Ninth' in A Clockwork Orange 20 | Fan Phenomena The Dark Arts: Scott Allie, Senior Editor Dark Horse Comics 24 | Widescreen Rock Docs: The Rockumentary 30 | 1000 Words Rock & Reel: The Girl Can't Help It
COVER IMAGE THE FILTH AND THE FURY (2000) SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN (2012) / DON'T LOOK BACK ( 1967)
'Y'all take it easy now. This isn't Dallas, it's Nashville! They can't do this to us here in Nashville! Let's show them what we're made of. Come on everybody, sing! Somebody, sing! ' Haven Hamilton (Nashville)
04 | Reel World The Blues Brothers 28 | Four Frames Phantom of the Paradise 34 | On Location Liverpool, England 38 | Screengem The Amplifier That Goes Up to 11 42 | Parting Shot All Together Now 44 | Competition Picture This 46 | Listings This issue's featured films
The Big Picture ISSN 1759-0922 © 2013 intellect Ltd. Published by Intellect Ltd. The Mill, Parnall Road. Bristol BS16 3JG / www.intellectbooks.com Editorial office Tel. 0117 9589910 / E: email@example.com Publisher Masoud Yazdani Chief Editor & Design Gabriel Solomons Editor Neil Mitchell Contributors Nicola Balkind, Dean Brandum, Neil Fox, Rob Beames, Jez Conolly, Scott Jordan Harris, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Neil Mitchell, Cleaver Patterson, Gabriel Solomons Please send all email enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.thebigpicturemagazine.com l The Big Picture magazine is published four times a year
F I L M B E YO N D T H E B O R D E R S O F T H E S C R E E N
All images courtesy Theatre Royal Bath and The Blues Brothers Approved ©2012/2013
GA BRI EL S O LO MO NS dons his shades to see just how far Jake and Elwood have come since their ﬁrst onscreen appearance nearly 40 years ago.
GENERALLY CONSIDERED to be the greatest tribute act to the black clad chums on the run, and the only act to have approval from Dan Aykroyd and Judith Belushi, The Blues Brothers ...Approved is a raucous stage adaptation of many of the hit songs from the pair's initial outing on Saturday Night Live in the late 1970s as well as John Landis' hit 1980 movie. Staying true to the themes of an unbreakable brotherly bond and an unshakeable belief that they are doing 'God's Work' while cops, hillbilly's and jaded exes all give chase - the stage adaptatation allows the music to take center stage while the drama weaves through a variety act of guest appearances and comedy asides. The Blues Brothers phenomenon first came to public attention on television in 1976 and 1978 on the American cult variety show Saturday Night Live when comedy actors Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi created the roles of ‘Joliet’ Jake E. Blues and Elwood J. Blues in musical sketches. An American blues and soul revivalist band, The Blues Brothers merged the electric Chicago Blues sound and the Memphis Stax Records R&B sound inspired by musicians such as Otis Redding and Issac Hayes. The original Blues Brothers band featured respected blues and soul musicians including Steve Cropper and Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn (who sadly passed away earlier this year). After their television appearances, the band began to take on a life beyond the confines of the small screen releasing a hit single and a double platinum selling album Briefcase Full of Blues in 1978. Two years later The Blues Brothers cemented the reputations of both the band and of Aykroyd and Belushi as Jake and Elwood Blues. The film became a cult hit and the Brothers, with their matching FBI-esque suits and sunglasses have become part of popular culture, referenced numerous times in film, music and television, and further evidence that nearly 40 years on, the appeal of two foul-mouthed, slovenly jailbirds remains just as strong as ever. Keep on rockin' boys. [tbp]
OPPOsITE bROTHERs IN ARMs AbOVE THE bLUEs bROTHERs ...APPROVED
For all things Blues Brothers related visit the official fan website » bluesbrothersofficialsite.com
COVER FEATURE Y
C I N E M A ' S T H E M AT I C S T R A N D S
OPPOsITE AND bELOW AL JOLsON RAIsEs sOME EYEbROWs
ALEXA NDRA H E LLE R- NIChOL AS and ROB BE AM E S put their dancing shoes on and do the twist with some movies whose focus on music struck a chord with generations of movie-goers.
THE JAZZ SINgER (1927)
Dir: Alan Crosland
JACK’S STRUGGLE TO FUSE HIS JEWISH HERITAGE WITH HIS DESIRE TO BE A jAZZ SINGER IS RENDERED POWERFULLY THROUGH MUSIC.
Renowned as the first real ‘talkie’ and marking the death of the silent film era, The Jazz Singer‘s historical significance in the development of cinema has been challenged only by a focus on its Jewish star Al Jolson’s use of blackface. Director Alan Crosland had experimented with sound for Warner Bros, but The Jazz Singer marked the first use of spoken dialogue in a feature film, with Jolson’s Jack Robin’s famous line, "Wait a minute, you ain't heard nothin' yet". The Jazz Singer was also the first musical, and because of the technical limitations of sound-vision synching technologies, the movie contains little speaking compared to its focus on song. Jack’s struggle to fuse his Jewish heritage with his desire to be a jazz singer is rendered powerfully through music— from Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies” to the traditional "Kol Nidre"— providing the soundtrack to a movie that ushered in both a new genre and a new era..AHN
Images © 1927 Warner Bros.
Images © 1975 ABC Entertainment, Paramount Pictures / 1975 Goodtimes Enterprises, Visual Programme Systems
C I N E M A ' S T H E M AT I C S T R A N D S
SPOTLIGHT SWEET MELODIES
Dir: Robert Altman
A good chunk of Nashville's near three-hour running time is given over to musical performances, as the fictional country musicians who populate Robert Altman's epic ensemble drama perform songs in their entirety - usually in lived-in, authentic venues. This has the unusual effect of making it feel like a concert movie, for a show that never actually happened - and which also featured a car crash, a striptease, and an assassination. The movie deeply explores its cast of layered, fullydeveloped characters from the Nashville music industry; from parasites like Shelley Duvall's disconnected groupie and Geraldine Chaplin's intrusive and self-absorbed journalist, to cynical stars like Henry Gibson's Haven Hamilton. Yet, like Altman's later A Prairie Home Companion, Nashville is really about music and the role it plays in people's lives. The industry might be variously portrayed as twee, bankrupt, exploitative and phony, but the music is always imbued with meaning and seems to give rise to genuine hope. RB
Dir: Ken Russell
Ken Russell was no stranger to filming composer biographies. Aside from Mahler (1974), he also made television documentaries on composers like Debussy, Strauss and Delius. But it was in Lisztomania that he raised the biopic to a level that even today can be considered outrageous. Following their successful collaboration on Tommy (1975), Russell cast The Who’s Roger Daltrey in the lead of this loose biographical re-imagining of Liszt’s life, including his romances and complex relationship with Richard Wagner. Bawdy, joyful and unapologetically flamboyant, its critical dismissal at the time now pales next to Lisztomania’s inescapable influence on movies like Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine (1998). Russell’s visual mastery saves the film from being Carry on Liszt, but its overwhelming spectacle is always dedicated to the film’s real star: its soundtrack. With electronic adaptations crafted by progrock icon Rick Wakefield, the heart of Lisztomania lies in its unabashed passion for music.
THE INDUSTRY MIGHT BE VARIOUSLY PORTRAYED AS TWEE, BANKRUPT, EXPLOITATIVE AND PHONY, BUT THE MUSIC IS ALWAYS IMBUED WITH MEANING AND SEEMS TO GIVE RISE TO GENUINE HOPE.
LEFT BEDSIDE LULLABY TOP RIGHT SWINGING THE CLASSICS
Images © 1981 Franco Rosso / 2009 Mij Film Co., Mitosﬁlm
NO ONE KNOWS ABOUt PERSIAN CAtS (2009)
Dir: Bahman Ghobadi
A thrilling hybrid between drama and documentary, Bahman Ghobadi's No One Knows About Persian Cats casts musicians Ashkan Kooshanejad and Negar Shaghaghi as fictionalised versions of themselves - defiantly enjoying non-religious, indie music in their native Iran. Following this likeable duo, the director (who today, like his two leads, lives in London-based exile) gives us an authentic glimpse of the littleknown Tehran underground music scene, showing us - via segments that play like budget versions of MTV music videos - real-life Iranian bands and performers of varying styles. In Persian Cats, music - as a form of expression and a vital component of youth culture - is something worth risking imprisonment, and possibly even death, to experience and to create. There's an infectious joy in the film's love of music, without the detachment and irony associated with UK counter-culture - making the Iranian music scene appear exciting without trying to be edgy. RB
OPPOsITE A PAIR OF COOL CATs
EXTENDED MUSICAL SEQUENCES IN THE LOCAL NIGHTCLUB - PRESENT MUSIC AS A UNIFYING FORCE AND PROVIDER OF SHELTER FROM THE MYRIAD OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS THAT AWAIT ON THE STREETS OUTSIDE.
Dir: Franco Rosso
A brutal, socially conscious British cult classic, which explores racism and identity in Brixton at the start of the 1980s, Babylon stars Aswad's Brinsley Forde as a mechanic and aspiring musician whose life is eventually destroyed by ongoing racism and the vilification of his community. Soon after losing his job, Forde's David is subjected to random - and racially motivated police brutality in the street and slowly his own relaxed demeanour, racial tolerance and pacifism give way to anger and mutually destructive violence. Not only is every emotion and action reflected in the film's reggae soundtrack, but extended musical sequences in the local nightclub - shown as the focal point of the local Jamaican community, as a symbol of cultural and, for many, religious identity present music as a unifying force and provider of shelter from (and, in most cases, provide commentary on) the myriad of social problems that await on the streets outside.
C I N E M A ' S T H E M AT I C S T R A N D S
C I N E M A ' S T H E M AT I C S T R A N D S
GAINSBOURG’S INFAMOUS EXPERIMENTATIONS WITH MUSICAL GENRES RUN PARALLEL TO BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES
Images © 2010 One World Films, Studio 37
GAINSBOURg: A HEROIC LIFE (2010)
Dir: Joann Sfar
Taken from the 1971 magnum opus “Histoire de Melody Nelson”, Joann Sfar’s Serge Gainsbourg biopic opens with the evocative “Valse de Melody”, establishing its romantic vision from the outset. Based on his graphic novel, Sfar’s background in comic books is palpable in Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life’s sumptuous visuals, employing animation, live action and puppetry in its story of a strange and charming boy who became a national icon. It's as much a musical as biographical journey, and Gainsbourg’s infamous experimentations with musical genres run parallel to biographical sketches, including numerous widelypublicized romantic encounters. These include his relationships with Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot, the latter set to “Initial BB”, a song Gainsbourg wrote during his brief affair with the starlet. Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life does not use music to illustrate any kind of truth about Gainsbourg’s remarkable and often controversial life, but rather locates the truth of his life in the music itself. AHN
LEFT GETTING A LEG UP bELOW PLAYING TO THE CROWD
Control (Anton Corbijn, 2007)
FILM IN A WIDER CONTEXT
C L E AVE R PAT TERSON enters the ﬁlm-sampling world of Public Service Broadcasting, a British band with a very distinctive sound and outlook.
With a musical style and visuality unlike anything else out there, and now through their collaboration with the BFI, Public Service Broadcasting are spreading their message of individuality to the masses. Splicing samples from vintage movies and public information films into contemporary dance music, the band are forging their own unique career. As J. Willgoose Esq. (one half of PSB) explained when we recently caught up with him during their hectic summer tour, these guys follow their own tune. Prepare to be enlightened.
What is your (J. Willgoose Esq. and Wrigglesworth) background and training in music and how did you come up with the name and concept for your band?
public information films and setting them to new music was bound to be an enormous hit, so that’s what we did. We called it Public Service Broadcasting to try to throw people off our cynically mass-market ambitions.
How would you describe your musical style, and where do you ﬁnd your inspiration?
Unashamed. Primitive. Pretentious. Yet… truthful. As for the origin of our inspiration - that’s quite a loaded question. You’re assuming we have inspiration, in some measure. I’m not sure we do. If we do – well, who knows where it comes from. It’s definitely from me, not Wrigglesworth, though. He just hits things.
What gave you the idea to mix old footage and contemporary music?
OPPOsITE THINGs ARE LOOkING UP AbOVE HAVE bANJO WILL TRAVEL
My (J.W. Esq) musical background is much more classical than Wriggles; I come from the world of light comic opera, and I specialise in 15th century arias. I like to think that’s especially evident in our big hits like ‘Spitfire’ and ‘Don Giovanni Can Take It’. Wrigglesworth holds a PhD in Primitive Yorkshire Drumming Techniques, which has put him in good stead for his role in this band. As far as coming up with the name and concept, we decided to focus on what was most likely to be commercially successful. After a fevered fifteen hours spent in the pub we decided that sampling
It's a very conscious decision. I love everything about the '30s or the '40s and '50s, the movies, the arts, the fashion design, the typography, the design, the cars, the architecture, the music ... What can I say? I'm old fashioned and loving it. That's, for all these reasons, why I will always prefer Vertigo, Rear Window and Rope to Torn Curtain, Topaz or Family Plot.
The ﬁlm footage you use, particularly to compliment your EP The War Room, is very similar to the work of the documentary maker Humphrey Jennings. Which
ART&FILM PUBLIC BROADCAST LIMITED
ﬁlmmakers and musicians would you say have had the greatest inﬂuence on you?
Very similar indeed, partly because some of it is his work (London Can Take It and Listen To Britain, which we used for the video for Waltz For George)! As part of the documentary film movement, his work is pretty much unequaled, so we’d definitely give him a respectful nod. Otherwise I’ve always admired the purpose and clarity of Kubrick’s films (apart from Eyes Wide Shut, which was bloody awful). I also admire his rampant control-freakery. Well done, Stanley.
How did your involvement with the BFI come about?
I phoned them up and confused the living daylights out of them, initially, then continued pestering via email. After a short period of non-communication they got back in touch and said I could use some of their stuff if I really wanted to, but first I had to take a blood oath and swear allegiance to the BFI cause. It all got a bit Dan Brown, to be honest, but it was worth doing, as their archives are great.
The War Room EP is clearly based around footage of WW II. How much say did you have in the choice of ﬁlm and how much freedom did the BFI give you?
They were great – almost carte blanche was granted, and they had faith in what we were doing, which was nice. We could basically do what we wanted with any of the material that they held the rights to, and we couldn’t have done it without them being such all-round good eggs. Thanks guys!
sympathetic to, yet add to, the source material. When it doesn’t (see our video for London Can Take It), there just isn’t much point in the two co-existing. The challenge is to find the right balance.
How restrictive, if at all, do you feel it is to associate your music and image etc. with vintage propaganda ﬁlms?
Clearly you have a affinity and love for cinema and ﬁlm, as well as music. How do you feel the two play off / compliment each other?
A good soundtrack can make or break a film. It’s one of the quickest things to date old films – the music is seemingly constantly dramatic, even when it doesn’t need to be. Music needs to be
Not all of our music is associated with vintage propaganda films, but even if it were, I don’t think that’s necessarily restrictive. I think it’s all about how you use them to inform the music that you make, and how you keep developing the music in different ways to keep things fresh and stop them from getting repetitive and dull.
What is your next project?
CLOCkWIsE FROM TOP PERFORMING LIVE / MR. J. WILGOOsE EsQ.
Ah. Now that, sir, would be telling!
Order PBS's debut album Inform, Educate, Entertain from their website » publicservicebroadcasting.net/
Music needs to be sympathetic to, yet add to, the source material. When it doesn’t, there just isn’t much point in the two co-existing. The challenge is to ﬁnd the right balance.
THE HARMONIOUS MEETING OF MUSIC AND FILM
N EI L M I TC h EL L conducts an investigation into the use of Beethoven's Glorious Ninth in A Clockwork Orange.
Top, bottom and opposite A Clockwork Orange © 1971 Warner Bros., Hawk Films
TH E SYMBIOT IC RE L AT IO NSH IP between the moving image and music – either original compositions or existing pieces – has rarely been so complexly utilised as it was by Stanley Kubrick in his 1971 adaptation of Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. Kubrick transcended any conventional use of music to create tension, underscore emotion or convey a sense of time and place. By appropriating Ludvig Van Beethoven's 'Glorious Ninth' symphony – which includes a chorus singing Schiller's Ode to Joy - Kubkrick addressed issues of power, sex, death, violence, religion and morality; individual and collective, onscreen and off. First performed in 1824, and widely considered to be the yardstick by which other symphonies are measured, The Glorious Ninth – a musical journey from darkness to light and from chaos to order – is confrontationally deployed as the soundtrack to head Droog, and Beethoven fanatic, Alex's (Malcolm McDowell) misadventures. When coupled to the enthusiastic fervour with which the Droog's embark upon a vicious gang fight, Alex's ecstatic, depraved masturbatory fantasies and, subsequently, his horrified reaction to hearing the Ninth during correctional treatment, Beethoven's crowning glory is subverted. The connection between music and emotion is still there, but the associations are twisted; notions of love, optimism and humanity are replaced by visions of rape,
nihilism and ultra-violence. Female degradation, generational anxieties and corrosive alienation are accompanied by sections of Beethoven's alternately spiritually uplifting, reflective and strident composition. It is during Alex's correctional treatment, when the Government lets its professionals loose on Alex's sickly soul, that Kubrick muddies the musical waters further. The Droog's violent personal journey may take him along the same path traversed in the Ninth, but it is a far more controversial one, as The Ludovico Technique is itself, state sanctioned, violence perpetrated against the individual. Subsequently returned to his original psychological state, Alex is last seen lost in an orgiastic, rapturous reverie brought on by the heady climax of the Ninth. He may have been cured alright, but at what cost to himself, the powers that be and society at large? Through choreographed fight sequences, Soviet-Montage style fantasy scenes and oppressive shots of mental torture, Kubrick confounded expectations of how The Glorious Ninth could be perceived, felt and envisioned. In doing so, the director – through his marriage of the 'high' art of classical music to the 'low' of sexually explicit, graphically violent imagery – boldly questioned our own notions of acceptable entertainment, voyeurism and emotional gratification. [tbp]
The connection between music and emotion is still there, but the associations are twisted; notions of love, optimism and humanity are replaced by visions of rape, nihilism and ultra-violence.
Read an in depth analysis of The Glorious Ninth in 'A Clockwork Orange' here » http://bit.ly/12T6uDl
pe A K
D E C O D I N G I C O N S O F P O P U L A R C U LT U R E
‘..A place of almost unimaginable power...a power so vast that its bearer might reorder the Earth itself to his liking...This place I speak of is known as the Black Lodge – and I intend to find it.’ - Windom Earle Opened in 2000 by Peaks fans Bryan Hogue and Matthew Martin, Black Lodge Video is a Memphis gem. The rental store’s on-street sign shows Agent Cooper peeking through red curtains, and its shelves feature a selection of thousands of obscure and classic movies in all formats, including many VHS. The films are organized by directors, countries, themes and genres, and there’s a permanent space for David Lynch’s work. How did your ﬁrst Peaks experience affect you? Bryan: My first exposure to it was strange. I caught one episode midway through season two – the one where the horse appeared in the living room. It made no sense. When the whole series was released, I watched it all in one run. For that day and a half, I existed in Twin Peaks. It was a heavy, concentrated experience. The ending is so crushing and cool and heartbreaking. From there, I became pretty obsessed with it. Matt, my business partner, was into it too, which was one of the things we connected on. How did this fascination with Peaks translate into naming the store Black Lodge Video? Matt and I collected VHS and had built up a healthy collection. When
A Black Lodge has been found in Memphis, Tennessee. Though Deputy Hawk warned those passing through the Lodge to do so with perfect courage lest their souls be annihilated, people have passed through this Lodge for over a decade, souls still intact. Interview by S h AR A LO R E A C L AR K , contributor to Fan Phenomena: Twin Peaks
we decided to open a store, we knew the name had to be something that meant a lot to us. We were Peaks freaks for years and wanted to give it props. The Lodge is on Cooper Street. Coincidence? After we chose the location, a week passed before I thought, ‘831 South Cooper…Black Lodge Video...holy shit!’ It’s at Cooper and Evelyn. Evelyn was the woman James Hurley visited. Also, the place across the street, that’s Palmer Real Estate. We’ve got all kinds of little Twin Peaks nods around us, but it was complete coincidence. ‘Fellas, coincidence and fate figure largely in our lives.’ - Agent Cooper Who is your favorite Twin (OPPOsITE) THE ICONIC IMAGE OF LAURA PALMER FROM THE PILOT EPIsODE © 1990-1991 LYNCH/FROsT PRODUCTIONs, PROPAGANDA FILMs, SPELLING ENTERTAINMENT Peaks character and why? The obvious answer would be Cooper. But Major Briggs, brilliantly played by the late Don Davis, is such a complex and warm character that you can’t help but love every second he’s on screen. He was a unique pillar of confidence and strength, but then there are times where his deadpan, introverted persona is turned inside out by moments of tenderness. Who doesn’t love the scene in the diner ➜ Autumn 2013
FAN PHENOMENA TWIN PEAKS
where he tells his son, Bobby, about the dream he had about them? Time stops for me every time I see it. Or even Briggs’ truth serum response to Windom Earle’s question: “What do you fear most in the world?” Briggs: “The possibility that love is not enough.” That’s one of the most beautiful and naive notions I’ve ever heard; a philosophy few wouldn’t be crushed by the weight of. I always felt that Briggs’ depth and spiritual scope probably surpassed even Coops. What are your feelings about the series versus the movie? I know it’s going to sound blasphemous, but I think the movie ended up being a wasted opportunity for either closure to our storyline or at least taking it a few steps further than the end of the series. I never thought the movie added anything new to the overall story. In the series, we got plenty of information about Laura, her double life, and troubles as the mystery unfolded. Did we really need a whole movie devoted to seeing it? I’ve watched it several times, and it does have its good moments. It just always makes me wish for what could have been. There have been rumors about the massive amount that was cut from Fire Walk With Me. Maybe one day Frost and Lynch will be able to and want to restore it to what they originally envisioned. Why do you think the series/ ﬁlm has weathered the test of time? I guess it stands as a testament to not always treating your audience like idiots and going for what feels right; no matter how against the grain it might be. I like to believe Lynch’s influence is as much to thank for that as anything else. I think the mystery of Laura’s murder is what interested most at first. Then once you delve into all of the other characters in the town and the mechanics of their
lives, that’s when you realize how densely layered their world is. Once its dark tone starts to show, either it turned you off or made you crave more. And many of us craved more. It’s just an amazingly well constructed mindf**k, and my world is richer for having been exposed to it. How would you describe Peaks’ inﬂuence on pop culture/television? Peaks opened up a cerebral side in TV, challenging viewers to look beneath the surface of its whodunit narrative and to process the deeper chemistry of its characters and their world. It exposed layers of secrets, lies, fears, desires, spirituality and inevitable doom. Peaks showed us that good does not always conquer evil, and that even the strong and pure are vulnerable. The giant in Peaks said that “a path is formed by laying one stone at a time.” Twin Peaks, I believe, is that first stone on the path to smarter television. It did what few shows did before it or since – it turned television into art. [tbp]
Once its dark tone starts to show, either it turned you off or made you crave more. And many of us craved more. It’s just an amazingly well constructed mindf**k, and my world is richer for having been exposed to it.
CLOCkWIsE FROM TOP PUTTING Us IN THE FRAME AGENT COOPER AND DAEMON bOb CO-OWNER MATTHEW MARTIN WITH GRACE ZAbRIskIE (SARAH PALMER)
Read more of this interview in Fan Phenomena: Twin Peaks
A neW bOOk seRies ThaT ‘decOdes’ icOns Of pOpUlaR cUlTURe WRiTTen bY and fOR ThOse Of a passiOnaTe dispOsiTiOn
Fan Phenomena Star Wars Edited by Mika Elovaara ISBN: 978-1-78320-022-1 £14.95 / $20
Fan Phenomena Buffy the Vampire Slayer Edited by Jennifer K. Stuller ISBN: 978-1-78320-019-1 £14.95 / $20
Fan Phenomena Doctor Who Edited by Paul Booth ISBN: 978-1-78320-020-7 £14.95 / $20
Fan Phenomena Twin Peaks Edited by Marisa C. Hayes and Franck Boulegue ISBN: 978-1-78320-024-5 £14.95 / $20
Fan Phenomena Star Trek Edited by Bruce Drushel ISBN: 978-1-78320-023-8 £14.95 / $20
Fan Phenomena Batman Edited by Liam Burke ISBN: 978-1-78320-017-7 £14.95 / $20
For further information about the series and news of forthcoming titles visit www.intellectbooks.com Follow progress of all titles by liking the Fan Phenomena Book Series page on Facebook
Ro C K
N EI L FOX tunes his radio from ﬁction to fact and steps into the world of the Rockumentary, where artistic creativity, cultural history and fragile egos have come together and made some unforgettable music.
do C s
FILM IN A WIDER CONTEXT
h A L FWAY T h RO UG h Michael
OPPOsITE GIMME sHELTER ABOVE sTANDING IN THE sHADOW OF MOTOWN
Rappaport's Beats, Rhymes & Life (2011) the director asks members of De La Soul if the show they are all at will be the last show by A Tribe Called Quest, the subject of the film. The reply is 'I hope so'. It’s a moment that illustrates important factors in rock documentary - honesty, capturing the moment and the quality of the participants. Since DA Pennebaker captured a young Bob Dylan on the road in Don't Look Back (1967) the 'rockumentary' has surged to become a popular staple of the wider documentary genre. Pennebaker’s film and the conventions it spawned have become part of mainstream cinematic consciousness, with Todd Haynes' Dylan mythology I'm Not There (2007) borrowing heavily from its aesthetics for key sequences. Also, films such as Rob Reiner's beloved This Is Spinal Tap (1984) capture an authentic behind the scenes feel in a work that spoofs both the heavy metal and rock music genres in addition to the rockumentary itself. The rockumentary is generally a reflective document looking back at key moments surrounding its subject, from a distance that allows for that reflection by those involved and affected. This is fundamentally different to the concert film, which, due to the temporal nature of the subject, captures a specific moment in time. One of the greatest examples of a film that straddles both is The Maysles Brothers and Charlotte Zwerin's Gimme Shelter (1970). What must have started life as a straight document of The Rolling Stones’ 1969 Altamont show became something else entirely following the tragic,
unforeseen events that transpired. The directors perfectly capture both the prior ego and subsequent terror and reality check of disconnected rock royalty as well as creating a visual testament to a watershed cultural event. Their skill as documentary filmmakers elevates a simple concert film into a valuable historical artefact. The film becomes a way of viewing history in a wider context. It's post summer of love, the end of the sixties and paired with Jean Luc Godard's Sympathy for the Devil (1968) places a rock and roll group at the heart of a major cultural shift. Godard's film is a complicated and astute rockumentary, painstakingly capturing the attritionlike construction of one of rock and roll's most famous recordings it is also a painfully voyeuristic insight into a band at breaking point. Similarly to Gimme Shelter, it manages to convey a darkness emerging over the horizon of the hope fueled '60s, shot as it was in the aftermath of the May 1968 Paris riots and infused with classic Godard symbolism and contrasts. Increasingly Rockumentaries have become a way of redressing history and moments in time almost archaeologically, giving us new ways of seeing famous historical moments in music history and also providing an insight into artists that provided key influential, but under appreciated, input into the musical landscape. Standing In The Shadows Of Motown (Paul Justman, 2002) is a tribute to the Funk Brothers - the session musicians responsible for some of the most memorable music of the twentieth century - that also exposes and documents issues of injustice and Autumn 2013
WIDESCREEN ROCK DOCS
the audience witnesses not only the fraught creation of a landmark record – Wilco’s seminal Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - born out of the ashes of the fiery artistic melding of Jeff Tweedy and Jim O'Rourke and record label indifference but also Tweedy's descent into painkiller addiction. Captured honestly in stark black and white it's one of the finest documentaries on the creative processes and the struggle to realise artistic ambition. Punk has spawned a number of great films, thanks in part to the vision of filmmakers such as Julien Temple and Don Letts furiously capturing every moment they witnessed during that seminal period of cultural change. This opportunism and post-reflection has led to films such as Letts' Westway To The World (2000) and Temple's Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten (2007) and The Filth and the Fury (2000). Temple, a prolific and revered music documentarian also created the infamous, flawed rockumentary The Great Rock and Roll Swindle (1980) (a film that was released as punk was imploding), as well as films on Glastonbury festival (Glastonbury, 2006) and Dr. Feelgood (Oil City Confidential, 2009). Nowadays artists are increasingly shielded from the kind of exposure on display in the classic rock documentaries of the 1960s and 1970s. This has resulted in an increased homogenisation and control of the perception of artists by those around them. This may be partly responsible for the subjects of the genre being increasingly sought from the margins. Films such as Anvil: The Story Of Anvil (Sacha Gervasi, 2008) and Searching For Sugar Man (Malik Bendjelloul, 2012) have emerged to positive theatrical response but although affectionately created both films fail to bring new energy to the genre. They are rooted in familiar, unnecessary narrative devices that do their subjects a disservice and don't make the most of the potential opportunities afforded by the rockumentary, to expand upon an endlessly fascinating subject - the lives of artists - to the public consciousness. Rockumentaries add context, depth, perspective and an alternative view of history that is accessible and as they are rooted in the power of music, have the potential to move and, on occasion, be transcendent cinematic journeys. [tbp]
Rockumentaries add context, depth, perspective and an alternative view of history that are accessible and as they are rooted in the power of music, have the potential to move and, on occasion, be transcendent cinematic journeys.
TOP sEARCHING FOR sUGAR MAN AbOVE OIL CITY CONFIDENTIAL
the then burgeoning Civil Rights movement. Meanwhile The Devil And Daniel Johnston (Jeff Feuerzeig, 2005) is a vital film about mental illness, artistic integrity and heartbreak, which focuses on a musician who has had huge impact on the careers of artists ranging from Kurt Cobain to TV On The Radio. There's a voyeuristic element to rockumentaries, with audiences fascinated by watching talented but ego-ridden artists breakdown in front of our eyes. Of these, there are few more magnetic, enigmatic and infuriating than Anton Newcombe, who blazes a trail of stubbornness, anger and cosmic ambition at the heart of Ondi Timoner's cult Dig! (2004). The form has come a long way from concert films with backstage footage and quasi-narrative performance vehicles created to promote the likes of The Beatles and The Monkees, films that proved there is an audience willing to pay to see behind the veil and observe bands and artists being themselves or variants thereof. These observations have evolved from the mundane - press conferences, hanging round in airports and dressing room banter - into investigations into the creative process that have become key to the genre. Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster (Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofksy, 2004) is a fascinating insight into the traumas that can plague even the richest, most successful musicians. The aural onslaught of Metallica's heavy metal is poignantly contrasted against the band members' fragile personal demons, inter-band relationships and therapy sessions. In Sam Jones' I Am Trying To Break Your Heart (2002)
Watch Gimme Shelter here » http://bit.ly/QZC1Z
P R O F I L E S O F T H E W O R L D ' S G R E AT D I R E C T O R S
RIGHT DANIEL DAY LEWIs AND PAUL THOMAs ANDERsON ON THE sET OF THERE WILL BE BLOOD (2008)
pAUL thomAs ANdersoN
In an extract from Directory of World Cinema: American Independent, J AM E S M ACD O WEL L looks at one of the most unique and exciting voices in American Cinema.
PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON has been one of the most consistently exciting writer-directors to have emerged during the 1990s’ indiewood boom, in part simply because of his seeming unpredictability. Unlike his namesake Wes, for instance, each new film has constituted a significant departure from his last, with the most recent, There Will Be Blood (2008), coming as perhaps the biggest surprise. Yet this broad range might itself be something of an authorial signature, both for his oeuvre and within individual films. Robert Altman and Martin Scorsese tend to be cited as his most obvious predecessors, yet Anderson has often named Jonathan Demme as his very favourite filmmaker, once praising this director’s
screwball-comedy-cum-stalkerthriller Something Wild (1986) in particular for being what he called a ‘gearshift movie’.1 This seems a useful concept for understanding Anderson’s own work, since it speaks to his love of keeping us forever unsure about what kind of a film we are watching. [tbp] Read the rest of this article along with other director profiles and 'essential American film reviews in Directory of World Cinema: American Independent 2 edited by John Berra. Available now from www. intellectbooks.com
T H E A R T O F A B B R E V I AT E D S T O R Y T E L L I N G
PhANtom oF the PArAdIse
Dir. Brian De Palma, 1974
Images © 1974 Harbor Productions
N I CO L A BA LKI ND stalks the corridors of Death Records and uncovers satire and cut-throat betrayal in Brian De Palma's gaudy horrormusical Phantom of the Paradise.
B R I A N D E P A L M A ' S Phantom of the Paradise (1974) encapsulates the satirical nature of musical films in a way rarely seen before or since. Paradise is a loose adaptation of a number of classic texts, from the obvious - The Phantom of the Opera and Faust - to the more obliquely credited Psycho (1960) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). Swan (Paul Williams) virtually predicts the natural horror-narrative progression of Simon Cowell in the form of an elusive, satanic record producer. Having cashed in on novelty band The Juicy Fruits (harkening forward to Josie and the Pussycats' boy-band Du Jour), Swan ensnares a composer named Winslow (William Finley) whose latest work, Faust – a classic sound to counteract the Juicy Fruits’ candycoated nostalgia – is the catalyst for the ensuing insanity. Attempting to reach Swan to consult upon his music, which Swan has evidently stolen, Winslow is ejected from the mansion and framed with possession of narcotics. Placed in a 'volunteer' correctional institution dubiously funded by the label, Winslow hears his Faust has been credited to Swan. He escapes in a rage, making an explosive exit amidst the dramatic strains of his musical opus. Winslow makes directly for the home of the record label, smashing his way through the building and breaking directly into the record printing room to disable the record press. Close to out-smarting his enemy, a policeman calls him away from the record press; but Winslow's snagged by a loose shirt-sleeve and his very face is pressed with the ink, heat, and indents of his nemeses. Things turn darker as Death Records lives up to its name. Clutching his ruined face, Winslow whines and stumbles like a dog, the minor piano notes mingle with passing sirens, descending with his fall into the river. A cut, and all is well again. Jovial hops of the violin bow bring in the spinning Variety headline of The Juicy Fruits' success, as 'Mad Tunesmith Bites Bullet'. Winslow is again foiled by the industry that he once sought to contain. Another genius thwarted. GO FURTHER Visit The Swan Archives and investigate The Phantom of the Paradise www.swanarchives.org/
M O M E N T S T H AT C H A N G E D C I N E M A F O R E V E R
DE AN BRANDUM slips on his dancing shoes and gets ready to rock'n'roll with a movie that inspired ﬁlmmakers and musicians alike.
Images © 1956 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
OPPOsITE JAYNE MANsFIELD RIGHT EDDIE COCHRAN bELOW RIGHT LITTLE RICHARD AND bAND
I T I S DI FFI CU L T to conceive of many films could have brought consensus between the French critic-cum-director and the guitar god of The Yardbirds, yet Frank Tashlin’s 1956 satire of the popular music business managed just that. Although these two notable fans possibly consider the film from differing perspectives, they converge at the joy found in The Girl Can’t Help It when celluloid and rock ‘n’ roll finally consummated their previously uneasy relationship. The story is a simple one – a washed up music promoter (Tom Ewell) agrees to work for a boisterous gangster (Edmond O’Brien) turning his glamorous but reluctant girlfriend (Jayne Mansfield) into a star. Various plot contrivances occur, interspersed with often electrifying performances from the likes of Fats Domino, Gene Vincent, Edie Cochran, Juanita Moore and The Platters. Perhaps best remembered as a cult item among aficionados of all things rock and roll and all things Jayne Mansfield, The Girl Can’t Help It was more popular in Britain than in North America on its initial release and became a cultural touchstone for many members of the ‘British Invasion’ of musical acts who dominated international charts in the 1960s. In 1968 The Beatles were deep in their recording of what would become known as The White
Album. Musically disenchanted after their Indian sojourn and experimentations with eclectic instrumentation, the group felt a need to be reinvigorated with a return to their musical roots. One evening they took a break from the studio and went to McCartney’s house to watch The Girl Can’t Help It on television. Energised, they returned to recording and soon the boisterous Birthday was in the can, the song a distinct throwback to an earlier era. Both McCartney and Lennon spoke about the effect the film had upon them as impressionable teenagers at their Liverpool cinema in 1957. This was a time when Britain was wakening from the malaise of postwar rebuild with a generation becoming teenagers as a period of consumerist affluence arrived coupled with the flood of exciting new music from across the Atlantic. Later, like many of their compatriots The Beatles would present to America their variation on that music, much of which they had first experienced in The Girl Can’t Help It. The Girl Can’t Help It was not the first ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ movie. In 1955 The Blackboard Jungle (Richard Brooks)
'In ﬁfteen years time people will realize that The Girl Can’t Help It served then – that is, today – as a fountain of youth from which the cinema now – that is, in the future – has drawn fresh inspiration' - Jean Luc Godard
1000 WORDS ROCK&REEL
included Bill Haley and The Comets’ Rock Around the Clock on the soundtrack and the popularity of the film among the youthful audience was such that producers queued to capitalise on this new musical phenomenon with hastily conceived films that showcased the popular performers of the time, with Rock, Rock, Rock! (Will Price), Rock Around the Clock and Don’t Knock the Rock (both Fred F. Sears) all appearing in 1956. Unfortunately these were lowbudget, black and white affairs with dull, flimsy interludes between the acts desperately holding together a semblance of a narrative. When The Girl Can’t Help It premiered in December of that year an already jaded audience could have expected more of the same and such misgivings would have continued once the film began. The appearance of the 20th Century Fox logo in Academy ratio and grim monochrome would have seemed so yesterday even in 1956. And the entrance of Tom Ewell on a soundstage surrounded by musical props to introduce the film was in keeping with the cynical practice of Hollywood producers unable to construct a narrative that allowed rock and roll’s music, style and philosophy to exist without a patronizing, paternal explanation. But instead, Ewell performs the sort of fourth wall demolition that still leaves the viewer gasping today: He knocks
the frames of the screen out to Cinemascope dimensions and demands that the film be in colour, a wish granted. Soon, the camera pans to a gleaming jukebox and Ewell’s waffling is drowned out by Little Richard’s rendition of the title song (one that Rod Stewart would later name as his all-time favourite). From here the narrative commences but it serves only to link a series of sublime musical performances and the astonishing figure of Mansfield herself, who resembles nothing short of a cartoon blonde bombshell. Indeed
Tom Ewell performs the sort of fourth wall demolition that still leaves the viewer gasping today: He knocks the frames of the screen out to Cinemascope dimensions and demands that the ﬁlm be in colour.
TOP ELVIs PREsLEY IN 'JAILHOUsE ROCk' AbOVE bREAkING THE FOURTH WALL
Check out Rolling Stone's 30 Greatest Rock'n'Roll Movie Moments » http://rol.st/VyDrky
bELOW THE bEATLEs IN 'A HARD DAY's NIGHT' © 1964 PROsCENIUM FILMs, WALTER SHENsON FILMs, MALJACk PRODUCTIONs
Getting involved with...
would you like to contribute to The Big Picture magazine? We’re always on the lookout for enthusiastic ﬁlm-lovers with a passion and ﬂair for the written word. So, if this sounds like you, then simply send us a few examples of your writing along with a short personal bio to: Neil MItchell, Editor
one almost expects the eyes of the infatuated gangster (O’Brien hitting the right note of wolfish ham) to pop out on stalks and for him to howl in delight whenever she appears in her figure-hugging outfits. Such a comic sensibility is to be expected from Tashlin who began his career as an inventive animator and brought over many of that discipline’s aesthetic and tonal qualities to liveaction filmmaking. Although mainstream critics expended little energy on the film, more discerning minds championed its qualities, with Godard believing the director’s artistry would be appreciated in the years to come. Yet it was not to be. Tashlin enjoyed associations with Jerry Lewis and Doris Day throughout the 1960s but by the end of the decade he was swept out of favour by the emerging New Hollywood, Tashlin died in 1972 and Godard’s prediction remains mostly unfounded. Although he died young, he had sadly already outlived several of The Girl Can’t Help It’s stars including Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and Mansfield herself.
Never has early rock and roll music been presented on film with such visual flair and energy and rarely were Mansfield’s considerable comic talents ever better on display. It's immediate influence was felt a little over a year later in Jailhouse Rock (Richard Thorpe, 1957) and Tashlin's own Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957). It's spirit has subsequently been evoked many times in music themed movies. A DVD that belongs in every cinefile’s collection, as Keith Richards once remarked when asked if he was familiar with The Girl Can't Help it, “Know it? I own it. And not just for Jayne Mansfield!” [tbp]
JOIN THE BIG PICTURE FAMILY
tRIVIA Producers wanted Elvis Presley to perform in the movie, but Tom Parker demanded too much money for Elvis to sing one song.
T H E P L A C E S T H AT M A K E T H E M O V I E S
Images © 1964 Proscenium Films, Walter Shenson Films, Maljack Productions
jEZ CO N O L LY , co-editor of World Film Locations: Liverpool, takes us on a musical tour of the city that gave birth to the sounds and spirit of Merseybeat.
A HARD DAY'S NIgHt (1964)
Dir. Richard Lester UK, 87 minutes Starring: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr
OPPOsITE ON THE RUN ABOVE IN DIsGUIsE
We don’t see Liverpool in A Hard Day’s Night, we feel it. Andrew Sarris described it somewhat over-elaborately in the Village Voice as ‘the Citizen Kane of jukebox musicals, a brilliant crystallization of such diverse cultural particles as the pop movie, rock ‘n’ roll, cinéma vérité, the nouvelle vague, free cinema, the affectedly hand-held camera, frenzied cutting, the cult of the sexless sub-adolescent, the semi-documentary and studied spontaneity’. It is a viewing experience overwhelmingly of Liverpool, yet none of the film was actually shot in Liverpool. What is successfully captured however is the sense that wherever The Beatles are is Liverpool, as though they exist within a bubble of Scouse-made oxygen that sustains them. In travelling south to London to perform before the television cameras they are laying a pipeline for the rarefied and infectious Mersey air to flow through and bring colour to the cheeks of the capital’s population.
T H E P L A C E S T H AT M A K E T H E M O V I E S
FERRY CROSS tHE MERSEY (1965) Dir. Jeremy Summers UK, 88 minutes Starring: Gerry Marsden, Freddie Marsden, Leslie Maguire
Shot with uncommon haste to cash in on the Merseybeat phenomenon, and described at the time by Kenneth Tynan in The Observer as ‘a little glimpse into Hell’, this very rough and ready tour of Liverpool’s mid-sixties sights and sounds is burdened by some regrettable stabs at humour and pales in comparison to A Hard Day’s Night, which it desperately tries and substantially fails to match. It does however show lots of the Liverpool from whence the synonymous sound sprang, including some brief but compellingly raw introductory footage of the city’s back-streets, and rings with nine new Gerry and the Pacemakers songs written for the film and performed at various notable locations. Many will have seen the well known title song strummed out on the deck of the eponymous vessel, but also featured is a performance at the Cavern and a battle of the bands contest at the Locarno Ballroom.
BACkBEAt (1994) Dir. Iain Softley US, 100 minutes Starring: Stephen Dorff, Sheryl Lee, Ian Hart
Something that Backbeat shares with The Beatles’ own forays into film is that, despite appearances, practically none of it was shot in Liverpool. In an echo of those scenes of John, Paul, George and Ringo running to catch a train at Lime Street station at the beginning of A Hard Day’s Night - actually shot at London Marylebone - Softley’s telling of ‘fifth Beatle’ Stuart Sutcliffe’s story, like many other Fab Four biopics, deposits its characters in constructed versions of the Liverpool (and in this case Hamburg) of Beatles lore. For example, the front of Hessy’s Music Centre, formerly on Stanley Street, where we see Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff) and John Lennon (Ian Hart) picking a guitar, is a sound stage set that owes more to myth than reality. An early pan across the Liverpool skyline and along the Mersey is however unmistakably the real thing and succinctly sets up the two friends’ point of departure.
OF tIME AND tHE CItY (2008) Dir. Terence Davies UK, 74 minutes Starring: Terence Davies
Terence Davies was on the verge of dropping his involvement in the project that would go on to be his much-admired documentary love letter to the city of his birth, but was inspired to persist when he came to consider how best to convey the contrast between the cleared Liverpool slums and the post-war housing estates and tower-blocks that took their place. Among the many pieces of music that form the film’s rich and varied soundtrack, the Peggy Lee version of ‘The Folks who Live on the Hill’ sparked his creative instinct and lent the project shape and purpose. Don’t expect the director’s choice of music and depth of affection to encompass The Beatles; his monotone ‘yeah yeah yeah yeah’ aping of the band’s vocal style and his heartfelt marking of the passing of sedate British pop ‘screamed away on a tide of Merseybeat’ put that particular record straight.
Opposite © 1965 Subaﬁlms Top © 1994 Channel Four Films, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment Above © 2008 Terence Davies
Buy World Film Locations: Liverpool from Amazon and www.intellectbooks.com
THE AMPLIFIER THAT GOES UP TO 11
This is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner, 1984)
S C O T T j O R DA N hA RRI S inserts his earplugs to assess a fan favourite that is 'one louder' than all rival evocative ﬁlm objects.
D I M-WI T T E D R O CK STAR Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) is showing his collection of electric guitars to documentary-maker Marty DiBergi (Rob Reiner). There’s the classic 1959 model famous for its ability to sustain one note. There’s the wireless model with a radio unit that allows Tufnel to ‘run all over the stage’ but that, we later learn, picks up police radio signals while he does so. And there’s the guitar so perfect Tufnel insists it can never be played – or even looked at. Finally, Tufnel leads DiBergi to something else. Something special. Something befitting a group that has ‘earned a distinguished place in history as one of England’s loudest rock bands’. It is not another electric guitar but instead an amplifier. At first it seems unremarkable but then Tufnel shows us its control panel. Rather than ranging from one to ten, as we might expect, each dial goes up to eleven. Tufnel expects us to be awed. ‘It’s one louder,’ he says with un-suppressible pride. DiBergi asks a sensible question. ‘Why don’t you just make ten louder, and make
ten be the top number, and make that a little louder?’ This confuses Tufnel, who pauses like a computer overloaded by a request it cannot process. ‘These go up to eleven,’ he says. Few film objects have resonated in popular culture as loudly as the amp that goes up to eleven. At a time before mock-documentaries came to be commonplace in American comedy, this celebrated scene demonstrated beyond question the genre’s potential for big laughs and smart satire. The amplifier represents the needless excesses of heavy metal music but, beyond that, it represents the shallowness and stupidity of celebrity culture. As celebrity culture has become increasingly prominent in the decades since the release of Spinal Tap, so the film has become increasingly relevant and the amplifier increasingly famous. Across the English-speaking world, the phrase ‘going up to eleven’ now refers to anything that is being forced to its absolute maximum. The influence of the amplifier in This is Spinal Tap, like the influence of the movie itself, really does go up to eleven. [tbp]
Sample content from the new book www.rosebudsledsnandhorsesheads.com
E V O C AT I V E O B J E C T S O N S C R E E N
WORLD FILM LOCATIONS EXPlorinG tHE citY onscrEEn
The critically acclaimed book series from Intellect. www.intellectbooks.com
Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wai, 1994)
rEcommEndEd and rEad BY tHE world's lEadinG film critics...
NEW FOR NEW FOR
Edited by Natália Pinazza and Louis Bayman ISBN 9781783200290 PB £14.95 / $22
Edited by Jez Conolly and Caroline Whelan ISBN 9781783200269 PB £14.95 / $22
san PraGUE francisco Edited by
Edited by Scott Jordan Harris ISBN 9781783200283 PB £14.95 / $22
Edited by Lorenzo Torres and Helio San Miguel ISBN 9781783200252 PB £14.95 / $22
Marcelline Block ISBN 9781783200276 PB £14.95 / $22
HonG KonG los anGElEs NEwYorK
Edited by Linda Chiu-Han Lai and Kimburley Wing-Yee Choi ISBN 9781783200214 PB £14.95 / $22 Edited by Gabriel Solomons ISBN 9781841504858 PB £14.95 / $22 Edited by Scott Jordan Harris ISBN 9781841504827 PB £14.95 / $22
Edited by Neil Mitchell ISBN 9781841504841 PB £14.95 / $22
Edited by Marcelline Block ISBN 9781841505619 PB £14.95 / $22
latEst titlEs now aVailaBlE for amaZon KindlE and otHEr E-rEadErs + download tHE frEE iPad aPP >>
Visit tHE KindlE and itUnEs storEs for morE information
For further information and to order books visit: www.intellectbooks.com
I M I T AT I O N I S T H E S I N C E R E S T F O R M O F F L AT T E R Y
W HI LE I T ' S T HE R A I SO N D ' ETR E of musicals to include scenes in which the principal cast and often a multitude of extras sing, it's an entirely different experience when seen in movies from other genres. What happens when characters in romantic dramas, high school comedies or arthouse movies burst into song? In these instances the viewer is caught off guard, entirely unprepared for sequences that stir a range of emotions through, and draw attention to, the power of song. Though Herman Hupfeld's As Time Goes By is sung by Sam (Dooley Wilson) on numerous occasions in Casablanca (1942), it is the spontaneous version of La Marseillaise, belted out by the patrons of Rick's Café, that makes the greatest impression. With many of the extras in the scene being actual refugees and exiles from occupied France, this patriotic, defiant rejoinder to the German soldiers' singing of Die Wacht Am Rhein is invested with added poignancy. A light-hearted variation on this theme came in the coming of age comedy Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). During Ferris' (Matthew Broderick) unplanned adventures, the rebellious truant gate-crashes the annual Von Steuben's Day parade by climbing onto a float and leading the crowd, many of whom also dance in choreographed unison, through a gloriously uplifting, lipsynched version of Twist & Shout. It is a comedic nod to show stopping musical numbers that fits into Ferris' and the movie's larger-than-life attitude. Perhaps the boldest, most unconventional use of this trope appears in PT Anderson's sprawling human drama Magnolia (1999). All the principal players of this three hour ensemble piece take turns singing the lyrics to Aimee Mann's Wise Up, a melancholic ode to regret, self awareness and loss. Isolated in the frame as they are from each other, the individual characters are bound together by the song. Wise Up is a thread woven through the scene that renders everyone alike; fallible, damaged and struggling to make sense of their lives. Always striking and unexpected, and whether symbolic, comedic or mournful, the mass participatory song is never just a performance for its own sake, it's inclusion will always be to rouse an emotional connection within the viewer. [tbp]
All Together Now
NEI L MI TChEL L sings the praises of some unusual and unexpected outbursts of song in a diverse selection of movies.
Wise Up is a thread woven through the scene that renders everyone alike; fallible, damaged and struggling to make sense of their lives.
Watch the 'Wise Up' scene from Magnolia here » youtu.be/aNmKghTvj0E
Images (clockwise) © 1986 Paramount Pictures / 1942 Warner Bros. / 1999 New Line Cinema
CLOCkWIsE FROM OPPOsITE FERRIs bUELLER's DAY OFF CAsAbLANCA MAGNOLIA
Image © 2009 Ecosse Films, Film4, UK Film Council
2009's Liverpool set ﬁlm Nowhere Boy was directed by which established UK artist? The winning entry chosen at random will win a copy of World Film Locations: Liverpool edited by Jez Conolly and Caroline Whelan.
ENtER AND WIN!
EMAIL ANSWERS TO: G A B R I E L @ I N T E L L E C T B O O K S. C O M
DEadlInE for EntrIEs: 20 octoBEr, 2013
Exploring Film Beyond the Borders of the Screen...
The Big Picture is a magazine that explores ﬁlm in a wider context using the power of imagery to show just how moving moving-pictures can be. From posters and evocative objects to photo essays and real-life stories beyond the borders of the screen, The Big Picture offers a unique perspective on the world of ﬁlm.
Find out more by visiting www.thebigpicturemagazine.com
Also download the App today to enjoy an archive of all past and present issues
Experience The Bigger Picture
Showing that there’s more to ﬁlm than just ﬁlm...
Screengems Evocative Objects Onscreen Reel World Film Beyond the Borders of the Screen Parting Shot Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery On Location The Places That Make the Movies
Spotlight Cinema’s Thematic Strands 1000 Words Moments That Changed Cinema Forever Widescreen Film in A Wider Context Architecture & Film Adventures in Filmed Environments
Print copies available from www.magcloud.com
and to view from www.scribd.com
PDF Downloads of all past issues of The Big Picture are available from www.thebigpicturemagazine.com The Big Picture Magazine is produced by Intellect. www.intellectbooks.com / email@example.com
A roundup of all the ﬁlms featured...
The Blues Brothers (1980) Dir. John Landis
g see page 4/5
Plublishers of this here magazine...
There Will Be Blood (2008) Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
g see page 27
Each issue of The Big Picture is produced by Bristol based publisher, intellect.
The Jazz Singer (1927) Dir. Alan Corsland
g see page 6/7
Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
Dir. Brian De Palma
g see page 28/29
Nashville (1975) Dir. Robert Altman
g see pages 8/9
The Girl Can't Help It (1956) Dir. Frank Tashlin
g see page 30/31
Lisztomania (1975) Dir. Ken Russell
g see page 9
Jailhouse Rock (1957) Dir. Richard Thorpe
g see pages 32
Babylon (1981) Dir. Franco Rosso
g see page 10
A Hard Day's Night (1964) Dir. Richard Lester
g see page 33/34/35
No One Knows About Persian Cats (2009) Dir. Bahman Ghobadi
g see page 11
Ferry Cross the Mersey (1965) Dir. Jeremy Summers
g see page 36
Intellect is an independent academic publisher in the ﬁelds of creative practice and popular culture, publishing scholarly books and journals that exemplify their mission as publishers of original thinking. Theyaim to provide a vital space for widening critical debate in new and emerging subjects, and in this way they differ from other publishers by campaigning for the author rather than producing a book or journal to ﬁll a gap in the market. Intellect publish in four distinct subject areas: visual arts, ﬁlm studies, cultural and media studies, and performing arts. These categories host Intellect’s ever-expanding topics of enquiry, which include photography, drawing, curation, community music, gaming and scenography. Intellect titles are often multidisciplinary, presenting scholarly work at the cross section of arts, media and creative practice.
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (2010) Dir. Joann Sfar
g see page 12/13
Backbeat (1994) Dir. Iain Softley
g see page 37
A Clockwork Orange (1971) Dir. Stanley Kubrick
g see page 18/19
Of Time and the City (2002) Dir. Terence Davies
g see page 37
Gimme Shelter (1970) Dir. Charlotte Zwerin
g see pages 24
This is Spinal Tap (1984) Dir. Rob Reiner
g see page 38/39
Standing in the Shadow of Motown (2002) Dir. Paul Justman
g see page 25
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) Dir. John Hughes
g see page 42
Sing-up to receive thebigpicture newsletter
A twice monthly update with written features, exclusive competitions, news and ﬁlm recommendations. visit thebigpicture website for further details.
Casablanca (1942) Dir. Michael Curtiz
g see page 42
Searching for Sugar Man (2012) Dir. Mlik Benjelloul
g see page 26
Magnolia (1999) Dir. PT Anderson
g see page 43
Oil City Conﬁdential (2009) Dir. Julien Temple
g see pages 26
Nowhere Boy (2009) Dir. Sam Taylor-Wood
g see page 44
The views and opinions of all texts, including editorial and regular columns, are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reﬂect those of the editors or publishers.
Remember to follow thebigpicture on
EXPERIENCE GLOBAL CULTURE THROUGH THE MAGIC OF FILM
The Directory of World Cinema aims to play a part in moving intelligent, scholarly criticism beyond the academy. Each volume of the Directory provides a culturally representative insight into a national or regional cinema through a collection of reviews, essays, resources, and ﬁlm stills highlighting signiﬁcant ﬁlms and players. Over time, new editions will be published for each volume, gradually building a comprehensive guide to the cinema of each region. To contribute to the project or purchase copies please visit the website.
WWW . WORLDCINEMADIRECTORY. ORG
To view our catalogue or order our books and journals visit www.intellectbooks.com. Intellect, The Mill, Parnall Road, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3JG. | Tel: +44 (0) 117 9589910
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.