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Topic: Documentary kicks off film festival on AMC Return to archive
08-28-02 10:41 AM
CS Aug. 28, 2002, 8:59AM

Documentary kicks off film festival on AMC
Copyright 2002 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
If Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s doesn't send you out in search of at least one obscure video, you should consider a visit to Dr. Frank-N-Furter without delay, just to make sure you're still boogie-able.

Director Martin Scorsese got much acclaim for his film The Last Waltz, about the final performance of the Band.

Like Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The Early Years, which premiered on AMC two summers ago, HRTM: The 1970s is a documentary celebration of a film genre that seems to enjoy a spike whenever someone says for the umpteenth time, "The film musical is dead."

OK, maybe no one is doing Oklahoma! on the big screen these days, but music -- and not just background scene-setter music -- is as intrinsic to the movies as hand-wringing is to a Seattle Seahawks season. Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s makes the point emphatically because a lot of the movies it mentions weren't keepers, but the music in them was boffo.

Narrated by David Bowie, the two-hour documentary kicks off the 10th Film Preservation Festival, which runs all weekend on American Movie Classics and this year salutes music in the movies.

Among the films airing during the festival are restored prints of Bowie's own classic, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders of Mars, the Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter and Martin Scorsese's acclaimed examination of the Band's final performance, The Last Waltz.

Mick Jagger hams it up onstage during Gimme Shelter, the documentary about the Rolling Stones that gathered no moss but did garner much controversy.

All three films are mentioned in the AMC documentary, along with many others that may resonate or, depending on your awareness level in the '70s, may leave you wondering how some of them completely missed your radar screen. Either way, it's an exploration that goes well beyond disco and the impact of 1977's Saturday Night Fever.

The decade also gave us rock documentaries such as Woodstock, the whole blaxploitation movement, nostalgiefests such as American Graffiti, look-back biopics such as The Buddy Holly Story, theatrical remounts such as Grease and Jesus Christ Superstar, spoofs such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and serious dramas such as A Star Is Born and The Rose.

Sadly, not all of these will be part of AMC's Film Preservation Festival, but the mere mention of them in Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s is likely to get you interested in revisiting one or two on your own. Though it offers no new revelations and could stand to spend a little more time on the music and a little less on the talking, the documentary is what it is: a helpful archiving of a recent chapter in movie history that isn't taken too seriously, but nonetheless forms the soundtrack of many lives.

Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s, 7 p.m. Friday, AMC. Grade: B.
08-28-02 02:21 PM
gypsy Thank you for posting that. I'll have to tape some of those!
08-30-02 09:26 AM
CS Posted on Fri, Aug. 30, 2002

AMC festival celebrates cinema's rock riff
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Mick Jagger minces liked a caped satyr on a makeshift stage at the Altamont Speedway, all but hissing the venomous lyrics to Sympathy for the Devil. Elton John teeters on 10-inch platform soles, eyes bulging behind campy bejeweled glasses while defiantly singing about that "deaf, dumb and blind kid" in the Who's Pinball Wizard. John Travolta struts down the streets of New York, a pompadoured peacock of testosterone cockiness, heading for a Saturday night of dancing and dreams.

These iconic images, plucked from Gimme Shelter, Tommy and Saturday Night Fever, are three of the larger-than-life moments in a rollicking stroll back in cinematic time in the AMC cable network's 10th annual Film Preservation Festival, "Rock 'n' Roll in the Movies."

The menu for AMC's three-day celebration of cinematic rock"Rock 'n' Roll in the Movies"



The festival kicks off with Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s at 7 tonight is jammed with 21 movies, most built around music made in the 1970s. They range from cinema verite concert documentaries and hagiographic bio-pics to films hung on the thinnest plot that are instead built squarely around a soundtrack of catchy tunes.

The AMC festival kicks off with a two-hour "rock-u-spective" titled Hollywood Rocks the Movies: the 1970s. Narrated by David Bowie, this segment effectively traces the marriage of rock music and film, with special emphasis on certain underappreciated artists and music. For instance, when focusing on the blaxploitation film genre, the spotlight shines on Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield, whose funky street music formed the soundtrack to urban-grit films such as Shaft and Superfly.

But it's the festival's concert films that are the greatest draw.

Perhaps no film better captures the gothic theatricality of glam rock better than D.A. Pennebaker's Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, shot during David Bowie's 1973 London concert that marked his last performance as his interstellar alter-ego. For

anyone who misses its broadcast on AMC, the re-released Ziggy Stardust will be screened Sept. 13 at the Magnolia theater in Dallas.

The Rolling Stones were at the height of their Dionysian power when they played before more than 300,000 frenzied fans at Altamont Speedway in December 1969. Documentarians David and Albert Maysles turned their unblinking cameras on the band, and the result, Gimme Shelter, captured the group in full prancing, white-man-blues mode.

Gimme Shelter has, of course, become infamous for its recording of the Hell's Angels' murder of concertgoer Meredith Hunter. However ingrained the killing is on the viewer's psyche, it is equally disturbing to observe the Stones' befuddled and stunned reaction to the concert mayhem they witnessed and helped create.

"When the killing took place, it seemed to make more sense for people to recall the Stones playing Sympathy for the Devil, but they're really playing Under My Thumb," says Albert Maysles. The director says Jagger was so distressed when he saw the film's final cut that he vetoed its release.

For those who didn't catch the recent theatrical reissuing of Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz, the elegantly filmed account of The Band's 1976 swan-song concert, then this AMC presentation is a must-see. Digitally remixed, with a fully remastered soundtrack, The Last Waltz's roster of huge acts (Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, among many others) is widely considered to be the most accomplished concert film ever made.

But rock's role in film isn't all about concerts. The AMC festival starts at rock's roots with such movies as 1956's The Girl Can't Help It and Rock Around the Clock before moving on to such cult faves as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and This Is Spinal Tap, and blockbusters like A Star Is Born and Saturday Night Fever.

"Ultimately, it's the music in Saturday Night Fever that gives the film its sizzle, lifting the whole film up into the realm of wide appeal," says John Badham, the director of the movie.

AMC's film fest also revives the Broadway-inspired rock opera in all its bombastic glory with Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar. And even the spectacular mismatch of rock and gothic horror has its day in the re-airing of 1974's Phantom of the Paradise, directed by a young dabbler in suspense, Brian De Palma.

It is precisely the juxtaposition of a creepy failure like Phantom of the Paradise with a revealing documentary on stars such as Jimi Hendrix that shows how pervasive rock's influence has been - not just within the films highlighted in this AMC festival but throughout our culture.

Andrew Marton, (817) 390-7679

08-30-02 10:21 AM
Soul Survivor Are they showing all of "Gimme shelter", or just clips?
08-30-02 10:37 AM
Maxlugar Maybe I missed it but when is Gimme Shelter on? Tonight?

08-30-02 10:37 AM
Soul Survivor Tonight..........but is it the whole movie?
08-30-02 04:17 PM
prism They are showing the documentary at 5 PM, then The Last Waltz at 7, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars at 9, Gimme Shelter at 10:30. Then tomorrow morning Hail Hail Rock N Roll (Keith's Chuck Berry film), Ziggy, Giimme Shelter.
08-30-02 05:24 PM
steel driving hammer Yeah but no Stones.

Have a great 3 day weekend everyone.

08-30-02 05:28 PM
Soul Survivor
prism wrote:
They are showing the documentary at 5 PM, then The Last Waltz at 7, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars at 9, Gimme Shelter at 10:30. Then tomorrow morning Hail Hail Rock N Roll (Keith's Chuck Berry film), Ziggy, Giimme Shelter.

For me, the documentary starts at 8:00 Pm. That means I wont see Gimme Shelter until about 1:00 Am!
08-30-02 06:59 PM
scope TV Guide lists Gimme Shelter as starting at 1:50 a.m. here on the east coast. Late night indeed.
08-30-02 08:37 PM
gypsy I checked out AMC's schedule a little while ago. According to the schedule, Gimmie Shelter is 90 min. long (I don't know if that includes commercials). I'm in the central time zone, so it will be at 12:50 A.M. tonight (technically tomorrow).
08-30-02 10:17 PM
Soul Survivor I'll be sure to have the VCR going
08-30-02 11:34 PM
luridchief If you fellas all have DVD players, Criterion's Special Edition DVD of GIMME SHELTER is a must have! The sound and picture are both AMAZING!
09-01-02 01:07 AM
Soul Survivor 'Gimme Shelter' was great. So was 'Hail Hail Rock And Roll'. I managed to video tape them both onto the the same tape! It's great
09-01-02 01:40 AM
Nasty Habits Jagger "minces like a caped satyr"?

Jagger "hams it up onstage"?

How exactly does one mince like a caped satyr?

I think you might be able to help me on this one, stonedinaustralia.

All Mick Jagger does when he is onstage in Gimme Shelter is rock.

And talk really funny shit.

09-01-02 01:50 AM
Nasty Habits wrote:

How exactly does one mince like a caped satyr?

I think you might be able to help me on this one, stonedinaustralia.

All Mick Jagger does when he is onstage in Gimme Shelter is rock.

And talk really funny shit.

sorry nasty your guess is as good as mine

certainly i'm hep to satyr action but as for the mincing, well its never really been my thing ... which come to think of it makes me believe that the person who wrote that hasn't got a f$%c*ing clue what they're talikng about

cheers nasty

soulie, what's happening, hope your not running out of puff... you could always start responding to your own posts...or just keep working your way down the list 'til you get to the oldest thread in the archives!!

[Edited by stonedinaustralia]

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