Musical

Franco Enriquez – Otello (1958)


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Amazon user review: I’m no special fan of things past, rather proposing that each age has its special conductors, singers, orchestras and that idolising per se performances of 30, 50 or more years ago may turn you away from your own surroundings and set you to unnecessarily living in a past that will not return, leading you to ignore very important events going on in your surroundings. There are exceptions, of course, and one of them is this 45 year old film (yes, film, not video tape and there lies its main problem, read below). Read More »

Larry Peerce – The Big T.N.T. Show (1966)

Synopsis:
Originally billed as “The T.A.M.I. Show II” in preview hype, this concert sequel produced by Phil Spector (who also appears) and filmed at the Moulin Rouge Theater in Hollywood, CA features performances by Joan Baez, The Byrds, Ray Charles, Petula Clark, Bo Diddley, Donovan, The Lovin’ Spoonful, David McCallum, Roger Miller, The Modern Folk Quartet, The Ronettes, Sky Saxon of the Seeds and Ike and Tina Turner. Read More »

Allen Reisner – St. Louis Blues (1958)

W.C. Handy has been called “The Father of the Blues”, although he modestly said that he merely transcribed the music and made it available to a wide audience. Nevertheless, his music defined the blues, the best known being “St. Louis Blues”, which was used as the title of the film biography Paramount Studios made of his life in 1958. The cast of St. Louis Blues reads like a list of some of the best African-American talent of the mid 20th Century: Nat King Cole, Eartha Kitt, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, Ruby Dee, Juano Hernandez, and Pearl Bailey. There is also a future star in the cast: the young boy who plays W.C. Handy as a child would grow up to make a name for himself ten years later when he played with The Beatles: Billy Preston. Read More »

Tony Gatlif – Vengo (2000)

Synopsis
The vibrancy of gypsy life has been brought to the fore on film by Tony Gatlif, himself of gypsy heritage. Galtif has covered much European territory with films such as his much-loved Gadjo Dilo (1997). Vengo tells a romantically tragic tale of vendetta and sacrifice for family, which is the closest to home of all; it tells of the Andalusian gypsies of southern Spain – Gatlif’s own background. Read More »

Robert Wise – The Sound of Music (1965)

Synopsis:
In 1930’s Austria, a young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischievous children, Maria is given the job. The Captain’s wife is dead, and he is often away, and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father keeps hiring, and have managed to run each of them off one by one. When Maria arrives, she is initially met with the same hostility, but her kindness, understanding, and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives — including the Captain’s. Read More »

Richard Lester – Help! (1965)

Synopsis:
An Eastern cult discovers that the sacrificial ring is missing. Sir Ringo Starr, drummer of The Beatles has it; sent by the girl (who’s to be sacrificed) as a gift. Clang, Ahme, Bhuta, and several cult members leave for London to retrieve the ring. After several failed attempts to steal the ring, they confront him in an Indian restaurant. Ringo learns that if he does not return the ring soon, he will become the next sacrifice. Ringo then discovers that the ring is stuck on his finger. Its a race against time; John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney, and George Harrison try to protect their friend while they’re all being chased not only by Clang and his minions, but also by two mad scientists and the Chief Inspector of Scotland yard. Will Ringo be saved, or will he be sacrificed? Read More »

Mel Stuart – Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

quote:
A poor but hopeful boy seeks one of the five coveted golden tickets that will send him on a tour of Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory. Read More »