Didier and Elise’s relationship is stormy and passionate; it’s love at first sight. Didier plays the banjo in a bluegrass band, lives in a caravan in the Belgian countryside and idolises America as the ‘land of the free’. Elise owns her own tattoo parlour. Her body is plastered with images – little mementos of past lovers whose names have been carefully covered up by new tattoos. Before long their two lives are closely intertwined. Elise sings in Didier’s band and they soon have a daughter together, little Maybelle, with whom they move into a lovingly if unconventionally restored country house. This film accompanies Elise and Didier on their rollercoaster ride through life; through days filled with their love of music and their mutual passion.
Based on the stage play by Johan Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels, director Felix van Groeningen portrays various episodes in Elise and Didier’s story. The film’s barn-stomping blue grass concert footage and enthralling love story are delightfully reminiscent of the grand old days of American country music. Continue reading
In the wake of JFK’s assassination, under the shadow of the Vietnam war, an independent presidential candidate is running, bold and cheap, under the banner of the Replacement Party: their unbelievable platform includes banning lawyers from Congress and re-writing the national anthem. This uncanny Perot-like figure is never seen, but his campaign wagon blares out rambling, pre-recorded speeches as it lumbers through the film unnoticed. The backdrop is Music City, the characters a myriad and hero- less cross-section of America. The lone foreigner is an insufferable reporter from BBC whose aimless monologues provide satirical counterpoint to the film’s deadpan delivery. -IMDb Continue reading
Janie (Joan Crawford), is a former dancer in a burlesque theater. During a show, one man from the public takes off part of Janie’s costume, leaving her almost topless. In that precise moment police comes and takes away all dancers to the court, with charges of attempting against moral. The judge won’t believe Janie explanation about the matter, and sends her to jail. Tod Newton (Franchot Tone), a rich man who was in the theater, takes Jane out of jail. He feels attracted to Janie’s beauty and after hearing her story about longing for become a famous dancer, he will be disposed to help her. A prestigious Broadway director, Patch Gallagher (Clak Gable) is trying to set up a musical play, but he’s having some monetary difficulties. Tod will get an audition for Janie, despite Patch resistance. But the director accepts the girl, who’s a quite talented dancer. Nevertheless, Patch begins to feel attracted to Janie, who is working hard in the rehearsals, behaving well and kindly with the director. But Tod is planning to propose Janie, despite matrimony is now out of her future plans. Besides, Patch is having a bad time. The production has stopped because of problems with the producers, and maybe Janie is having some feelings for Patch. Continue reading
Considered to be a modern classic of Indian cinema, LAGAAN is a musical drama which tells the story of a central Indian farming village in 1893. The village waits for the monsoons to come and rain on its crops, but the ground remains dry and infertile. Meanwhile, British ruler Captain Russell (Paul Blackthorne) demands lagaan–or double normal taxes–from the villagers. When it becomes clear that they can’t pay, Russell challenges the villagers to a game of cricket, a game they know nothing about. Teaching the villagers about the game falls on the shoulders of farmer Bhuvan (Aamir Khan). As they begin to learn, the villagers are inspired to go up against Russell, with tax negotiation as the stakes for the game. Full of choreographed musical numbers and climaxing in a pulse-pounding cricket match, LAGAAN is a fun, heartwarming British/Indian production that should have no difficulties translating across other national borders. Continue reading
In the film, Grayson plays Ina Massine, an opera diva, and Johnson is her ex-husband, Dr. Lincoln Bartlett, who is now engaged to Agnes Young (Paula Raymond), the daughter of a doctor. Ina wants Lincoln back and pulls all kinds of shenanigans to get her man. The film was really just an excuse to watch Grayson sing selections from La Bohème, although curiously, she was not the first actress cast in the role. June Allyson had the part but was later replaced. Likewise, Robert Walker was set to play Lincoln Bartlett but was replaced with Van Johnson.
Plot: Ray Middleton and Bill Shirley, Republic Pictures’ answer to Hope and Crosby, star in Sweethearts on Parade. Middleton and Shirley play Cam Ellerby and Bill Gamble, the featured singers in a travelling medicine show. While stopping over in a small town, Cam renews his acquaintance with his former wife Sylvia (Eileen Christy), who now has a pretty, grown-up daughter — Kathleen — played by Lucille Norman. When Kathleen makes noises about a show-business career, Sylvia won’t hear of it — nor does she approve of her daughter’s romance with Bill. One gets the sneaking suspicion that everything will turn out all right in the end for all four protagonists. With 26 songs in the picture, how could things not turn out all right? ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Continue reading
After displaying his easygoing charm in a number of television appearances and a showy supporting role in The Electric Horseman, Willie Nelson scored his first leading role in this romantic comedy-drama in which he (appropriately enough) plays a musician. Buck Bonham (Nelson) is a country singer/songwriter with a loyal following in his native Texas and the neighboring Western states. However, Buck hasn’t yet had the hit record that would make him a star nationwide; in the meantime, Buck and his band keep up a busy tour schedule, much to the annoyance of his wife, Viv (Dyan Cannon), and son, Jamie (Joey Floyd), who would like to see Buck at home every once in a while. As Buck wonders if he should press on with his musical career or call it quits, his close friend and longtime guitarist Garland Ramsey (Slim Pickens) announces he’s retiring, and suggests a good replacement — his daughter, Lily (Amy Irving). Lily had a crush on Buck as a child, and now as a full-grown and very beautiful woman, her infatuation has only increased with time. Consequently, Buck must choose between Viv and Lily as well as his home and his career. Honeysuckle Rose was written specifically for Nelson, and his character bears more than a passing similarity to Willie and his life before the album Red Headed Stranger made him a star; the film also earned Nelson an Academy Award nomination for the film’s theme song, “On the Road Again.” Continue reading