The term "visual poem" gets thrown around a lot when describing Terrence Malick's most recent work, starting with 2011's Tree of Life. Even before then his films relied heavily on visuals to help tell the story, but his work increasingly favors beautiful imagery and strives towards creating feelings and moods more so than a continuous narrative thread. Thus, dialogue is intermittent and often jumps around. I can certainly see why this might not appeal to people.
Echo follows the stories of Otto, Friedrich, Mike, Ivy, and the mysterious harmonica that ties them together! The magical thread of music carries you through this wonderful tale. Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California are all dealing with the wrath of a war that tore countries and families apart.
In portraying Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame, Love & Mercy perfectly evokes the Southern California of 1967. I left the theater deeply affected by the sweep of Wilson’s tumultuous life. Paul Dano is superb as the young Brian, and John Cusack is very moving as the deeply troubled middle-aged Brian. In fact, all the actors are superb. While I wasn’t a fan of either the man or the group before, I am now. This is a great movie and I’ve watched it at least five times.
In his introduction to Forever Words, Paul Muldoon says, “So ingrained in our collective unconscious is the voice of Johnny Cash that we can all but hear the boom-chicka boom-chicka of his guitar accompaniment, at once reassuring and disquieting in its very familiarity.” That was absolutely true for me as I was reading through this collection.
2015 has been a strange year for rock documentaries, biographies, and memoirs.
In a total departure from her usual fare of FBI profilers, Gerritsen takes the reader on a journey that starts in WWII Italy to present day Boston where Julia Ansdell lives with her husband and daughter. While in Rome, Julia, a professional violinist, purchases a book of gypsy sheet music for her collection. Tucked inside the pages is a single sheet of hand written music, a waltz. Julia is immediately intrigued by the passion and complexity of the music.
If you remember (or have heard anyone talk about) LPs, 8-tracks, bell bottoms and the time when disc jockey Wolfman Jack ruled the FM radio waves; watch this to relive it or to see what it was like. The 6-disc set compiles some of the best performances from the NBC Friday night variety show.
Wow, what an amazing life Linda Ronstadt led! In a musical career that spanned almost half a century, she sang rock/pop, opera, American standards (accompanied by an orchestra), country, blues and Mexican rancheras (with a mariachi band)! Along the way she performed, jammed, hung out and/or formed friendships with an eclectic group of famous musicians including Jim Morrison, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Dolly Parton, and Rosemary Clooney—to name just a few.
Belinda Carlisle seems to have lived the quintessential rocker’s life—starting off poor and dreaming of a magical life, being in love with music at a young age, starting a band almost on a whim, seeing her band rise to fame, drowning in drugs. Belinda’s story, Lips Unsealed, is one of brutal honesty about how her own shortcomings and insecurities kept her in the grip of addiction even while her life seemed perfect and almost fairy-tale like to those on the outside. Her life reads as an inspiring
Graham Nash’s autobiography captures the inner workings of three significant bands of the Sixties and Seventies: The Hollies; Crosby, Stills, & Nash; and Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. It’s well worth the read.