Skip to main content

jcocktosten posted:
steve8 posted:

JC, it was OK. Some clips come from The Last Waltz, which many have seen before. It is a very biased doc for sure and Robertson essentially blames the heroin problems of Danko, Manuel and Helm for the dissolution of the brotherhood. The early part of the story is the most interesting and new (to me) part of the doc.

Thanks.  Makes sense.  Always loved The Band

I have it queued up to watch. You know from the title that it's going to be biased: Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson & The Band.

I read his autobiography and apparently the doc tells the same version of events. I also read Levon's autobiography. Two very different takes, of course.

Levon does admit that drugs played a part in the group's problems. Manuel and Danko contributed far more to the songwriting on the first two albums but eventually stopped writing altogether. But Levon contends that the other band members should have received credit on many of the songs that were attributed solely to Robertson. Levon said the other members contributed to the songs by way of the arrangements. He also said that he told stories to Robbie about various characters he knew in Arkansas, and Robbie turned the stories into songs. That may be, but you don't get a songwriting credit for arranging a song or for inspiring a songwriter.

The biggest discrepancy between the two books is how Robbie went about buying back the royalty rights from the other members. Robbie claims that Manuel and Danko approached him and said they needed money and wanted to sell their rights. He also claims he told Levon that he should hang on to his rights, but Levon also decided to sell. Meanwhile, Levon claimed that Robbie hoodwinked them.

There's no denying that Robertson was a masterful songwriter. On the other hand, a big part of The Band was the magic those five musicians created when playing together - and of that, Robertson was only one fifth.

Robertson takes a lot of self-credit as the band's leader, but it also sounds like Robertson took control of the group's affairs because none of the others were motivated to do so. It not for Robertson, the group probably would have dissolved after the first 3 albums.

I read an interview with Larry Campbell, Levon's long-time musical director and guitarist in the Ramble band. Larry said that he believes the truth lies somewhere half way in between Robbie's and Levon's versions of events.

doubled posted:

Minority Report - crikey.  What a boring movie.

I was talking to an old girlfriend from the mid-70s and she mentioned that we always used to have a saying, Good Dick is hard to find." Of course meaning Philip K. Dick whose books were not always easy to find in those days. Now it refers to movies based on his work, almost all of which are shit. The problem is so many rely on big-budget special-effects and don't really understand the nature of science fiction. I blame "Blade Runner" for this.

Look at how effective the William Shatner 'Twilight Zone" episode "Penny for Your Thoughts" is. The set is nothing more than a coffee shop with some booths, each with a bobblehead fortune telling machine.

There are so many interesting Dick stories and concepts that could be explored in an intelligent way. But he got mined for blockbuster summer movies to his detriment. I think the best film adaptation weirdly enough is, "A Scanner Darkly."

Last edited by The Old Man

I am really looking forward to this podcast that starts Tuesday: The Plot Thickens: I’M STILL PETER BOGDANOVICH. While I don't think much of Bogdanovich as a director he is a fount of knowledge about the great people of "Hollywood." He was originally a film critic who not only got interviews with people like, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Cary Grant and many more, he also knew them over a number of years. He has always told many of their stories over the years often doing great impressions of them (I'm partial to his Hitchcock and Grant.)

Apparently TCM host Ben Mankiewicz did 15 hours of interviews for these podcasts. Should be very good and a must for film fans.

Dear WS forum. If you watch nothing else while hunkering, watch this. It's on YouTube for seven days only starting this Thursday. It is truly brilliant and YOU WILL THANK ME.

National Theatre's production of Frankenstein. Directed by Danny Boyle. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller. There are two versions: one with Cumberbatch at the monster and Miller at Dr. Frankenstein; in the other version they reverse roles. Both versions will be on YouTube.

He Walked By Night

Very good with young versions of Richard Basehart and Jack Webb.


Steaming pile of dung. Waste of some good acting talent.


Not bad. Typically excellent cinematography from Peter Greenaway.

Bruce Cockburn: Pacing the Cage

Enjoyable short doc on his career. Admittedly I lost track of him since the 80's and didn't really appreciate his guitar playing.


Early Jane Campion flick. A little strange but not bad.

American Woman

Dumb title. Film was OK, but my opinion could be highly influenced by the fact I'd probably watch Sienna Miller sleep.

@sunnylea57 posted:

Seriously. Can't believe none of you have watched National Theatre's Frankenstein. You really don't know what you're missing. 😀 It'll be gone after Wednesday.

This isn't Boris Karloff. That movie, as good as it was, had virtually nothing to do with Mary Shelley's book. The National Theatre production sticks pretty close to the book (with a few minor simplifications).

I watched a bit of it but couldn't stick with it. We love live theatre and have been to dozens of shows in London and New York when we lived there but on the small screen it just didn't do it for me. 

@sunnylea57 posted:

You watched on a computer? If so, yeah that wouldn't work. Need to view it on a big TV.

I think he's comparing it on any TV versus seeing it live. I've almost never find theater presentations to work successfully on TV. Except for very talky plays, like Waiting for Godot, they lack the kind of direction and camerawork that we expect when we watch something on a screen.

@The Old Man posted:

I think he's comparing it on any TV versus seeing it live. I've almost never find theater presentations to work successfully on TV. Except for very talky plays, like Waiting for Godot, they lack the kind of direction and camerawork that we expect when we watch something on a screen.

In general I agree. In this case I respectfully disagree. The camerawork isn’t, say, a Scorsese film. But it works very well, and the story and performances are utterly compelling. 

I should also point out that the first half hour of the play is very different from the subsequent 90 minutes. Frankenstein is virtually mute at the start, so the play is pretty much a visual experience (and an amazing one at that). But if you are familiar with Shelley’s book, you’ll know that changes. Profoundly. At which point it does become “a very talky play”.

Last edited by sunnylea57

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.