Tom Waits is one of the most original musicians of the last five decades. Renowned for his gravelly voice and dazzling mix of musical styles, he’s also one of modern music’s most enigmatic and influential artists.
His songs have been covered by Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and Norah Jones, among many others. But Waits has always pursued his own creative vision, with little concern for musical fashion.
In a long career of restless reinvention, from the barfly poet of his early albums to the junkyard ringmaster of Swordfishtrombones, his songs chronicle lives from the margins of American society – drifters, dreamers, hobos and hoodlums – and his music draws on a rich mix of influences, including the blues, jazz, Weimar cabaret and film noir.
Using rare archive, audio recordings and interviews, this film is a bewitching after-hours trip through the surreal, moonlit world of Waits’ music – a portrait of a pioneering musician and his unique, alternative American songbook.
Executive Producer Richard Bright
Director James Maycock
Production Manager Fiona Crawford
Production Coordinator Fiona Dorman
Editor Bradley Richards
Camera Operator Luke Finn
Interviewed Guest: Terry Gilliam, Lucinda Williams, Ian Rankin, Ed Harcourt, Ralph Carney, Bones Howe, Ute Lemper, Nitin Sawhney, Guy Garvey and Jim Sclavunos
Tom Petty talks about how he wrote his songs, and even writes one on the spot (kind of)! This is episode 1 in season 4 of this classic TV-series. It shows us what a wonderful storyteller Tom Petty was, through his songs and in between. He was one of the nicest guys around, and a very talented songwriter. This VH1 episode gives us Tom Petty at the height of his powers performing to an intimate audience and explaining with humour the inspiration for his songs.
Tom Waits performed in 1978 live at the La Brea stage in Hollywood, photographed and rotoscoped.The original live action was shot with 5 cameras – 2 high, 2 low and one hand held.. shot by Dan O’Dowd and crew..The music from “The One That Got Away” blared in the background as Tom sang the lyrics. Donna Gordon is the dancer performing as the stripper, 6 takes and 13 hours of video footage were edited to make a 5 1/2 minute live action short which we turned into animation.
A total of 5,500 frames were captured, re-drawn, inked and painted by hand onto celluloid acitate to create this film. Produced by Lyon Lamb Video Animation Systems and directed by John Lamb, the film bore some cool new technology and talent ..and was created specifically for a burgeoning video music market that didn’t yet exist and arguably may be the first music video created for the MTV market.
However, a series of unfortunate events prohibited the film from ever being released or sold commercially, consequently catapulting it into obscurity.
Tom Waits as himself on a fishing trip with John Lurie. Lurie and Waits fish for red snapper in Jamaica. Tom periodically becomes grumpy. A game of cards on dry land makes Tom feel much better. Waits catches a fish and puts it in his pants.
Fishing with John is a 1991 television series conceived, directed by and starring actor and musician John Lurie, which earned a cult following. On the surface, the series resembles a standard travel or fishing show: in each episode, Lurie takes a famous guest on a fishing expedition. Since Lurie has no expert knowledge of fishing, the interest is in the interaction between Lurie and his guests, all of whom are his friends. Nothing particularly unusual actually happens, but the show is edited and narrated in a way to suggest that Lurie and his guest are involved in dramatic and even supernatural adventures.
Tom Waits – Second Hand Stories (2006) is an overview of this maverick performer’s career since 1983 and the release of the magnificent Swordfishtrombones, up to present times. An insightful documentary reviewing the second incarnation of the legendary performer, arguably his more creative and experimental period. Through a blend of studio and performance footage, interviews and photographs, the programme tell us the story of these important Tom Waits years.
Also known as,Tom Waits: Under Review 1983-2006 (2006)
Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California (also known as Coffee and Cigarettes III) is a 1993 black-and-white short film directed by writer/director Jim Jarmusch shot in Northern California. The film consists primarily of a conversation between Tom Waits and Iggy Pop in a coffee shop. The film would later be included in the feature-length Coffee and Cigarettes released in 2003.
The film won the Golden Palm at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival as best “Short Film”. We love the deadpan humour and the awkward dialogue. It gets better with age.