“Redemption,” observes an off-camera Springsteen. “For Johnny, that was an enormous part of his whole career.” With “The Gift,” Cash’s 71-year reckoning with the wages of sin and salvation is put in eloquently humbling, myth-busting perspective.
– Los Angeles Times
YouTube Originals presents The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash stands among the giants of 20th century American life. But his story remains tangled in mystery and myth. This documentary, created with the full cooperation of the Cash estate and rich in recently discovered archival materials, brings Cash the man out from behind the legend.
Taking the remarkable Folsom Prison recording as a central motif and featuring interviews with family and celebrated collaborators, the film explores the artistic victories, the personal tragedies, the struggles with addiction, and the spiritual pursuits that colored Johnny Cash’s life.
Emmylou Harris was 30 at that time, and she is here accompanied by The Hot Band: Albert Lee, Emory Gordy, John Ware, Glen D Hardin, Rodney Crowell, Hank Devito. Superb band! They run through what was to become a greatest hit set, lovely rendition of well-known songs. The Highlights for me are, Making Believe and Luxury Liner.
Emmylou recorded some of her best albums with The Hot Band, one of the best backing bands in country history.
BLUES STORY: A Documentary (2003)
Directed by Jay Levey
The blues was born at the turn of the century in the Mississippi Delta and other regions of the South. It would become the cornerstone of all popular American music. This is its story as told by the artists who lived it.
Produced and directed by Jay Levey, executive produced by Levey and Richard Foos (the man who founded Rhino Records as well as Shout!), with Edward Marritz directing photography and Mark Mandler serving as the sound engineer, the film also counts Jim O’Neal (the founder of Living Blues magazine and owner of Rooster Blues) as executive consultant and associate producer. What a great production crew.
Hubert Sumlin, guitarist with Howlin’ Wolf for many years, tells a story about his mother telling him that if he wanted to do church music, he should do church music. If he wanted to go the other way, he should. His smiles and says, “Yes, ma’am, I’m going the other way.”Continue reading “Classic documentary: Blues Story by Jay Levey”→
This is a fun post, a post with some of those moments that makes a “Bob Dylan film” worth watching. There’s no order here, just a listing of the clips I really like.
I have included films that had cinema distribution, not including straight documentaries (yet).
Some of the clips are great concert clips, some are cinematic milestones, some are just funny and some are Bob Dylan in theme and spirit, at least that’s what I think.
And I have included one TV clip, it was just so damn funny, I couldn’t leave it out!
By the way, James Mangold is making a new Bob Dylan film set during the period when he was poised to become folk music’s most important figure. Bob Dylan instead chose rock ‘n’ roll and traded his acoustic guitar for an amp and an electric guitar, it created a huge outcry. Jeff Rosen, Dylan’s longtime manager, is working on Dylan’s behalf with Mangold on the film, which they say has no title yet but has been referred to as Going Electric. We will have to update this post when the film is ready.
Ok, lets start
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story
I was thinking a bit about this one, “maybe I should have included Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder film, but isn’t it a documentary no matter how “dramatised” it is?” As you can see I decided it should be included, it is a documentary, kind of, and it is a made up story, kind of, with worldwide release on Netflix. And Netflix is the new cinema, right?
He was very assured of who he was, but he was actually kind of inventing himself as he went along. He was like a person who had just stepped out of a Kerouac book, and there he was, in front of your eyes, and you were reading about him at the same time you were watching him. –D.A. Pennebaker
Dont Look Back is a 1967 film by D.A. Pennebaker that covers Bob Dylan’s 1965 concert tour in the United Kingdom.In 1998, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Wanting to make more than just a concert film, Pennebaker decided to seek out both the public and private Bob Dylan. With unobtrusive equipment and rare access to the elusive performer, he achieved a fly-on-the-wall glimpse of one of the most influential musicians of all time and redefined filmmaking along the way. …and it is funny!
In 1975, in an America defined by both the self-mythologizing pomp of the upcoming bicentennial and ongoing sociopolitical turmoil, Bob Dylan and a band of troubadours—including luminaries such as Joan Baez, Allen Ginsberg, and Joni Mitchell—embarked on a now-legendary tour known as the Rolling Thunder Revue, a freewheeling variety show that was part traveling counterculture carnival, part spiritual pilgrimage.
Director Martin Scorsese blends behind-the-scenes archival footage, interviews, and narrative mischief, with a magician’s sleight of hand, into a zeitgeist-defining cultural record that is as much a concert “documentary” as it is a slippery, chimerical investigation into memory, time, truth, and illusion. At the center of it all is the magnetic Dylan, a sphinxlike philosopher-poet singing, with electrifying conviction, to the soul of an anxious nation.