An intimate look into the life of icon Quincy Jones. A unique force in music and popular culture for 70 years, Jones has transcended racial and cultural boundaries; his story is inextricably woven into the fabric of America.
SINATRA: All or Nothing at All is an up-close and personal examination of the life, music and career of the legendary entertainer. Told in his own words from hours of archived interviews, ... See full summary »
Imagine what it would feel like to be the only black television star in Hollywood at a time when the Ku Klux Klan acted out violently against black people, when America groaned under the ... See full summary »
Nat 'King' Cole,
A look at 50 years of the iconic magazine features interviews with and footage of journalists, photographers and performers who have graced its pages since it was launched by publisher Jann Wenner in 1967. In 2 parts.
Probably produced in parallel with the bio-pic "Get On Up" (a big clue is in Mick Jagger sharing production duties on both), this for me was indeed a dynamite documentary on the life and times of the great soul and funk artist James Brown.
Brown's peak years of success were from around 1962 to 1972 after which he seemed to finally get caught up and overtaken by younger hipsters like Stevie Wonder, George Clinton and others with James starting to look and sound anachronistic and out of time. He still made some great records after '72, but this history stops with him at his peak somewhere in the mid-70's, which while lopping around 30 years off his life, does so to concentrate on his glory years as the hardest working man in show business.
Eschewing star tributes (Mick Jagger apart), which are so often the staple in films like this, instead we get revealing interviews with the members of his band and entourage to deliver a superb inside-view of a musical genius but sometimes difficult man. The musical clips are fantastic, including his see-it-to-believe-it performance on the "T.A.M.I. Show", various knockout appearances on the "Ed Sullivan Show" and best of all, his historic televised performance in Boston in the immediate wake of the Martin Luther King assassination where you see him calmly but convincingly cooling down his over-heating audience.
Brown's complexities and complications aren't completely ignored, but they do seem somewhat sidelined. These include his sometimes tyrannical and miserly treatment of his fantastic band, his attitude to women and especially his controversial political stance in the 70's where he unwisely hitched up with Nixon and in so doing alienated his own black audience, coincidentally about the time his musical star was just starting to fade.
The performance clips are sensational, his singing and dancing both out of this world, with so many great records that he made in that golden decade. Little is told of his family background, where he certainly had his problems, but this obviously partisan movie concentrates on his musical and cultural status of the time to pay a great tribute to an artist as important, in my opinion, as almost any other you care to mention in the 20th century.
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