Re: rock n roll movies

Randy Pitman (vidlib@videolibrarian.com)
Mon, 14 May 2001 10:59:24 -0700 (PDT)

Shorter answer: "Hard Core Logo" and "Still Crazy"

Longer answer: Just last night I saw Bruce McDonald's "Hard Core Logo"
(being released by Disney on their Miramax label on June 12), which is about
a Canadian punk rock band reuniting for a comeback tour. The language is
inventively foul, the ambiance is realistic (the lead singer and lead
guitarist repeatedly spit in one another's faces onstage), and the arguments
and egos are suitably big (lead singer Joe Dick is happy with "hookers and
taxis", while ambitious guitarist Billy Tallent would like to be an "escorts
and limos" kind of guy. Plus they sing songs like "Rock 'n Roll Is Fat and
Ugly" and, in one of my favorite scenes, lambast filmmaker McDonald, who
made the odd indie film "Highway 61" (the critique goes something like:
"didn't you do that "Highway 69" thing? I'll bet that video's at Payless for
$.99.") I would definitely preview before considering--this is the
non-candy-coated flip side of "Almost Famous."

Haven't written up the review of "Hard Core Logo" yet, but here's my review
of another fun title: Brian Gibson's 1998 "Still Crazy.":

Still Crazy ***
(Columbia TriStar, 95 min., R, DVD)
"I love the smell of vomit in the morning," says one of the members of
Strange Fruit, a '70s rock band mounting a 20-years-after tour at the close
of the '90s. Deciding the time is right to "surf the nostalgia wave,"
keyboardist Tony Costello (Stephen Rea) and his old mates give up their day
jobs (roofing, refilling condom machines, and so on), immediately set about
opening old wounds during rehearsal (concerning the drummer: "sounds like
he's building a shed"), and eventually take their slightly creaky act on the
road in a whirlwind reunion tour through Holland. The scripting by Dick
Clement and Ian La Fresnais (The Commitments) is often laugh-out-loud funny,
the performances of the solid British cast (including Timothy Spall as Beano
the flatulent drummer, and stage actor Bill Nighy as the Prozac-popping
insecure lead singer) are dead on, and the music itself (from, among others,
Mick Jones of Foreigner and Chris Difford of Squeeze) is actually pretty
good. Sort of a This is Spinal Tap meets The Full Monty, this ode to power
rock ("God got tired of all that '70s excess, that's why he created the Sex
Pistols") is a whole lotta fun. Recommended. (R. Pitman) ("Video Librarian",
July-August 1999)

Randy Pitman
Publisher/Editor
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Barb Bergman" <barbara.bergman@angelo.edu>
To: "Multiple recipients of list" <videolib@library.berkeley.edu>
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2001 10:13 AM
Subject: rock n roll movies

> Here's something for you to brainstorm about:
>
> I have a professor putting together a syllabus for a "History of Rock 'n
> Roll" class. We have documentaries covered, but she also wants to make use
> of feature films. They can about specific musicians, about the music
> industry, or simply where rock music is an important part of the movie.
>
> She said she's especially having problems coming up with ideas for films
> (documentary or feature) dealing with the 90s. Grunge, alternative, etc.
> (But just checked out the two series by PBS and Time Warner for
previewing...)
>
> Anyway, here are the film titles I've come up with so far:
> The Rose
> La Bamba
> Buddy Holly Story
> That thing you do
> Yellow Submarine
> Elvis movies
> Almost famous
> Spinal Tap
> Selena
> Grease
> Saturday Night Fever
> Back to the Future (dance scene "Johnny be good")
> Footloose
> Pink Floyd's The Wall
>
> Thanks in advance,
> Barb