Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Two Great Documentaries Take You Behind the Scenes of Classic Rock, Pop, and Soul

posted by Nell Minow

Summer is a time of raunchy comedies, superheroes, and explosions, but you can find movies for grown-ups, too.  I highly recommend two outstanding documentaries that take the audience behind the scenes of some of the greatest music ever recorded.

20 Feet from Stardom is the story of the back-up singers, the ones who sing “da doo ron ron” and “toot toot beep beep” and all those extras that make the songs so rich and powerful.  This is the story of the singers, mostly women, with powerhouse voices, who appear over and over on hit after hit.  The stories are fascinating, like the late-night call that had Merry Clayton racing to the studio with curlers in her hair and a mink coat over her pajamas to sing “Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away” on the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” and Darlene Love working as a house cleaner and hearing her own voice on the radio.  It kicks up a gear into existential  consideration of the way all of us find ourselves in one way or another supporting players.

Here is Lisa Fischer, also featured in the film, performing “Gimme Shelter” with the Rolling Stones in concert.

YouTube Preview Image

Muscle Shoals, directed by Greg “Freddy” Camalier, is the equally enthralling story of a small Alabama town with two recording studios that produced some of the greatest music of all time from performers like Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Allman Brothers.  Intimate archival footage and present-day recollections from the performers and the studio musicians and engineer/producer Rick Hall are fascinating and the music can’t be beat.  “I’ll Take You There”, “Brown Sugar”, “When a Man Loves a Woman”, “I Never Loved A Man the Way That I Loved You”, “Mustang Sally”, “Tell Mama”, “Kodachrome”, and “Freebird” are just a few of the tens of thousands of tracks created there.

YouTube Preview Image


Previous Posts

Gone Girl's Rosamund Pike
Rosamund Pike delivers a stunning breakthrough performance in this week's "Gone Girl." She's been a favorite of mine for a long time, for her elegant voice and precise acting choices. It's a good

posted 8:00:23am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Telling Time in "All That Jazz"
One of my favorite writers provides insights into one of my favorite (if flawed) movies -- Matt Zoller Seitz created a beautiful video essay about Bob Fosse's autobiographical "All That Jazz" for the Criterion Edition, and then they were unable to use it due to rights problems with the movie clips h

posted 3:19:48pm Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Tomorrow on PBS: The Makers: Comedy
Be sure to tune in to PBS tomorrow night for what is sure to be one of the highlights from one of the all-time best series on PBS: "The Makers," the story of women in America.  Tomorrow's episode is about women in comedy. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHxHMgSF7UI[/youtube]

posted 8:00:45am Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Tomorrow on HBO: "The Fifty Year Argument" -- Scorsese on The New York Review of Books
Once upon a time, there was no internet. And instead of bloggers and pundits and tweets we had something called public intellectuals, people who read widely, thought deeply, and wrote long, passionate, carefully reasoned, thoroughly documented and beautifully written articles about the important is

posted 3:59:26pm Sep. 28, 2014 | read full post »

FREE Tickets to "The Good Lie" on Sept 30, 2014 in DC!
Based on a true story, "The Good Lie" is about young survivors of the brutal civil war in Sudan, which began in 1983.  These children traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety.  Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3600 lost boys and girls to America.  Pla

posted 11:50:22am Sep. 28, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.