The Self Referential List, Part Ten


Films about other performers & entertainers, those not in the movies or on stage


  • The Night Listener. Radio personality goes on a journey that turns hallucinogenic.

 

  • The Band’s Visit. About a band, duh.  This is one of the most delightful films of 2008.  It’s about an Egyptian band that gets lost while visiting Israel for a cultural festival.  This movie is about people getting to know each other one-to-one.  This movie is about people dropping their preconceived notions of each other.  This movie is about small dreams.  This movie is about the power of listening with your heart.

There was a stink about this film vis a vis the Academy Awards.  Although made in Israel, over half the dialogue is in English, so it was not eligible for nomination.  But, how else shall Egyptians and Israelis converse when they meet in the desert, if not in English?  Each speaks her or his own version of accented English to the others, yet Arabic or Hebrew amongst themselves.

  • Once. Street musician and immigrant keyboardist meet up by accident.  The story was so lovely, so lovely.  Scrape together the cash and get some backup musicians to cut a demo tape to take to London, to try and get signed.

And each musician found his/her own driving force…is it love or is it collaboration?  Don’t you find that you have a tendency to fall in love with all your collaborators in the creative arts?

The whole movie reminded me of my friend Claudine Langille who sang and played and wrote songs with Touchstone and now with Gypsy Reel.  She lived in North Carolina and hung about with musicians, including the Red Clay Ramblers, all day, all night, at their small rented houses or at bars or at fancy hotels when one of them had day gigs playing piano and always they all, banded or bandless, were fooling around with instruments and computer keyboards and riffs; and all they wanted to do, all the time, always, was play music.  I love that exhausted, 4:00 AM stuff…working out…trying to get it right…the creative spirit driving you on and buoying you up.  And you don’t need sleep; you only need to WORK.  Work as hard as you dare.  Work as hard as you dare. Create.  Even just BE with people who create the same as you do, driven by the same spirit as you.

(I was about 30 years old and visiting Raleigh and I had never paid attention to Elvis; and they turned me on to Elvis; and then I got it—I understood what the big deal was; and I’ve been an Elvis fan ever since. )

In “Once”, I loved it when the female lead played Mendelssohn on the pianny; excuse me, piano.

Alas, I wish that the music which the two characters composed in the film had been more like Mendelssohn instead of the whiny, simplistic guitar chords that it was.   But the music in this film was instead so trite and the male lead was so unattractive and his voice was so annoying: untrained and such a small range.

The blond woman who sang a few bars of a traditional Irish ballad at the dinner party was great.

I like the way the Irish say, “Faer fock’s saik.”

Recording engineer was kind of hot.

Best line from the movie:

“Why do you think there are no blond priests?”

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