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2019 DOCUMENTARY THREAD


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I am not sure if this should be in the music or documentary side of things but watched a good deal of the recent PBS Ken Burns documentary on Country Music episodes and it is just as detailed and great as you would expect.   I didn't think they could make a 18 hour documentary on the genre but they can definitely do it.   Not even a country music fan but like most Burns documentaries they get you hooked on the individual singers stories.    Need to watch the earlier ones as well.

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I only caught most of the seventh and the very end of the last one but it was amazing. He had me as soon as he brought up Townes. Luckily I set up the DVR to record it at the fifth episode forward (damn that's long).

Oh, and bring tissues.

Edited by Curt McGirt
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I tuned in halfway through the second episode, and immediately got 10 minutes of Ray Benson, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard talking about Bob Wills.  That was enough to hook me.

Faron Young's reaction to being kissed by Willie Nelson was fun.  I'd never heard that part of the story on Hello Walls.

I'm skipping around on DVR for now.  I'm halfway through the outlaw episode, which I'm loving of course.   I knew Townes would be featured, but I'm really happy they focused just as much on Guy Clark.   Wonder when the interviews with him and Merle were filmed.  

The only thing I've disagreed with so far was the claim that nobody ever paid to get into Willie's picnic.  I'm pretty sure I've paid every time I've been.

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I saw that episode too and I think they tried to describe it like Woodstock where there might have been plenty that paid but there were TONS that didn't and nobody seem to mind either way.

So far the only argument against the documentary I have seen that it is pro 'pop country' and not the true roots that was discussed in the beginning.  I guess I can see that from the segments I have watched.  It seems like the documentary stops in the 90's tonight which is interesting because I would love to see the legends they have on talking about the Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line pure pop shit now.  I mean they make people like the late 70's/80's stuff look more pure  

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I'm more joking than complaining.  I was too young to see, or really appreciate, the batshit crazy days back in the 70s.  First one I went to was probably in 91.

I've seen some damn good shows at those.  The Highwaymen, plus all four of em individually, Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, David Allen Coe, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Merle Haggard ...

I got a kick out of one of the Armadillo posters they showed.  $2.00 to see Willie live.  Sadly, I was nine years old when they shut that place down.  

Edited by Robert C
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Yeah, I just mentioned that to say in the early days I'm sure there were more people that didn't pay and it probably tightened up over the years. 

I would've loved to go to the Armadillo not only in those years but in the hardcore days when the Big Boys, Dicks, etc. were lighting up Austin. 

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3 minutes ago, Robert C said:

At least we'll always have the Blaze Foley episode of Tales.  

I've never even watched any of the country ones, I only watched the funk episodes.  The Funkadelic "smoke rings" story is my favorite.

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30 minutes ago, Curt McGirt said:

Yeah, I just mentioned that to say in the early days I'm sure there were more people that didn't pay and it probably tightened up over the years. 

I would've loved to go to the Armadillo not only in those years but in the hardcore days when the Big Boys, Dicks, etc. were lighting up Austin. 

The first ones had to be crazy.  Who the hell puts on a concert for 80,000 people in Gonzalez, TX?  What, was Lockhart all booked up?

The list of folks, just going off the posters you can find online, is amazing what gets thought of as a country place mainly.

Devo, Iggy Pop, Frank Zappa.  The Ramones, with the Runaways opening, The Pointer Sisters, Bette Midler, Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals.  Timothy Fucking Leary??

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7 hours ago, supremebve said:

I've never even watched any of the country ones, I only watched the funk episodes.  The Funkadelic "smoke rings" story is my favorite.

I'm not a country fan at all, but the country season is wild. The aforementioned Blaze Foley episode, the Billy Joe Shaver episode, the George Jones/Tammy Wynette 2 parter... super highly recommended.

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I was sorta disappointed that the George Jones lawnmower story didn't come up in the Ken Burns documentary. But the Mike Judge series was a real solid time. If the Burns documentary was a newstand magazine, then Mike Judge was sort of a tabloid. I say this in a respectful way to Tales for the sake of contrast.

It was sorta amusing to see tweets of people after like 5 episodes who were wondering why they didn't spend more time on George Jones. Now, if you're big into Conway Twitty, Kenny Rogers, Glen Campbell or Alabama.. then you might end up writing your Congressman. But considering how fanbases can be, it's impossible to do the genre and not have somebody grumbling quietly about something.

If there was a case for a 9th episode, I'd think it would be more of a way to move the end-date up a little bit, and also add some things that either didn't make (or more likely: were cut) in the last two episodes. I'm not sure how much of a 9th episode they could have filled out before having to dance around the whole post-9/11 topics involving certain singers and groups.

They spent nearly 4 hours between 1964 and 1972, and then the last 4 1/2 hours were 1972 to '1996' (with some creative license for the end date). So it kinda felt like they went into the weeds for 64-72 but couldn't do that for 72-90s. Cash is my favorite Country artist, but it did sorta feel like the Johnny show for some parts of the series (except I don’t think the Highwaymen came up), which sorta stood out when Cash's Rick Rubin run was in the final episode, while it seemed like some of the focuses of episodes 5-7 just weren't in the new/young country-heavy episode 8.

Also, the segment with the "we kept hearing this was gonna be the year that Bluegrass makes it" stuff made it sound like Bluegrass was the country genre equivalent to Linux in the sense of there being some super devoted people who are pretty sure their passion is gonna be the next big thing soon.

I'm not some sort of expert overall and I watched all 8. So it was a real interesting sort of look at that, with somethings that can be remembered about any sort of thing where there's change going on and people who don't like it. The people grumbling the most about various artists in the 70s were not directing their unhappiness in the right direction. Some of the more interesting lessons or things to think about weren't overtly political (but there was some interesting footwork required to not directly say that sometimes the genre was in it's own bubble).. but more philosophical questions, like how Nashville simultaneously made a lot of money while also trying to make Texans and various others fit the Nashville sound. Also, I might need to use the Tom T. Hall quote about brain surgery about something one day.

Edited by Cobra Commander
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9 hours ago, Cobra Commander said:

I was sorta disappointed that the George Jones lawnmower story didn't come up in the Ken Burns documentary.

Me too. The announcer intoning the details in that voice of his would have been hilarious. But still, damn, they even got footage of him getting busted for DUI, so needless to say the point was made. 

9 hours ago, Cobra Commander said:

Also, the segment with the "we kept hearing this was gonna be the year that Bluegrass makes it" stuff made it sound like Bluegrass was the country genre equivalent to Linux in the sense of there being some super devoted people who are pretty sure their passion is gonna be the next big thing soon.

I have seen so much bluegrass over the course of my short life and it's all been at punk shows. It's amazing how roots music infected that scene. There are practical armies of squatting, travelling, broke and drugged-up crusties running around with banjos and mandolins out there. 

And yeah, that Tom T. Hall quote was great.

Edited by Curt McGirt
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guessing the Ostrich Attack didn't make the Johnny Cash in the 80s segment since "being dropped by Columbia" would suffice instead of mentioning Johnny getting back on painkillers after a flightness bird caused abdominal injuries. But yeah, there's only so much time. So getting arrested in El Paso will obviously come up but not the time he burned down 508 acres of a national forest. Not quite enough time to cover all the times that Amphetamines-era Johnny Cash was in some sort of trouble.

Peter Coyote doing the narration of Cash saying "I didn't do it, my truck did, and it's dead, so you can't question it" might be in the archives somewhere.

Anyways.. I think the Tour Bus show covered the only time Jerry Lee Lewis played the Opry, which also doubled as Jerry Lee Lewis getting revenge on the Opry for not embracing him in the 50s.

There is also a very similar approach to things among some people who were really into country music but not into recent country music, and people who were really into territory-era wrestling but also very unhappy with recent wrestling.

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5 hours ago, Cobra Commander said:

There is also a very similar approach to things among some people who were really into country music but not into recent country music, and people who were really into territory-era wrestling but also very unhappy with recent wrestling.

I definitely fall into both of those camps. I've only seen the first ep so far and it was all familiar territory. I did learn a lot about Jimmie Rodgers who has been a blind spot for me, so it was worth watching. Look forward to watching the rest.

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Got hooked watching most of the Maradona documentary on HBO last night but alas work and I didn’t get to finish it but gonna look for it on demand. 

Amazing stuff with the very tiny bit of knowledge I had going in thanks to a friend I use to have that was obsessed with the sport. 

The pop the Argentine team gets after they return from the World Cup is the loudest thing I have ever seen/heard. Literally the only time I’ve heard a crowd reach fighter jet levels of noise. 

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So this got the full four on Ebert's site. Didn't know it was made by the guy who did the Psycho shower scene doc. Posting the poster here because 1. I've never seen that piece of art before and 2. Think about that beneath the egg on the original poster every time you see it now

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The Rainbow

Spoiler

CLEVELAND (October 15, 2019) —Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, has acquired Worldwide rights to The Rainbow, directed by Zak Knutson. The documentary features interviews with rock and roll legends, Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, Gene Simmons, Lita Ford, and our own Lemmy Kilmister. The documentary will be available on demand October 29th.

The Rainbow explores the vast history of Hollywood’s famed Rainbow Bar & Grill and Whisky A Go-Go on the Sunset Strip. Both iconic venues were founded by the late Mario Maglieri. The Rainbow, which opened in 1972, is filled with rich rock and roll history. Mario’s Italian heritage inspired the delicious food that is served there, especially the pizza, which is known as the best in the city.

Truly a lover of music and the arts, Mario helped hundreds of artists get their start in Los Angeles. Known as the King of the Sunset Strip, hopefuls from all over the world came to the The Rainbow with the desire of being discovered. He frequently came across talented musicians who went on to become platinum sellers. Their pictures line the walls of The Rainbow.

The documentary gives viewers an inside look at the Maglieri family who has owned the venue and dedicated their lives to preserving rock history.

“Telling the story of The Rainbow Bar & Grill, The Whisky A Go Go and the Maglieri family in this film has been a great honor and one that truly represents the history of rock n’ roll in America.” says producer Matthew Perniciaro of Bow and Arrow Entertainment. Perniciaro and Michael Sherman of Bow and Arrow produced the film, with Todd Singerman, Erik Kritzer of Link Entertainment, Mikeal Maglieri and Mike Maglieri Jr. serving as executive producers.

“We are excited to release The Rainbow documentary as it is a true testament to rock and roll history. The iconic Rainbow Bar and Grill has been the home to many legends over the years and this is a must-see documentary for any music and sunset strip lover,” said Nolan Gallagher, Founder and CEO of Gravitas Ventures.

Gallagher negotiated the deal with Matt Perniciaro of Bow & Arrow Entertainment.

The Rainbow can be preordered on itunes now: https://apple.co/2kNmXLd

 

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NEVER SURRENDER: A GALAXY QUEST DOCUMENTARY

This is made by Screen Junkies who make the Honest Trailers series (which range anywhere from great to terrible, based inversely on the quality of the movie).  I do not trust them to make a good documentary, but this looks decent--if way too reverential to the source material. 

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