i watched cadillac records (2009) last night and was moved and inspired by its portrayal of the rise of chess records in chicago. the film centres on the transition from sharecropper music, “race music” and blues to cross-over and rock and roll. the reviews were mixed and many completely missed the point of the film. it’s not a documentary. it’s a film that paints a broad picture of that time in music history. it’s about segregation. about a time when black musicians changed the face of music and were unrecognised for it until, sometimes decades, later. about white artists/record industry folks taking or stealing that creativity and becoming rich and famous in the process.
the music is astounding. the studio scenes, where leonard chess changed the way the music was recorded, are incredible. the film captures the intense pain and suffering experienced by such greats as muddy waters, little walter, howlin’ wolf, etta james and chuck berry. how that pain translated into brilliance. how they didn’t just play the blues, they lived it. they were the blues.
the credit for the birth of rock and roll lies very firmly with these musicians and countless others (many that remain unknown). there will never be another time like this and it’s essential that we know about it. that the next generations know about it. it’s scary that young people have never heard of some of these artists and how ignorant they are of anything outside the mainstream charts.
you don’t have to like the blues but you have to know about it.
watch this film with your eyes on the bigger picture.
and your heart in the right place.
as you know (if you read here on a regular basis), we contributed one of our songs (sacrifice) to a film soundtrack. shoulder for hire is a futuristic film directed by the very wonderful and brilliant dimitris emmanouilidis and edited by the excessively talented kenan akkawi. it will have its stateside premiere on saturday 28th june 2008 at the spielberg theatre in los angeles as part of the greek film festival. the diva makes a brief appearance and vishy created some of the incidental music in the film. sacrifice plays in full at the very end and over the closing credits. the film has been winning awards around the place including the thessaloniki film festival (special prize for fiction), drama film festival (honorary distinction for the best sets to dimitris ziakas). as you know (again, if you read here on a regular basis), the film also won the prize for best soundtrack at the athens science fiction film festival earlier in the year (we have certificates to prove it).
how cool is that ?
if you happen to be in la on saturday, check it out.
[more details on the festival can be found here]