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movies about songwriters


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mashup aspect, unlike, apparently, a lot of critics. Happily, I saw the movie before I read the crit compendia. Not that I'm swayed by critics, but I hate it when their prattle is occasionally brought back to mind by events on the screen.

Anyhow, I was actually quite moved by the movie. I guess I'd never,
been able to think of Cole Porter as a real person before (even a cinematic one). I saw the
Night and Day
biopic (w/ Cary Grant as Porter) when I was a kid and found it didn't ring true and then, someplace along the line, probably in my teen years, got wised up on certain angles. Add the ironic mega-distance in so many of his lyrics... I built this impression of Porter over the years as someone who would never really be known, who would always remain a caricature of a cypher. (wrapped in an enigma and served with a raised eyebrow). But the movie gave me a portrait of Porter I could kind of buy into.


certain angles ;)

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De Lovely. About Cole Porter.


Once. Though it is a fictional story, it comes close to the bone of Glen Hansard's (The Frames) experience.


Swanee River and I Dream of Genie about Stephen Foster.


Yankee Doodle Dandy about George M. Cohan.

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certain angles

It was a different time. Although, of course, that didn't prevent "Night and Day" star Cary Grant from donning a dress for "I Was a Male War Bride" in the same era. But then, he was marrying a WAC, so... ;)



I recently saw "We Jam Econo" -- which is really more about a band (the seminal funk-punk Minutemen) and a time (the late 70s and early 80s) and a friendship (between two boyhood chums who went on to form a groundbreaking band but ended up separated by the tragic accidental death of one) -- but I really enjoyed its super-low-key, almost lackadaisical approach. If you know anything about San Pedro, the insular, hillside town that overlooks the LA harbor and was the hometown of the Minutemen, that super laid-back, almost shambling approach is the only one that makes any sense.



How about Amadeus? Coal Miner's Daughter. La Bamba. The Doors. The Buddy Holly Story. Great Balls of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis). Immortal Beloved (Ludwig van Beethoven). Bound for Glory (Woody Guthrie). Don't Look Back (Bob Dylan, tour doc). Beyond the Sea (Bobby Darin). La Vie en Rose (the Little Sparrow, Edith Piaf). Bird (Charlie Parker). Lady Sings the Blues (Billie Holiday. Sort of. Not an endorsement).

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