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a mighty wind - the film

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Big Al Whittle 30 May 04 - 04:03 PM
Ed. 30 May 04 - 04:08 PM
Liz the Squeak 30 May 04 - 04:18 PM
Ed. 30 May 04 - 04:23 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 May 04 - 05:46 PM
Mudlark 30 May 04 - 06:14 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 May 04 - 06:43 PM
SINSULL 30 May 04 - 08:05 PM
Desert Dancer 30 May 04 - 08:43 PM
Big Al Whittle 31 May 04 - 04:46 AM
Bill Hahn//\\ 31 May 04 - 07:13 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 31 May 04 - 07:52 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 31 May 04 - 08:01 PM
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Subject: a mighty wind - the film
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 May 04 - 04:03 PM

just seen a mighty wind. which is playing briefly this week in the art house slot at uci cinemas this week, and which it was rumoured was going to do for the folk revival did what spinal tap did for heavy metal music.

has anybody else seen it and I wonder what they made of it

Personally I thought it was a likeable 90 something minutes but I'm not sure it will add to the language ("turn the marshall up to 11") in the same way that spinal tap did


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Subject: RE: a mighty wind - the fim
From: Ed.
Date: 30 May 04 - 04:08 PM

You should probably read this thread


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Subject: RE: a mighty wind - the fim
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 May 04 - 04:18 PM

Was Spaw by any chance a consultant on this film?

LTS


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Subject: RE: a mighty wind - the fim
From: Ed.
Date: 30 May 04 - 04:23 PM

your point being, Liz?


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Subject: RE: a mighty wind - the fim
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 May 04 - 05:46 PM

read thru those comments and I think I'd picked up on all the points- thanks for alerting me to that thread. I wanted to see mighty wind when it first surfaced , but a member of my family is disabled so its the first time its been available in a cinema that is easily accessible.

Fascinating to read how Americans have related to it. Iguess folk music must have had roughly the same staus as trad jazz in this country - it was round about what was the trad jazz boom era in England - that most of our American friends are talking about.

I don't think folk music had such a potent grasp on college kids imaginations in our country - or maybe it was that only very few people of that era in England had any tertiary education.

Folk seemed to go into overdrive in England - maybe about 1964. Perhaps I'm mistaken. I remember Pete Seeger doing the Pallladium show and playing Freight train on a 12 string and his hit Little boxes.

I'm trying to remember - there were a few folk singers like Steve Benbow sometimes getting on telly and that gang that did the Tonight programme. Also I remember Josh White's visits to England - but for most of us in the provinces, I don't think folk music had crashed into our consciousness in quite the same way that the film implies it did do in America.

Anyway I'd love to hear anybody else's recollection of that era.


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Subject: RE: a mighty wind - the fim
From: Mudlark
Date: 30 May 04 - 06:14 PM

wld...I got my first guitar in 1954, after making do with a ukelele (which was definitely NOT cool, back then!) for a couple of years. I cut my American teeth on Border and Childe ballads, and was into the folk scene in LA, concerts at the AshGrove, singing in coffee houses...it was sort of a beatnik/folk overlap... I shrivel a little now, remembering how snobbish I was about groups like the Kingston Trio, Christy Minstrels and the like...which Mighty Wind satirizes. Looking back, I'm willing to give these sanitized folkies full credit for popularizing a genre that wouldn't have had nearly the wide appeal it did, and still does, without them.

As for the movie, I was disappointed. I think the idea is running out of blood...Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guzman were better, IMO, than Best in Show, which, again, was better than Mighty Wind...which was tired and overdone. I think your original assessment of it, as entertainment light, right on. Not embarrassing, mildly amusing, but no lasting impressions.

Just one old fogy/folkie's opinion...


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Subject: RE: a mighty wind - the fim
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 May 04 - 06:43 PM

very nice to hear that Mudlark, and are you still singing. strangely I think we English in signigicant numbers only really got into the childe ballads after Joan Baez came and sang so many of them for us. i think she or her song books were the first time I heard them referred to,that would be about 1964 as I say when I was around 15. Of course its silly generalising from one's own experiences, but thats how I remember it.
Seems you were into traditional material long before we were. Although - there was a radio programme singing together that went out to all the schools and we sang stuff from the Sharp collection then sat at our desks - the cornish nightingale, high germany, the keel row, etc.. there must have intellectuals at work - trying to get us in touch with our culture
they don't bother nowadays!


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Subject: RE: a mighty wind - the fim
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 May 04 - 08:05 PM

The fim??? I thought we were about to do a Peter Sellers routine. Now lets get on to a great movie - Songcatcher! Where's Spaw?


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Subject: RE: a mighty wind - the fim
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 30 May 04 - 08:43 PM

CHILD, as in Francis J. Child, of Harvard University. A proper name, no "E", not some olde Englishe term, but a reference to his five-volume collection of texts to "English and Scottish Popular Ballads".

~ B in T


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Subject: RE: a mighty wind - the fim
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 May 04 - 04:46 AM

well spelt sir!


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Subject: RE: a mighty wind - the fim
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 31 May 04 - 07:13 PM

Humor (Humour) is, surely, always in the eye of the beholder. This eye --or ear-- beheld nothing humorous in "Wind". Perhaps I did find it a fairly good send-up of PBS fundraising efforts with their tired and cliche and bad toupee wearing old alleged folk singers. Levy, in the film, was, to me , the only saving grace in it.

The other films mentioned are really not comparible since they are serious efforts at chronicling folk music---and well done I say.

An interesting point is that I interviewed someone recently for my discussion program and he made an unasked for comment about the film (Wind) and it was quite negative. Well, it did go to Video rental rapidly.

By the way---if you want to hear a great parody of 1960s folk music---the group Modern Man has a song called "Like A River". In 3 or so minutes it encapsulates the entire parody of the era. Strangely it was rejected by the producers who said they write all their own material.

But, again, humor is a personal taste and quite subjective.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: a mighty wind - the fim
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 31 May 04 - 07:52 PM

It is true, some people do not understand the humor in A Mighty Wind, but luckily more people seemed to have enjoyed it. It is misleading to say that the film went to video "rapidly". It went to video no sooner than any other film these days. It also did extremely well in DVD and video sales, and it did much better at the box office than most people want to give it credit for.   For a small budget comedy with limited distribution, it did alright It made a number of critic's "Best of" lists as well.

The music was also nominated for an Academy Award and if I'm not mistaken they did win a Grammy. I guess they did not need anyones help with writing songs.

I did enjoy Spinal Tap and Best in Show more than A Mighty Wind, but I also like pizza as well as steak. Comparisions with other films lead to pointlessly dull conversations.

Enjoy it for what is was. It was not a film that will change the world, nor was the music it parodied. The commercial folk boom did not get skewered with A Mighty Wind, but rather enjoyed a playful slap on the backside.


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Subject: RE: a mighty wind - the fim
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 31 May 04 - 08:01 PM

That is the thing. A good "skewer" or parody would have been nice.

But, as I said, humor is subjective. I like Mad TV--others like SNL. Some liked Frasier (me) and some Friends(not me).

As to film comparisons. That is what critics like Ebert do all the time. It creates a comparison. Sure it is only their opinion, which brings me back to the "subjective" word. All such things are.

A disclaimer---Ron and I know each other and co host a radio program---so I guess we have now become Siskel and Ebert---I hope neither of us is Siskel though.


Bill Hahn


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