The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #86995   Message #1625539
Posted By: JJ
12-Dec-05 - 08:27 AM
Thread Name: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
Saw it at the 8:25 show on Friday, opening day, and the theatre was far from full. I figured that would be the case and wanted to catch the doc before it was gone. I doubt if a long run is in the offing.

Most of the audience was in the expected demographic, but there were a few young people, some of whom seemed to have worked on the film. Others were overheard talking about "Uncle Harold's movie."

One has to hand it to Harold Leventhal, perhaps the only man ever to get an executive producer credit on his own obit. He probably would have laughed at that. Arlo probably shook his head and wished his old pal Christopher Guest hadn't made the Leventhal character in A MIGHTY WIND dead -- too spooky.

Pete Seeger can barely sing at all these days (although there's a segment in a living room where he sings the first verse of "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" that's lovely) so they brought in Erik Darling to sing the tenor parts. Of course, Pete WAS 84 in 2003...

But he can still play, and so can Fred Hellerman, who can still sing a little. Because Lee Hays is dead, they brought in Eric Weissberg to play bass and sing as well, and although he may be the best banjo player in that group, he gets nary a lick on banjo.

And Ronnie Gilbert, leaning on a cane, can still belt 'em out like days of yore.

Man, I thought The Weavers were old in that last doc, but now they're REALLY old. And they can still put a song over.

Paul looks pretty good, as does Peter, but time is kinder to baritone voices than to tenor. Mary looks flat-out awful, using a cane and as big as a house from the cancer drugs. But she sounds great!

Bikel and Bibb each get a number. They're both in much better shape, esp. Theo.

Arlo brings out his kids and does a wonderful and varied set with some very funny patter. He even explains "The Folk Process."

And the cast, their children and their grandchildren end with "Goodnight, Irene."

There are many interviews about the importance of dissent and how Harold Leventhal fought the blacklist, and, yes, some moments that evoke A MIGHTY WIND, which wouldn't have been any good if it didn't love what it parodied.

You can order the video now at: