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Anyone Going to See 'Cadillac Records'??

Bobert 30 Nov 08 - 04:36 PM
meself 30 Nov 08 - 08:06 PM
PoppaGator 01 Dec 08 - 04:28 PM
katlaughing 01 Dec 08 - 04:53 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 01 Dec 08 - 05:16 PM
Fortunato 01 Dec 08 - 07:57 PM
katlaughing 27 Jan 09 - 11:42 PM
GUEST,Mary Katherine 28 Jan 09 - 01:45 AM
meself 28 Jan 09 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,Mary Katherine 28 Jan 09 - 08:34 AM
Desert Dancer 28 Jan 09 - 09:40 AM
meself 28 Jan 09 - 11:27 AM
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Subject: Anyone Going to See 'Cadillac Records'??
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 04:36 PM

There is a new movie out entitled "Cadillac Records" based on "Chess Records"... I don't know much about the movie but if it is anywhere near being realistic and factual it ougtta be a doozy...

B~


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Subject: RE: Anyone Going to See 'Cadillac Records'??
From: meself
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 08:06 PM

here's some commentary: http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/1304430,SHO-Sunday-Chess30.article .


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Subject: RE: Anyone Going to See 'Cadillac Records'??
From: PoppaGator
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 04:28 PM

From the trailers I've seen on TV and (especially) from the Chicago Sun-Times article linked-to in the second message above, I have the impression that the musical performances will probably be pretty good, but the historical accuracy will be very disappointing.

For those of us who know all about the blues and 1950s-type R&B, the film might well be enjoyable for the performances, but only for those indiviudals who are able to ignore the factual shortcomings. Those of us who are historical scholars and/or trivia experts may be too distracted (or even enraged) by the various inaccuracies to simply enjoy the music.

Younger viewers, and everyone not especially familiar with the Chess legacy, are likely to come away from the film with a lot of misconceptions. They'll have no way of distinguishing the few bits of true history from the many "reinterpretations" and outright lies.

Is widespread exposure to the music, and the possibility of bringing a new appreciation to new audiences, worth the rampant fictionalization? Some will say yes, others no, and there'll probably be a lot of controversy. Perhaps if the controversy becomes really vocal and widespread, the naive majority of the viewers just might become aware that much of the story they've seen is seriously fictionalized.

I had been wondering why the title of the film is deliberately fictional ("Cadillac" Records, not Chess) while the entire cast of characters consists of real people whose lives revolved around Chess Records. That Sun-Times article goes a long way towards explaining why.

(It's hard for me to envision Beyonce as Etta James, but I'm willing to give her a chance...)


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Subject: RE: Anyone Going to See 'Cadillac Records'??
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 04:53 PM

I heard the fellow who acts as Muddy Waters on NPR today. He sings all of the music himself and from the clip I heard, it sounded pretty good, though I am no expert on what any of them sounded like for real. Still, the actor sounded credible and as though he was very interested in the subject. He also just finished another movie recently in which he portrayed Colin Powell.


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Subject: RE: Anyone Going to See 'Cadillac Records'??
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 05:16 PM

It is a fictional film, why would anyone expect it to be accurate? "Hamlet" was not a documentary by Shakespeare. The film is based on a true story, but you never let the facts get in the way of a good story as a wise storyteller once said.   I realize that many people who have historical knowledge of the subject will be upset, but this film isn't made for them.


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Subject: RE: Anyone Going to See 'Cadillac Records'??
From: Fortunato
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 07:57 PM

Meself, thanks, I enjoyed the article. I share the hope that the movie, despite it's flaws, brings attention to the genre. I'm reminded of Oh Brother where art thou, and the subsequent Down from the Mountain that brought Ralph Stanley back to the spotlight and John Hartford and widened the audience for Alison Krause and others for bluegrass and old time country music.

The blues and rhythmn and blues and jump blues could use some opportunities to play some bigger halls and make some cash, and the movie could contribute to that.


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Subject: RE: Anyone Going to See 'Cadillac Records'??
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jan 09 - 11:42 PM

Anyone seen this, yet? I heard a song from it the other day on an indie station. It was called Bridging the Gap and I really liked it, as did my grandson. There is a video of it on youtube with lyrics over on the side.


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Subject: RE: Anyone Going to See 'Cadillac Records'??
From: GUEST,Mary Katherine
Date: 28 Jan 09 - 01:45 AM

It's not a "documentary" about Chess Records; it's a work of fiction loosely based on the history of Chess Records. The hard thing for me to get over was looking at actors pretending to be people I knew quite well and who in some cases were my very close friends. Once past that, what did I like? The actor who played Howlin' Wolf did some excellent work. The actor who voiced Willie Dixon as the narrator came so close to hitting Willie's real voice that it was startling. Beyonce, playing Etta James, can really sing. But not as well as Etta James can. The plot, if any, is almost invisible, and the film is basically a collection of sketchy scenes (some true, some complete and occasionally ludicrous fiction) held together by music; when the music is good it's VERY good, although, go figure: NONE of it is "real." The actors who are pretending to be the musicians also do their own singing and playing (or else it was overdubbed and they were miming) but none of the music in the film is actually played or sung by the people the film is, you know, ABOUT. A funny moment for me: when (the actor who is playing) Wolf does his first studio recording session, (the actor who is playing) Leonard Chess calls out from the control room to his guitarist "hey you, what's your name?" and the young man stands up and says "Hubert Sumlin, sir." Sitting next to him on a chair, noodling quietly on another guitar, is the *real* Hubert Sumlin! I laughed out loud at that. Goofs? Sure, plenty. One of the film's main premises is that Leonard Chess (his brother Phil does not exist for the purposes of the film) gives the musicians Cadillacs in lieu of royalties. My friend Jim, who saw the film with me, knows cars, I don't; he kept pointing out that the year of the hit record and the year of the Cadillac that was the "reward" were all wrong. In 1954 someone was given a 1956 Cadillac; come on, how hard could it have been to get THAT right? Oh yeah, and several times the musicians, in the recording studio, while doing a TAKE, were shown walking around the studio handholding their vocal mikes. In what universe could that possibly have happened? Alan Lomax, who first recorded Muddy Waters in Mississippi, was in his early twenties at the time, but is played as a paunchy, balding, clearly middle-aged man. Oh, and all the Etta James tracks that are shown being recorded at the Chess studios in Chicago? Were all actuallly recorded in Muscle Shoals! But nitpicking aside, I'm glad I saw it, it was okay, nothing great, nothing awful. Some good lines. And Jim bought me popcorn!
Now I hear that there is ANOTHER movie about Chess Records coming out soon, to be called "Who Do You Love." Who woulda thought?


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Subject: RE: Anyone Going to See 'Cadillac Records'??
From: meself
Date: 28 Jan 09 - 05:01 AM

Apparently the film portrays harmonica-god Little Walter Jacobs as a murderer. Although he is said to have been something of a hot-head, the murder story is a fabrication, according to those who knew him and the scene, or who have researched same.


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Subject: RE: Anyone Going to See 'Cadillac Records'??
From: GUEST,Mary Katherine
Date: 28 Jan 09 - 08:34 AM

Yes, that scene in which Little Walter pulls out a gun, walks up to someone, shoots him, and then rides away in a Cadillac with Muddy Waters at the wheel, is part of what I referred to above as "complete and ludicrous fiction," as is the scene of Etta James and Leonard Cohen having (badly simulated) sex on the floor of her nearly-empty house. Oh yeah, and then there's the incredibly melodramatic scene of Leonard, having just sold the Chess label, packing up his office, filling his car with boxes, and as he pulls away from the front of the building he has a massive heart attack and dies on the spot. Timing is everything?
Makes one wonder why they completely ignored/failed to include *real* shootings, such as Howlin' Wolf/Hubert Sumlin?


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Subject: RE: Anyone Going to See 'Cadillac Records'??
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 28 Jan 09 - 09:40 AM

Another short thread on the topic, FWIW.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Anyone Going to See 'Cadillac Records'??
From: meself
Date: 28 Jan 09 - 11:27 AM

Leonard Cohen?! Now that is going too far!


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