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Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC

WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Dec 05 - 02:18 PM
Tannywheeler 06 Dec 05 - 02:55 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 07 Dec 05 - 09:19 AM
black walnut 07 Dec 05 - 10:09 AM
Zhenya 07 Dec 05 - 01:27 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 07 Dec 05 - 01:35 PM
Mike Regenstreif 07 Dec 05 - 01:47 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 08 Dec 05 - 09:34 AM
Bill Hahn//\\ 08 Dec 05 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,howard 10 Dec 05 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,rebecca 10 Dec 05 - 02:06 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 10 Dec 05 - 03:10 PM
JJ 12 Dec 05 - 08:27 AM
Big Mick 12 Dec 05 - 08:39 AM
Tannywheeler 12 Dec 05 - 02:54 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 12 Dec 05 - 06:53 PM
Charley Noble 12 Dec 05 - 09:09 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 12 Dec 05 - 11:03 PM
Big Mick 13 Dec 05 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,JJ 13 Dec 05 - 08:30 AM
Judge Mental 13 Dec 05 - 09:10 AM
Big Mick 13 Dec 05 - 09:20 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 13 Dec 05 - 09:37 AM
Bill Hahn//\\ 13 Dec 05 - 04:22 PM
Charley Noble 13 Dec 05 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,John Hernandez 14 Dec 05 - 08:23 AM
JJ 14 Dec 05 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,John Hernandez 14 Dec 05 - 11:20 AM
Bill Hahn//\\ 14 Dec 05 - 04:34 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 14 Dec 05 - 05:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Dec 05 - 12:44 PM
JJ 16 Dec 05 - 09:35 AM
Charley Noble 16 Dec 05 - 05:59 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 16 Dec 05 - 11:50 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 17 Dec 05 - 04:14 PM
JJ 18 Dec 05 - 08:18 AM
Bill Hahn//\\ 18 Dec 05 - 06:59 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 18 Dec 05 - 07:23 PM
Peter T. 18 Dec 05 - 08:38 PM
Charley Noble 18 Dec 05 - 09:21 PM
Zhenya 18 Dec 05 - 09:42 PM
Janice in NJ 19 Dec 05 - 12:09 AM
JJ 19 Dec 05 - 08:27 AM
JJ 20 Dec 05 - 08:48 AM
Thomas Stern 06 Aug 17 - 06:34 PM
ChanteyLass 20 Aug 17 - 06:28 PM
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Subject: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Dec 05 - 02:18 PM

I received a press release from a public relations firm that is working to publicize a new film - "Isn't This A Time! A Tribute to Harold Leventhal".   The film was directed by Jim Brown, who also created the classic film "Wasn't That A Time" - about the Weavers 1981 reunion.

The film opens in NYC this coming Friday. Here is the press release:

"Isn't This A Time! A Tribute to Harold Leventhal" sold out its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in a matter of hours; and brought the house down with a ten minute standing ovation. Directed by Jim Brown, the documentary is a heartening, intoxicating brew of music history, political activism and powerful songs. It captures the Thanksgiving 2003 concert at Carnegie Hall that brought Pete Seeger and The Weavers back together with such folk legends as Arlo Guthrie, Peter, Paul & Mary and Theodore Bikel, to honor their mutual, inspirational mentor the recently departed, Harold Leventhal – the music impresario and social activist who, among other feats, kept The Weavers together even when they were Blacklisted and banned from performing.

We are looking for the best way to promote this film which will be opening in New York on December 9 at the Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th street. If the film has success in New York it will propel a nationwide release."

Jim Brown is scheduled to be a guest with my co-host Bill Hahn this Sunday on Traditions between 3 and 6pm - www.wfdu.fm

I urge everyone in the NYC area to check this film out. If it does well in NYC it will probably pick up a national distributor, and one day find it's way to PBS or some other broadcast outlet.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 06 Dec 05 - 02:55 PM

FAN--damn--TASTIC!!!!!!!!!! Go to it. Demonstrate the great art of great conversation, and bring back personal interaction as a way to communicate. I'm glad of anything that tells the story of that man and his times, and the people he helped to function. God bless you, Ron. (big kiss)          Tw


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 07 Dec 05 - 09:19 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: black walnut
Date: 07 Dec 05 - 10:09 AM

I saw it when it was at the Toronto Film Festival. Standing ovation. Go see it if you can!

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Zhenya
Date: 07 Dec 05 - 01:27 PM

Ron,

Do you know how long the film will be playing? I can walk to the Quad from home, but I'm leaving tomorrow for a week's vacation out of town. If it's still here when I get back, I'd certainly like to see it. I'll pass the word on to friends, at any rate.

Zhenya


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 07 Dec 05 - 01:35 PM

They are not sure how long it will be there. It will depend on how well it does this weekend.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 07 Dec 05 - 01:47 PM

It's a wonderful film and I'd encourage anyone with the opportunity to see it. My review from the Toronto Film Festival can be read here.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 08 Dec 05 - 09:34 AM

I'm looking forward to it!   Great review Mike!


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 08 Dec 05 - 03:07 PM

Let me add that the film is now playing in NYC at the Quad Cinema --13th ST between 5th & 6th Ave.   It is scheduled to play only one week starting on Fri. 12/16 (with a lot of the participants being in attendance).   

Jim Brown informs me that he hopes that word of mouth will force the run to be extended and then perhaps the film will gain wider distribution.   That said---pass the message along and hopefully it will spread as did his other (of many other) film---Wasn't That A Time.   And, of course, do go see it yourself if you are within travel distance to the above venue.

Besides Toronto it has been shown at a few Jewish Film festivals around the country to rave reviews---including one by Roger Ebert.

I hope you will join me on Sunday when Jim Brown discusses his film and his work with me on our (Ron Olesko and Bill Hahn) Traditions program on WFDU---link is above.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: GUEST,howard
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 01:49 PM

just saw the film last evening. very well done. it will be a shame if it doesn't make it. encourage everyone to see.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - My Review
From: GUEST,rebecca
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 02:06 PM

i am a college student at nyu and happened to go to this movie "isn't this a time yesterday. The film was enjoyable and although from a time that i was not part of I found myself loving the film . Jim Brown captures a time which perhaps is again relevant and presented the story of Harold Leventhal and the folk movement . I was pleasantly surprised and recommend to all. Go see it.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 03:10 PM

Rebecca: Glad to read your comments since the review in Friday's NY Times is one of the most condescending reviews I have read in quite a while and utterly missed the point of the film. The reviewer claims that "...Brown beat the odds" in trying to make a film based on a satire (A Mighty Wind) and people who are of a generation that appreciate that film will find this of "....middling" interest". You seem to belie that alleged "fact" and I can only guess that reviewer has her head in a place that precludes her from seeing a difference between the two films---and I won't get into my opinion of A Mighty Wind. WHere the reviewer's head is---ahh---very dark in that place for a contortionist


By the way--I, too, have seen Isn't This A Time and the only thing it should and can be compared to is Wasn't That A Time and there it compares very favoribly.   Also--a tribute to an idealist who could mix business and honor with his love for his "clients"---and they were not just "folkies". He had quite a large and varied roster at one point


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: JJ
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 08:27 AM

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:

http://www.7thart.com/current/time/index.html


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Big Mick
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 08:39 AM

Could some of the NYC Mudcatters give me a hand. I want to come up from Jersey to see this. Does it make sense to drive into Manhattan? I know this is in the lower end, is parking available? Being a midwesterner, I am not really familiar with the subway, but would it make more sense to take a PATH train and then subway? Station/Stop?

Thanks,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 02:54 PM

We now have a DVD/VCR machine to attach to our TV. Are these programs(Wasn't That A Time; Isn't This A Time) available in either of those formats? And, if so, where?         Tw


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 06:53 PM

JJ - the concert was held before Mary Travers learned that she was sick.   She has lost over 70 pounds and is doing much better. Look for a PPM tour in the spring!


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 09:09 PM

I may try to get to this special Tuesday evening, assuming it's still playing.

Thanks for the information.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, adrift in NYC


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 11:03 PM

I saw the movie and I think it is very good. I think modern audiences might find the first 1/2 hour a bit slow - especially if you are unfamiliar with Bikel and Bibb. I think it picked up considerably when Arlo was performing with Sara Lee & Johnny. Suddenly the connections with the past and the roadmap to the future became clear. The music was not merely a nostalgia trip, but a sincere reaction of individuals who choose to speak their minds via song.

The Weavers were superb. I was thrilled that Erik Darling was singing with them again. His contribution to their story has been overlooked. I really feel that some of the best recordings that the group made occured when Erik joined the group. "Sinner Man" was a perfect example - it was a song he brought to the table.

I do wish to add my opinion of the NY Times review that Bill Hahn mentioned.   I had a different take on the review, and I think they gave the film a very good review.   I think the reviewer did see a HUGE difference between "Mighty Wind" and "Isn't This A Time",and she gave the director credit for making a good movie.   

She opened the review by mentioning that it was a concert in tribute to promoter Harold Leventhal and his colleagues and friends gathered to honor him.   She then says "If the premise sounds familiar, it's because Christopher Guest's hilarious spoof "A Mighty Wind"(2003) was modeled after Leventhal and his devoted collaborators". Even if Christopher Guest won't officially admit to it, there is a similarity between Leventhal and the promoter in AMW.   Leventhal was the real-life counterpart and Guests inspiration.   Watch "Wasn't That A Time" and you will see the similarites - the Weaver's getting together at the picnic, just like Guest's group in A Mighty Wind. The similarity ends there, as Leventhal was sincere in his work and the artists that he represented were not out to make a quick buck. Guest chose to exploit the commercial side of the business.

Kern goes on to say "And although a documentary involving people and events that have already been satrized could easily be a target for futher ridicule, Jim Brown has managed to beat the odds".   She is 100% correct, and her comment is a glowing compliment to Brown's film.    When I watched the film, especially in the first 1/2 hour, I was seeing "A Mighty Wind".   Here you have a number of performers who are playing music that is no longer in fashion, and they are no longer in their prime.   The difference, which she is alluding to, is that the real performers in "Isn't This A Time" are sincere and "eager to carry on the family tradition" (her words).    Brown's film COULD have sunk based on the similarities - to an audience member not familiar with Harold Leventhal but who has seen A Mighty Wind, that person could be seeing fiction become reality. However, Brown cut it in such a way that showed the true sincerity of the music and in doing so made it a success.

If you read the last paragaph of Kern's review "Watching the aging, but still spirited, singers come together to express their gratitude for the man who started their careers is often genuinely touching."   Very true.   She then says "Younger generations whose introduction to folk music came via Mr. Guest may deem the film of only middling interest".   Well, she is right again. First, if someone took A Mighty Wind seriously, then they will be bewildered by what they find in "Isn't That A Time".    Likewise, it is very true that the artists that we admire and grew up with in that generation do not, and probably should not, relate to today's generation.   Today's generation needs to find their own heros to validate their era.   You can't re-live the past.   As Kern pointed out, you need an "occaisional offspring eager to cary on family tradition."

She concludes with another truth - "But for those who grew up following the featured musician's work and their righteous causes, it will be a pleasant stroll down memory lane."    There is something to be said for preaching to the choir.    The review I read was a positive one, one that honestly looked at the film and it's relationship to today's audiences. The NY Times recommended it, and so do I!


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 08:17 AM

So is anyone going to give me a hand on the directions I asked for?

Mick


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: GUEST,JJ
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 08:30 AM

Ron: Thanks for the corrected timeline on Mary's cancer. I knew about the successful bone marrow transplant and the plans for the group's touring again; those successes can't be mentioned too often.

And I agree with your parsing of the review in the Times.

Tannywheeler: WASN'T THAT A TIME? is currently available only on VHS and only in Canada, according to IMDB. I don't think it was ever released on DVD. I'm sure ISN'T THIS A TIME? will be released on DVD at the link given above.

Big Mick: As you value your life and your reason, DO NOT DRIVE INTO MANHATTAN. Especially during December. Instead, take the PATH train to the 9th St. stop. This lets you out at 6th Ave, and W. 9th St. The Quad Cinemas are on W. 13th St. between 6th and 5th Aves, just a short walk away.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Judge Mental
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 09:10 AM

Even if Christopher Guest won't officially admit to it, there is a similarity between Leventhal and the promoter in AMW.   Leventhal was the real-life counterpart and Guests inspiration.   Watch "Wasn't That A Time" and you will see the similarites - the Weaver's getting together at the picnic, just like Guest's group in A Mighty Wind. The similarity ends there, as Leventhal was sincere in his work and the artists that he represented were not out to make a quick buck. Guest chose to exploit the commercial side of the business.

Ron,

Like most of the characters in A Mighty Wind, the fictional promoter to whom they were paying tribute was inspired by more than one person. It was obvious, to me at least, that the promoter's story certainly took inspiration from both Harold and from Manny Greenhill.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 09:20 AM

Thanks so much, JJ. That is just what I needed. I owe you a Guinness.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 09:37 AM

Good point Judge. The reason I think Leventhal was probably more influential in Guest's work was because there are a number of scenes in A Mighty Wind that have counterparts in Wasn't That A Time - the Weaver's getting together at a picnic, the rehearsals, the concerts,etc.   Guest apparently did his homework, and while he created fictional characters that are completely different from Leventhal, Weavers, etc., you can see where a "novice" could draw comparisions. (I also found a scene in A Mighty Wind that reminded me of Ballad of Ramblin Jack - the characters were driving around trying to find a hotel was similar in style to the scene of Elliot trying to find his old home.) That is the point that the NYTimes review made - Brown was able (for the most part) to avoid the comparisons.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 04:22 PM

Below is the letter I sent to the NY Times---I guess my take, as you know is different. We shall see if "The Gray Lady" prints it since it disagrees with their reviewer---who I can only assume is a newer and younger one never having seen her by-line before.

I would that Jim Brown has seen this letter and appreciated it since he was not thrilled with the review either.

See Below:

Bill Hahn




To the Editor (Arts & Leisure)

It seems to me that Laura Kern has missed the point of the film in her very condescending review. This piece should not be compared to A Mighty Wind but rather to Wasn't That A Time. Jim Brown did not,"...beat the odds"(re:satire), as Ms Kern states, since this work had nothing at all to do with A Mighty Wind.

It is a tribute---plain and simple--to an idealist who was also a businessman and had interests and feelings for people and music that transcended "folk " music. To compare Harold Leventhal to any character in A Mighty Wind does a great disservice to his memory and shows the lack of understanding of the reviewer to the topic she writes about.

The comment,"...younger ones who got their introduction to folk music from Mr. Guest will find only middling interest" (paraphrase) shows that   Ms. Kern did not get a good look at the audience shots in Jim Brown's film. Seems she missed the mix of generations. Both on stage and in the audience.

As to her comment about A Mighty Wind and its wonderful comedic content; a subjective thought delivered as fact. There are those, myself included, that found the film quite inane and more of a send-up of PBS fund raisers featuring aging singers with bad hair pieces.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 04:32 PM

Mick et al-

While you're in downtown NYC you might stop off at McSorley's Old Ale House, a block away east on 7th St. from Cooper's Union, and 3rd Ave.

My brother and I found our way back there this afternoon after far too many years. You know the place really hasn't changed that much. The potbelly stove is still there in the front half of the room, providing much needed heat from its coals. There was an old fat orange tigercat curled up on a chair behind the stove. There was fresh sawdust on the floor. And all sorts of interesting stuff on the shelves behind the bar covered with layers of dust. There were great pictures and posters on the wall, and a book of poetry, which I bought, which explained them all. We ordered a round of dark ale, a hamburg for Bob and a bowl of chili for me, and a plate of raw onions, crackers and sharp cheese. Bob's hamburger looked rather well done to me, as if it had been broiled up weeks ago and than zapped in the microwave but he seemed to enjoy it. The chili was fine. The men's toilet was the same gigantic urinals which make you feel like a six-year-old, with a swinging door that gave everyone a view of what is going on inside. There is supposed to be a facility for ladies too but I couldn't detect it. You probably need to know which panel to press.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, still re-exploring old NYC


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: GUEST,John Hernandez
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 08:23 AM

As I watched the movie last night I recalled a workshop that Harold gave nearly six years ago called "Business Aspects of Folk Music." It was very well attended by many of the younger you-know-whoms of the New York folk scene and beyond. His message to the bright-eyed eager crowd was, "Forget it kid. You'll never make a living in this business. Just go ahead and do whatever music you like, and if you want to make money, get a real job. Judy and Arlo and Pete are the rare exceptions," he went on. "Woody and Leadbelly hardly made a dime in their own lifetime, and believe me, you're no Woody or Leadbelly. So I'll say it agin. Do whatever music you like, but get a real job." Good advice then, and good advice now.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: JJ
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 08:30 AM

There's an ad for the film in this week's Village Voice that says, "Must End Soon."

If there's a transit strike at 12:01 Friday morning, Big Mick will still be able to get there on the PATH train, but others will find it more difficult.

And yes, the traffic will be be even more horrific than usual...


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: GUEST,John Hernandez
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 11:20 AM

"Must End Soon" tells us that this is what is called in the trade a December qualifier. That means it's a movie put into limited release in December so it will be in contention for that year's Oscars. If there were already a standout sure winner in the feature length documentary category, the producer (in this case Arlo Guthrie) woulds have held off until 2006. Be assured that this movie will be in wider release somewhere down the line, especially if it garners one or more Oscar nominations.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 04:34 PM

According to Jim Brown he is hoping for word of mouth to keep it running and to pick up a national distributor.   Sure does not sound like the "December Qualifier" spoken of.

In fact there are 2 films right now---from major studios that are opening for only one week and tell the Oscar reason in their ads


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 05:14 PM

An update---just heard from his office and the film has been extended at the Quad for at least one more week.


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:44 PM

The transit strike is going to make moving around Manhattan almost impossible, even using the PATH trains, because everyone always has the same idea about how to get around. Cross your fingers that the strike doesn't happen, but it if does, plan to do a lot of walking (there are several ways to get to Manhattan by not driving yourself, including non-traditional ways like taking the Water Taxi from Liberty State Park in New Jersey to the Battery in Manhattan and taking a taxi or hoofing it uptown).

I used to visit McSorleys with friends back in the late 1970s and early 80s, and you describe it as it was. They didn't make a women's room available back then, in the churlish hard-headed Irish anti-feminist response to having to let women in at all. You had to use the men's room and the stalls were so short that you couldn't really sit to use them. You went in pairs and had to treat the trip to the bathroom with grace and humor as men came in to stand at the urinal as you stood and held the non-locking stall door closed for a friend, but in fact it was damned annoying. I hope they do truly have a usable women's room, or that the city slapped them with a few hefty fines to get their attention.

Sounds like a good film. I heard something about this, perhaps on Fresh Air, a while back. And it sounds like that reviewer was a total twit, not equipped to write the review if she didn't even know the proper reference points to begin from.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: JJ
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 09:35 AM

There will be no transit strike until at least 12:01 AM on Tuesday, except on two private bus lines in Queens.

Come see this movie!

Alas, Stilly River Sage, McSorley's was an unknowing pioneer in the unisex bathroom, which is now found at all the hippest spots in town. Although I can't vouch for the place itself, as I haven't been there for many a year. Taken over by the NYU crowd instead of the sturdy, honest drinkers it used to cater to.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 05:59 PM

My brother and I were there in the early afternoon and it really was like stepping into a time warp. The placecertainly wasn't filled with university students, nor office workers. The fellers at the table next to us wore leather jackers and sounded like they were speaking Russian.

I purchased a copy of a poetry book composed by one of the long-time bartenders which I found behind the bar (the book that is, the bartender in question was off for the day). The book is interesting as the poems help explain some of the artifacts in the Ale House, and provides short bio's for some of the denzions who have run the place, or been run out of the place, over the years. Unfortunately, none of the poems makes a good song but I haven't given up yet.

So, did Big Mick managed to make it in and out of Manhattan with or without his flying squad? Inquiring mines would like to know.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 11:50 PM

And the film??? I thought that this thread related to that.

Interesting artifact on that---today is Friday and the NY TImes (AKA The Gray Lady) lists, on its arts/leisure page a listing of newer film and thumbnail reviews that had been published earlier.

I suppose I will never know if my letter had anything to do with it, but the review by Ms Kern was so edited that it came out as a brief rave leaving out all her negative comments. From this you glean how wonderful the film is---no mention of the nonsense she compared it with.   Just the edited lines telling of the wonderful tribute and the touching mood it evokes.

I hope it helps for wider distribution.   Or DVD sales.


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 04:14 PM

Below is the original review, and a correction - from the NYTimes website.

Please point out the "negative comments" and the "nonsense she compared it with" -

"On Thanksgiving Day 2003, Harold Leventhal, the distinguished folk music manager and promoter whose career spanned a remarkable 50 years, was paid the ultimate tribute: a concert at Carnegie Hall, organized and performed by his closest colleagues and friends.

If the premise sounds familiar, it's because Christopher Guest's hilarious spoof ''A Mighty Wind'' (2003) was modeled after Leventhal and his devoted collaborators. And although a documentary involving people and events that have already been satirized could easily be a target for further ridicule, Jim Brown has managed to beat the odds.

His upbeat film cuts between onstage musical numbers and behind-the-scenes recollections from musicians in the 2003 show, including the Weavers (the blacklisted folk quartet showcased in Mr. Brown's acclaimed 1982 documentary ''Wasn't That a Time!''), Arlo Guthrie and Peter, Paul and Mary, as well as the occasional offspring eager to carry on family tradition.

Watching the aging, but still spirited, singers come together to express their gratitude for the man who started their careers is often genuinely touching. (Mr. Leventhal died in October, at 86.) Younger generations whose introduction to folk music came via Mr. Guest may deem the film of only middling interest. But for those who grew up following the featured musicians' work and their righteous causes, it will be a pleasant stroll down memory lane. LAURA KERN

Correction: December 13, 2005, Tuesday A film review in Weekend on Friday about ''Isn't This a Time,'' a documentary about a Carnegie Hall concert honoring the folk music manager and promoter Harold Leventhal, misstated the concert's date. It was Nov. 29, 2003, not Thanksgiving of that year.

The review also referred imprecisely to the organization of the concert. While many of Mr. Leventhal's closest colleagues and friends took part, it was organized primarily by Arlo Guthrie. "

NY Times review


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: JJ
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 08:18 AM

Big Mick, what's the word on your trip to see ISN'T THIS A TIME? And did you hit McSorley's after? The NYU students might all be home for Christmas break.

Charley Noble, those guys were probably speaking Ukranian, from the Ukranian church right across the street from the bar.

See this movie!


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 06:59 PM

The corrections were of merely technical things---which the Times always does for the sake of factual accuracy.

What they left out in the Fri. "thumbnail" were all the comments about "...middling interest", "...comparison to the hilarious spoof to A Mighty Wind".   The former was negative, the latter a subjective comment written as a fact.   

Whatever the case the Gray Lady seems to have edited into in a very positive thumbnail review---similar to the ads the "blockbusters" take out that take reviewers comments out of context---for instance---"...surely an interesting exercise...(left out---"...in pure crap".) SOme such reviews.

I will admit this---though I disagree with Ms Kern's review they, Times, suffer from the same slanted editing to suit their purpose as do the ads by distributors (producers) for so/so films.   What the Times reason is I do not profess to know.

If it helps the film---all to the good.   I guess I am like them in that sense. I admit it.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 07:23 PM

"What they left out in the Fri. "thumbnail" were all the comments about "...middling interest", "...comparison to the hilarious spoof to A Mighty Wind".   The former was negative, the latter a subjective comment written as a fact.   "

Maybe I'm alone in thinking this, but I don't take "middling interest" to be such a negative comment. She said "Younger generations whose introduction to folk music came via Mr. Guest may deem the film of only middling interest."   That is very true. This is not a film that will appeal to a young people in large numbers. Of course there will be some interest from enlightened young people, but this is not a film that will make their "must see" lists.

Also, she NEVER compared it to A Might Wind. Read it again, she said "If the premise sounds familiar, it's because Christopher Guest's hilarious spoof ''A Mighty Wind'' (2003) was modeled after Leventhal and his devoted collaborators. And although a documentary involving people and events that have already been satirized could easily be a target for further ridicule, Jim Brown has managed to beat the odds."

THOSE sentences are congratulating Brown for avoiding the obvious comparisons to A Mighty Wind.   Her comments are legitimate, not negative. You may disagree that "A Mighty Wind" was a "hilarous spoof", but that is far from the point. She gave her opinion of A Mighty Wind, not stating a "fact".   

There was no "slanted editing" in their capsule review.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Peter T.
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 08:38 PM

"A Mighty Wind" was a dreary film.

I saw the originals in Toronto at the premiere of the film, the thrill of a lifetime. The film wasn't nearly as good (surprise, surprise). Actually, I thought the earlier documentary film was more interesting and livelier than this one.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 09:21 PM

JJ-

Probably Big Mick is still trying to find his way out of NYC. I do hope he stopped off at McSorley's for an ale. I am curious, obviously more curious about McSorley's than the film, do you know why they deliver two small mugs of ale rather than one larger one when an order is placed, or was I just seeing double?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Zhenya
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 09:42 PM

I went to see this yesterday and found it very absorbing throughout. I often had to stifle the urge to applaud right in the movie theatre after some of the musical numbers, as I did feel at times as if I was at a concert rather than a movie. At any rate, the audience in the theater gave this a good round of applause at the end. I'd say the theater was about half full at a late afternoon showing.

I was familiar with most of the songs, but not all of the musicians (well I recognized their names, at least, but wasn't that familiar with the work of a few of them.) I particularly enjoyed the sets of Arlo and his band (I have gotten to see him perform with his daughter in concert) and The Weavers.

I thought there was a good mix of music and cutting away to discussion with the performers. Again, some of their backgrounds and stories were familiar to me, but quite a bit was new for me.

There were quite a few gasps in the audience at the end when it was noted onscreen that Harold Leventhal had recently died. For some reason, I was surprised by this - I guess I assumed this would be a hard core "folkie" audience that would be up on this kind of thing. But I guess if you didn't catch the news, you just didn't.

As far as appealing to a younger audience...? Well, I've been to a number of Arlo's Carnegie Hall concerts (alas not this one) and there seem to be plenty of younger people there, so many would know who he is. I'm guessing many would also know about Pete Seeger and Peter, Paul and Mary (all those camp songs!) Assuming a younger person had some interest in folk music at all, I don't see why this wouldn't be appealing, even if they didn't live through any of this time period themselves.

Anyway, I'll add yet another recommendation to go see this movie/concert.

Zhenya


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 12:09 AM

One of the songs that Peter, Paul, and Mary perform in this movie is "Have You Been to Jail for Justice?" The song was written by one of the great feminist and union activist song writers of our present time, Anne Feeney. There is a link on Anne Feeney's website that takes you directly to her recording of the song, which I like much better than the PP&M rendition.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: JJ
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 08:27 AM

Charley, I don't know why they serve the ale in two small mugs, although I was much taken with the custom. Perhaps the answer may be found in MCSORLEY'S WONDERFUL SALOON by Joseph Mitchell.

But you certainly should see the movie BEFORE drinking the ale!

Any more reports from those who've seen it?


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: JJ
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 08:48 AM

The transit strike is on. There is no subway or bus service.

But if you can get to Penn Station via New Jersey Transit, the Long Island Railroad or AMTRAK, you can walk a block or so to 33d St. and 6th Ave., take the PATH Train downtown to the 9th St. stop and easily reach the Quad Cinema on 13th St. between 6th and 5th Aves.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 06 Aug 17 - 06:34 PM

FYI
PBS in Boston (WGBH-TV) is showing FOLK LEGENDS: ISN'T THIS A TIME as part of current fundraising. A DVD is offered as a premium - no indication if it is DVD-R rather than a pressed disc. Perhaps it will become available via retail outlets in future ??? (IMO doubtful).

Cheers, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Isn't This A Time - opens in NYC
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 20 Aug 17 - 06:28 PM

I finally saw it today! I enjoyed every minute and wish it had been longer.


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