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Pete Seeger film/DVD: The Power of Song

23 Oct 07 - 07:12 PM (#2177658)
Subject: Pete Seeger film
From: GUEST,John Pietaro

Friends,

Jim Brown Productions has asked me to help spread the word on the new film called PETE SEEGER: THE POWER OF SONG. It opens this weekend at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village.

Most socially conscious people will recall the brilliant documentary by Jim Brown, 'The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time'; the director has called this one 'a sequel of sorts'. It is notable that the copy on the poster (attached) reads: 'Musician. Patriot. Activist. Environmentalist. Blacklisted.--Legend', and that it offers a real biography of Pete, including the pains brought on HUAC, with an accent on his music of social change. Was it by chance that a film about a figure like Pete Seeger or his old group The Weavers would be released in a decade of struggle against the right-wing, a period which finds us cringing under the full corporate weight of a George W Bush or a Ronald Reagan? When capitalism pulls apart its reigns and tramples rights, as we have lived with during any imperial presidency, we need a Jim Brown to remind us all of why we fight. And why we must continue to do so. This is a movie to attend as we plan on the next demo, peace vigil, radical political meeting or...presidential election. But its also one to take our kids to. It will inspire and incite---the way it should.

'Pete Seeger: The Power of Song' will premier in Manhattan this weekend but will also be selectively shown in various cities (including Pleasantville NY on 11/3) before coming to the small screen via PBS in February. Please go to www.PowerofSong.net for more info on this brilliant film about one of our greatest Cultural Workers and national treasures.

Below is some info from the press release.

In Solidarity,
John Pietaro- www.flamesofdiscontent.org
_____________________________________
Jim Brown Productions
T: 212.505.0138
F: 212.505.5594
www.JimBrownFilms.com

Roger Ebert's review:

Pete Seeger: The Power of Song

**** Stars

September 13, 2007

Cast & Credits
Featuring Pete Seeger, Toshi Seeger, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen,
Natalie Maines, Tom Paxton, David Dunaway, Bess Lomax Hawes, Joan
Baez, Ronnie Gilbert, Jerry Silverman, Henry Foner, Eric Weissberg,
Arlo Guthrie, Peter Yarrow, Mary Travers, Julian Bond, Tommy Smothers
and Bonnie Raitt.

The Weinstein Company presents a documentary directed by Jim Brown.
Running time: 93 minutes. No MPAA rating (suitable for all ages).
Opening today at Landmark Renaissance.

BY ROGER EBERT

I don't know if Pete Seeger believes in saints, but I believe he is
one. He's the one in the front as they go marching in. "Pete Seeger:
The Power of Song" is a tribute to the legendary singer and composer
who thought music could be a force for good, and proved it by writing
songs that have actually helped shape our times ("If I Had a Hammer"
and "Turn, Turn, Turn") and popularizing "We Shall Overcome"
and Woody
Guthrie's unofficial national anthem, "This Land Is Your Land." Over
his long career (he is 88), he has toured tirelessly with song and
stories, never happier than when he gets everyone in the audience to
sing along.

This documentary, directed by Jim Brown, is a sequel of sorts to
Brown's wonderful "The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time" (1982), which
centered on the farewell Carnegie Hall concert of the singing group
Seeger was long associated with. The Weavers had many big hits circa
1950 ("Goodnight Irene," "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine") before
being
blacklisted during the McCarthy years; called before the House
Un-American Activities Committee and asked to name members of the
Communist Party, Seeger evoked, not the fifth, but the First
Amendment. The Weavers immediately disappeared from the playlists of
most radio stations, and Seeger did not appear on television for 17
years, until the Smothers Brothers broke the boycott.

But he kept singing, invented a new kind of banjo, did more for the
rebirth of that instrument than anyone else, co-founded two folk-song
magazines, and with Toshi, his wife of 62 years, did more and sooner
than most to live a "green" lifestyle, just because it was his nature.
On rural land in upstate New York, they lived for years in a log cabin
he built himself, and we see him still chopping firewood and working
on the land. "I like to say I'm more conservative than Goldwater,"
Wikipedia quotes him. "He just wanted to turn the clock back to when
there was no income tax. I want to turn the clock back to when people
lived in small villages and took care of each other."

With access to remarkable archival footage, old TV shows, home movies
and the family photo album, Brown weaves together the story of the
Seegers with testimony by admirers who represent his influence and
legacy: Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Natalie Maines of the Dixie
Chicks, Tom Paxton, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Peter Yarrow, Mary
Travers, Julian Bond and Bonnie Raitt. There is also coverage of the
whole Seeger family musical tradition, including brother Mike and
sister Peggy.

This isn't simply an assembly of historical materials and talking
heads (however eloquent), but a vibrant musical film as well, and
Brown has remastered the music so that we feel the real excitement of
Seeger walking into a room and starting a sing-along. Unique among
musicians, he doesn't covet the spotlight but actually insists on the
audience joining in; he seems more choir director than soloist.

You could see that in 2004 at the Toronto Film Festival, in the
"final" farewell performance of the Weavers, as he was joined onstage
by original group members Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman, who go
back 57 years together, and more recent members Erik Darling and Eric
Weissberg. Missing from the original group was the late Lee Hays, who
co-wrote "If I Had a Hammer."

The occasion was the showing of an interim Brown doc, "Isn't This a
Time," a documentary about a Carnegie Hall "farewell concert" concert
in honor of Harold Leventhal's 50th anniversary as an impresario. It
was Leventhal who booked the Weavers into Carnegie Hall for the first
time in the late 1940s, and Leventhal who brought them back to the
hall when the group's left-wing politics had made them victims of the
show-business blacklist. Although Seeger has sung infrequently in
recent years, claiming his voice is "gone," he was in fine form that
night in Toronto, his head as always held high and thrown back, as if
focused in the future.

Sadly, for many people, Seeger is still associated in memory with the
Communist Party USA. Although never a "card-carrying member," he was
and is adamantly left-wing; he broke with the party in 1950,
disillusioned with Stalinism, and as recently as this year, according
to Wikipedia, apologized to a historian: "I think you're right. I
should have asked to see the gulags when I was in the USSR."

What I feel from Seeger and his music is a deep-seated, instinctive
decency, a sense of fair play, a democratic impulse reflected by
singing along as a metaphor. I get the same feeling from Toshi, who
co-produced this film and has co-produced her husband's life. How many
women would sign on with a folk singer who planned to build them a
cabin to live in? The portrait of their long marriage, their children
and grandchildren, is one of the most inspiring elements in the film.
They actually live as if this land was made for you and me.


23 Oct 07 - 07:29 PM (#2177675)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film
From: SINSULL

Listen to Seeger's statement before the House Un-American Activities committee. The pure strength and decency of the man are stunning.


23 Oct 07 - 07:53 PM (#2177692)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film
From: catspaw49

Sins, the very first thing I looked up on the internet was Pete's testimony!

I doubt we'll get a chance to see it before it comes out on PBS but I'll make a note to self right now to watch for it there!

Spaw


23 Oct 07 - 11:33 PM (#2177788)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film: The Power of Song
From: GUEST,Chanteyranger, in New York

I saw it in San Francisco several weeks ago when it had a short run. well done, with great footage. There's more early footage of The Weavers than was shown in "Wasn't That A Time!"


23 Oct 07 - 11:40 PM (#2177790)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film: The Power of Song
From: GUEST

Jim Brown will be my guest on WFDU-FM this Friday at 12 noon Eastern time. You can listen in at 89.1FM in the NYC area, or listen online at www.wfdu.fm

The film is brilliant. There are some wonderful clips and great footage of Pete. He is very open and honest about his life, and very modest about the role he has played. I really found the interviews with his family to be most revealing. There is a scene where Pete and Toshi return to Greenwich Village to see where their old apartment used to be - it really touched my heart. I urge everyone to watch this film - if you think you know the man, you will be surprised.

I also had the honor of visiting with Pete last week at the Beacon Sloop Club. Pete is giving a rare concert appearance at FDU on Friday November 9th. You can also find out about this concert on our website.

Pete chatted with me and two other reporters for well over an hour and we touched on a variety of topics. At 88 years old, it is inspiring to see the passsion that he still has.   And don't let him fool you - while his voice isn't what it once was, it is still better than most! His banjo playing is also amazing to witness.   The interview with Pete will air on Sunday November 4th.

I urge everyone to go see this incredible documentary. I understand that the screenings are turning into a Pete Seeger concert - the audience sings along! What's next, midnight showings at the Waverly??


24 Oct 07 - 09:31 AM (#2178075)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film: The Power of Song
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko

oops.. that last post was from me. I did not realize that I lost my cookie!


26 Oct 07 - 09:36 AM (#2179655)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film: The Power of Song
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko

Just a reminder to all the folks in the NYC area - the film opens today at the IFC in NYC.

It looks like today and tomorrow will be dreary, rainy fall days in our area - I can't think of a better excuse to go to the movies!   This is a wonderful film that will certainly brighten your day. If you do have a chance to go see the film, please report back - I would love to hear what others think of this documentary. I know that at many showings the audience has been singing along.

Also, just a quick plug for my radio show - an interview with Jim Brown which will be heard today (Friday October 26th) at noon ET over WFDU. We stream on the internet at www.wfdu.fm.

And.. Pete Seeger will be my guest on Traditions on Sunday Nov. 4th. The interview with Pete was recorded as part of a mini-press conference about his upcoming concert at FDU.


09 Dec 07 - 12:50 PM (#2211962)
Subject: Review: Pete Seeger, Power of Song
From: astro

This is actually from Desert Dancer and Astro:

We recently saw this movie in Los Angeles (in the Miracle Mile of Wilshire Blvd, down the road from the mammoths...). For me (astro), a relatively new folkie, the movie provided many more details about the blacklist and difficulties of the time. For Desert Dancer (who'd read the bio), it provided a fuller impression from being able to see and hear the man himself and his family and friends.

Some of the critical incidents from the anti-communist furor were shown using film from the time (such as the stone throwing incident at Paul Robeson's concert).

It highlighted his music and his impact upon the scene. His overcoming the blacklist and subsequent years of music and peace making. It provided a lovely description of a man content with his life and with his place in our country's history.

A key part of the movie was the section highlighting Toshi's role in making it possible for Pete to be Pete, perhaps to her own detriment in some ways, but obviously gladly given, through strong love.

This, among many parts of the film -- especially to see a whole life (but before its end!), was very moving to see.

Desert Dancer found Bruce Springsteen's talking head role to be somewhat disconcerting -- the rest of the speakers really had close relationships with Pete. But, maybe he spoke for the contemporary players who grew up with Pete as an icon and great music maker and influence -- in often a more indirect and unconscious way.

So a hearty recommendation from both of us. May we all look to live such a full, loving, and complete life as Pete!


(Just as a sidenote, after the movie there is a very short stroll down Wilshire Blvd. to the Director Guild's museum where beautiful costumes from some of great costume dramas were on display. The museum also had many beautiful watercolor drawings for set designs from the great movies of the past. All in all, a great day!)


Desert Dancer and Astro...in Tucson


09 Dec 07 - 01:17 PM (#2211972)
Subject: RE: Review: Pete Seeger, Power of Song
From: astro

Actually, it wasn't the Director's Guild, it was the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences galleries.

(The Director's Guild museum is on La Cienaga.)

~ M & B in T


10 Dec 07 - 10:23 AM (#2212476)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film: The Power of Song
From: JJ

Saw it a few weeks ago at the IFC in Manhattan. An absolutely wonderful film.

As I walked out onto Sixth Avenue afterwards, I began to sing "Goodnight, Irene."

A number of people joined in...


19 Feb 08 - 03:31 PM (#2266600)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film: The Power of Song
From: Desert Dancer

quoting (to preempt a mudelf...):

Subject: Pete Seeger's Power of Song
From: GUEST,Guest - PM
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 02:19 PM

The movie about Pete Seeger "The Power of Song" is going to be broadcast in US on PBS, on February 27th on some PBS stations.


19 Feb 08 - 05:07 PM (#2266732)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film: The Power of Song
From: Cool Beans

I saw it in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in late December. Great movie. should have beennominated for an Oscar as best documentary. See it, if you have the chance.


20 Feb 08 - 03:32 PM (#2267742)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film: The Power of Song
From: Stringsinger

"You could see that in 2004 at the Toronto Film Festival, in the
"final" farewell performance of the Weavers, as he was joined onstage
by original group members Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman, who go
back 57 years together, and more recent members Erik Darling and Eric
Weissberg."

Eric Weissberg was never a member of the Weavers. Erik Darling was.

Frank


20 Feb 08 - 03:56 PM (#2267766)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film: The Power of Song
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko

Frank, Eric Weissberg "joined" the Weavers along with Erik Darling for the final farewell performance concert that was featured in the Leventhal tribute film and the Toronoto Film Festival.


17 Aug 08 - 01:11 AM (#2415852)
Subject: Power of Song: Pete Seeger DVD
From: mark gregory

You can now buy Jim Brown's amazing documentary, The Power of Song,
about Pete Seeger from Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Pete-Seeger-Power-Joan-Baez/dp/B0018PH3OC

cheers

mark


17 Aug 08 - 01:18 AM (#2415858)
Subject: RE: Power of Song: Pete Seeger
From: GUEST,Nerd

I just saw it in a Barnes and Noble bookshop in New York, too.


17 Aug 08 - 01:30 AM (#2415863)
Subject: RE: Power of Song: Pete Seeger
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko

You can also purchase it from Clearwater - www.clearwater.org . They also have an version that comes with a CD featuring music from the documentary.


04 Dec 08 - 05:10 PM (#2508026)
Subject: RE: Power of Song: Pete Seeger
From: GUEST,Canyonguy

I bought it and it inspired me to put on a Seeger Hootenanny
in OC,CA If you want to sing/play call 714-649-0139 Its on the 13th
nwxt week. kgb@copper.net


05 Dec 08 - 10:37 AM (#2508641)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film/DVD: The Power of Song
From: Desert Dancer

Canyonguy,

Where in Orange County are you? We won't be around next weekend, but share time between Tucson and Long Beach (OC-adjacent).

~ Becky in Tucson
& astro in Long Beach


05 Dec 08 - 11:46 AM (#2508696)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film/DVD: The Power of Song
From: GUEST,MAG at work

Is this the same one that was shown last May at Northwest Folklife Festival? It sounds like it. Great inspiring film.


06 Dec 08 - 02:01 PM (#2509386)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film/DVD: The Power of Song
From: billhudson

I for one am very glad this story has been told on film and what a story it is. The fact that Pete & Toshi has shown many of us of what we can do in making this world a better place and really doing it is a testament that should be spread around, the world, it needs it right now.. They have spread their seeds from one end of the globe to the other. I am just one of those many seeds.
. Now for over 30 years they have always opened their doors and gave me a place to sleep over night and something to eat and Pete and I would trade new songs. To this day when it gets cold I sometimes remember Toshi's pea soup (it's the best!). And then I would have to hit the road and while I head down Pete's home made road I would hear Pete's loud voice (kind of like a yodel but hold one note) and I would stick my head out of my car window and return the yell.
I saw the film when I was up in New York with some Clearwater friends and in some way it was like watching home movies. (especially the early Clearwater days). The early 70's with the Clearwater was a lot of hard work with so many folks but so much fun At one time back then I lived with Jimmy Collier and his band. After the film we took over a bar and were playing music till the wee hours.
But getting back to the film, May it be shown to folks who never of Pete and his music. More important, may it inspire others who feel they do not have a voice and feel they do not have the power to speak up.


07 Dec 08 - 11:38 AM (#2509560)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film/DVD: The Power of Song
From: Charley Noble

Thanks for the additional notes, Bill.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


07 Dec 08 - 01:20 PM (#2509630)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film/DVD: The Power of Song
From: Stringsinger

"You could see that in 2004 at the Toronto Film Festival, in the
"final" farewell performance of the Weavers, as he was joined onstage
by original group members Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman, who go
back 57 years together, and more recent members Erik Darling and Eric
Weissberg. Missing from the original group was the late Lee Hays, who
co-wrote "If I Had a Hammer."

Hey Eric Weissberg was never in the Weavers. Bernie Krause and I
were and we were ignored.

I have reservations about the nature of this film in terms of accuracy as
a result.

Frank Hamilton


26 Feb 09 - 07:28 PM (#2576837)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film/DVD: The Power of Song
From: Susanne (skw)

Saw the film last Saturday at a festival. It isn't shown in German cinemas, so this was a one-off. At the end people started applauding, and I suppose there were quite a few like me, singing along to the familiar music. An excellent portrait of a great man!


17 May 10 - 08:24 PM (#2908857)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger film/DVD: The Power of Song
From: Canyonguy

I am now in Orange,ca or Silverado
I wish there was e-mail notice thta I had a reply- also very happy so many did see the movie- this is a rare site


29 Jan 14 - 10:56 AM (#3596531)
Subject: Pete Seeger - The Power of Song
From: GUEST,CJB

* Pete Seeger - The Power of Song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czk2hj4VISg

Can be downloaded using any YouTube Downloader. Or can be downloaded from:

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/7b94b5kp6c8uc/Peter%20Seeger%20-%20The%20Power%20of%20Song

====

* Peter Seeger at 70 - 'Folk on Two' with Jim Lloyd

http://tela.sugarmegs.org/_asxtela/PeteSeeger1989-05-03Petes70thBirthdayBeaconNY.asx

Can be recorded using Audacity and Stereo Mix.

Transcript:

http://tela.sugarmegs.org/_asxtela/asxcards/PeteSeeger1989-05-03Petes70thBirthdayBeaconNY.html

====

* Pete Seeger at 90

Can be downloaded from:

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/g5gezer8nvrcy/Pete%20Seeger%20at%2090

====

* 6 Music Live Hour - A tribute to Pete Seeger live at the Royal Albert Hall 1978

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03qkpmf/6_Music_Live_Hour_A_tribute_to_Pete_Seeger/

Can be recorded using Audacity and Stereo Mix, or downloaded using get_iplayer

====

CJB


29 Jan 14 - 12:14 PM (#3596548)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger - The Power of Song
From: Elmore

Thanks for the information. I'm certainly ready to see The Power of Song again.


26 Apr 18 - 10:51 AM (#3920126)
Subject: The Power Of Song - Pete Seeger
From: GUEST,SB

Pete Seeger. The Power of Song (2007) by PBS American Masters (full version)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czk2hj4VISg

A powerful film too!!

But why are so many folk singers not protesting about the injustices in the world today? Apart from the fact that in the UK protesting about anything can result in a jail term.