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The Blues ep.1: Feel Like Going Home (2003)

The Blues ep.1: Feel Like Going Home (2003)
Running Time: 780 min.
Recently Rented By: sshelley

FEEL LIKE GOING HOME: Director Martin Scorsese winds his way from the banks of the Niger River in Mali to the cotton fields and juke joints of the Mississippi Delta to trace the origins of the blues in a lyrical combination of original performances (including Corey Harris, Willie King, Taj Mahal, Keb' Mo', Otha Turner, Habib Koite, Salif Keita and Ali Farka Toure) and rare archive footage. Says Scorsese: "I've always felt an affinity for blues music -- the culture of storytelling through music is incredibly fascinating and appealing to me. The blues have great emotional resonance and are the foundation for American popular music."
Special features:
  • New & extended performances not seen in the film:
  • Taj Mahal & Corey Harris: "Sitting on Top of the World
  • Willie King & the Liberators: "Spoonful"
  • Keb' Mo' & Corey Harris: "Sweet Home Chicago"
  • Otha Turner & Corey Harris: "Sitting on Top of the World"
  • Salif Keita: "Folon"
  • Corey Harris: "Honeysuckle"
  • Interview with Martin Scorsese
  • Director Biography & Filmography
  • Special menu option to scan for all music performances
  • THE BLUES trailer

The Blues ep.2: The Soul of a Man (2003)
Running Time: 780 min.

THE SOUL OF A MAN: Director Wim Wenders looks at the dramatic tension in the blues between the sacred and the profane by exploring the music and lives of three of his favorite blues artists: Skip James, Blind Willie Johnson and J.B. Lenoir. Part history, part personal pilgrimage, the film tells the story of these lives in music through an extended fictional film sequence, rare archival footage, present-day documentary scenes and covers of their songs by contemporary musicians such as Shemankia Copeland, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Garland Jeffreys, Cassandra Wilson, Nick Cave, Los Lobos, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Vernon Reid, James Blood Ulmer, Lou Reed, Bonnie Raitt, Marc Ribot, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Lucinda Williams and T Bone Burnett. Says Wenders: "These songs meant the world to me. I felt there was more truth in them than in any book I had read about America, or in any movie I had ever seen. I've tried to describe, more like a poem than in a 'documentary,' what moved me so much in their songs and voices."

Special features:
  • Full length performances not seen in the film:
  • Lou Reed: "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean"
  • Cassandra Wilson: "Slow Down"
  • Alvin Youngblood Hart: "Mama Talk To Your Daughter"
  • Marc Ribot: "Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground" (electric)
  • Chris Thomas King: "Revelations"
  • Outtake from the film: "The Visit to the Plantation" (silent)
  • Interview with Wim Wenders
  • Director commentary
  • Director biography & filmography
  • Special menu option to scan for music performances
  • THE BLUES trailer

The Blues ep.3: The Road to Memphis (2003)
Running Time: 780 min.

THE ROAD TO MEMPHIS: Director Richard Pearce traces the musical odyssey of blues legend B.B. King in a film that pays tribute to the city that gave birth to a new style of blues. Pearce also takes us on the road and behind the scenes with Memphis blues veteran Bobby Rush and Rosco Gordon. Pearce's homage to Memphis features original performances by B.B. King, Bobby Rush, Rosco Gordon, Ike Turner, Rev. Gatemouth Moore, and LIttle Milton, as well as historical footage of Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Rufus Thomas, Little Richard, Fats Domino, the Coasters, and many more. Says Pearce: "THE BLUES is a chance to celebrate one of the last truly indigenous American art forms before it all but disappears, swallowed whole by the rock 'n roll generation it spawned. Hopefully we'll get there before it's too late."

Special features:
  • Full-length performances not seen in the film:
  • B.B. King: "Blue Boys Tune"
  • B.B. King: "Key to the Highway"
  • Hubert Sumlin and David Johnsen: "Smokestack Lightning"
  • Interview with Robert Pearce and Robert Kenner
  • Director commentary
  • Director biography & filmography
  • Special menu option to scan for all music performances
  • THE BLUES trailer

The Blues ep.4: Warming by the Devil's Fire (2003)
Running Time: 780 min.

WARMING BY THE DEVIL'S FIRE: Charles Burnett explores his own past as a young boy who was shuttled back and forth between Los Angeles and Mississippi, torn between an uncle who loved the blues and a mother who believed that the blues was the devil's music. Burnett's film boldly mixes fictional storytelling with documentary footage of a host of blues legends in a tale about a young boy's encounter with his family in Mississippi in 1955, dramatizing the tensions between the heavenly strains of gospel and the devilish moans of the blues. Says Burnett: "The sound of the blues was a part of my environment that I took for granted. However, as years passed, the blues slowly emerged as an essential source of imagery, humor, irony and insight that allows one to reflect on the human condition. I always wanted to do a story on the blues that not only reflected its nature and its content but also alludes to the form itself. In short, a story that gives you the impression of the blues."

Special features:
  • Bonus performance: Willie Dixon's classic performance of "Nervous" from 1966
  • Interview with Charles Burnett
  • Director commentary
  • Director biography & filmography
  • Special menu option to scan for all music performances
  • THE BLUES trailer

The Blues ep.5: Godfathers & Sons (2003)
Running Time: 780 min.

GODFATHERS AND SONS: Call them the Blues Brothers 2003--in Marc Levin's lively verite-driven film, hip-hop legend Chuck D (of Public Enemy) and Marshall Chess (son of Leonard Chess and heir to the Chess Records legacy) return to Chicago to explore the heyday of Chicago blues as they unite to produce music that seeks to bring veteran blues players together with contemporary hip-hop musicians such as Common and members of the Roots. Along with never-before-seen archival footage of Howlin' Wolf are original performances by Koko Taylro, Otis Rush, Magic Slim, Ike Turner and Sam Lay. Says Levin: "When we were shooting Sam Lay and his band at the Chicago Blues Festival, they were playing Muddy Waters' classic, 'I Got My Mojo Working.' I closed my eyes and was transported back to when I was a 15-year-old hanging in my buddy's basement listening to the Paul Butterfield Blues Band for the first time. My life was changed that day and 35 years later the music's still shakin' my soul. The feel of that day in the basement is what I have set out to capture in this film."

Special features:
  • Full-length performances not seen in the film:
  • The ElectriK Mud Kats (aka Electric Mud Band) with vocals by Chuck D, Common & Kyle Jason: "Mannish Boy"
  • Lonnie Brooks: "All My Money Back"
  • Koko Taylor: "Ernestine"
  • Otis Rush: "So Many Roads, So Many Trains"
  • Howlin' Wolf: "Evil (Is Going On)"
  • Interview with Marc Levin
  • Director commentary
  • Director biography & filmography
  • Special menu option to scan for all music performances
  • THE BLUES trailer

The Blues ep.6: Red, White & Blues (2003)
Running Time: 780 min.

RED, WHITE & BLUES: During the 1960s the UK was the location for a vibrant social revolution. The post-war traditional jazz and folk revival movements sowed the seeds -- in fertile music ground -- for the roots of a new kind of blues music, entirely influenced by the authentic black blues of the USA. The British musicians at the heart of this musical revolution continued to pay homage to the originators of the music and to make a huge global audience aware of the likes of Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Freddie King and others. Mike Figgis' film mixes interviews with dozens of the key players of the British blues movement with new music from an all-star jam session at the famous Abbey Road studios. Tom Jones, Jeff Beck, Lulu and others revisit classic blues standards, accompanied by a superb band of musicians. The results are electrifying. Says Figgis: "I'm interested in why there was such excitement about this black music among Europeans. To that end, I've put together a group of these musicians, augmenting the line-up with some younger talent as well. Hopefully the resulting recording session of some blues standards, and the discussions that follow, shine some light on why at a particular moment the blues was reinterpreted abroad and reintroduced in a new form that was universally embraced.

Special features:

  • Full-length performances not seen in the film:
    • Lulu with Jeff Beck: "Cry Me a River"
    • Pete King: "Lush Life"
    • Jeff Beck: "Nadia"
    • Jon Cleary: piano improvisation
    • Band Rehearsal: blues jam
    • Band Rehearsal: "Who's Sorry Now?" (instrumental)
    • Mike Figgis: piano jam
  • Interview with Mike Figgis
  • Director commentary
  • Director biography & filmography
  • THE BLUES trailer

The Blues ep.7: Piano Blues (2003)
Running Time: 780 min.

PIANO BLUES: Director -- and piano-player -- Clint Eastwood explores his life-long passion for piano blues, using a treasure trove of rare historical acts as well as interviews and performances by such living legends as Ray Charles, Fats Domino and Dr. John. Says Eastwood: "The blues has always been part of my musical life and the piano has a special place, beginning when my mother brought home all of Fats Waller's records. Also, the music has always played a part in my movies. A piano blues documentary gives me a chance to make a film that is more directly connected to the subject of the music than the features that I have been doing throughout my career." PIANO BLUES features interviews and live performances by Ray Charles, Dr. John, Marcia Bell, Pinetop Perkins, Dave Brubeck, Jay McShann and others; plus rare, archival performance footage from Ray Charles, Otis Spann, Art Tatum, Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Jay McShann, Big Joe Turner, Oscar Peterson, Nat King Cole, Martha Davis, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Charles Brown, Duke Ellington and others.

Special features:
  • Director biography & filmography
  • THE BLUES trailer

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