Made of four short tales, linked by a story filmed by Wim Wenders. Taking place in Ferrara, Portofino, Aix en Provence and Paris, each story, which always a woman as the crux of the story, ... See full summary »
Less fancy than buenavistasocialclub, this documentary about blues music is well mastered and fascinating. It mainly presents two bluesmen of the twenties (blind willie Johnson and skip James)and one of the late fifties/sixties (JB Lenoir). To picture the high time of rooty blues, Wenders shot a reconstitution of the life into music that were in those times. It figures how words of blues came out in the atmosphere of a street, bar or studio, facing its audience. Introducing and concluding the film, an epic blow is given by the images of cosmic landscapes were a space engine has been launched to travel throughout the universe with relics and testimonies of human mind. Songs of Willie Johnson are in it! Although that it is pleasant to hear several artists still playing pieces of music that are now 'classics', it hides some interesting aspects under a decorative bunch of live performances. It would have been good to develop more about JB Lenoir which was a real songwriter, talking about the fight for constitutional rights of the black people, also denunciating the death of many brothers in Nam. Few archives pictures in the film show those matters (remember that lynch mobs were casual on saturday night in the south till the fifties). Maybe Wenders met some limits dealing with copyrights, but clearly his project was to give faces and pictures to a music that has been despised so long by showbusiness. What we can hear and see is that it's still alive.
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