1950. Rural Alabama. Cotton harvest. It's a make-or-break weekend for the Honeydripper Lounge and its owner, piano player Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis. Deep in debt to the liquor man, the ... See full summary »
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Charles S. Dutton
Charles S. Dutton,
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1950. Rural Alabama. Cotton harvest. It's a make-or-break weekend for the Honeydripper Lounge and its owner, piano player Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis. Deep in debt to the liquor man, the chicken man, and the landlord, Tyrone is desperate to lure the young cotton pickers and local Army base recruits into his juke joint, away from Touissant's, the rival joint across the way. His plan to hire a guitar legend go awry and Tyrone is forced to take drastic action in a final scheme to save the club. Written by
This is a story right out of the "Hey, kids, let's put on a show!" cliché. One implausibility piled on top of another in a "feel good"/"right will triumph" pattern that is SO OVERWHELMINGLY dominant in American movies. John Sayles has long been one of my favorite directors/screenwriters, so the foolishness of this movie came as a shock.
What happened? Where has the creator of "Casa de los Babys" and "Lone Star" gone? What happened to the creator of such exhilarating plots as "Limbo" and "Passion Fish"? I can only guess that he farmed it out to one of his kids, or an intern, or something like that. This movie fits in more with the rush job of the Scorcese-produced blues films than with a Sayles project.
Here is my "disclosure" statement. I have been a working musician and have spent most of my adult life in the company of musicians. This movie reveals some of the biggest complaints musicians have about their portrayal by non-musicians. The biggest is that non-musicians don't understand the role of rehearsals, individual practice and the huge amount of work and effort it takes to seem "talented." This movie is another example, and a rather extreme case at that.
I also have a question for Keb Mo. Why do you sign on to so many projects that undervalue your efforts? I am thinking of the NPR Blues History radio series and now this. Don't you have more leverage than that?
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