A portrait, mostly chronological, of composer, cellist, and vocalist Arthur Russell (1951-1992). His parents, friends and colleagues such as Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass, his long-time ... See full summary »
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Amanda M. Burden
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A portrait, mostly chronological, of composer, cellist, and vocalist Arthur Russell (1951-1992). His parents, friends and colleagues such as Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass, his long-time companion Tom Lee, and others provide commentary. Arthur is shy, acne-scarred, from the prairie, constantly composing, and not always finishing works. After a few years in San Francisco, he settles in New York City and becomes music director at the Kitchen. He bridges pop and classical, records disco music with Lola Blank, has an unsuccessful collaboration with Robert Wilson, and is part of several bands. In archival clips, we see him perform. He leaves hundreds of tapes and other recordings. Written by
One of the best music-related documentaries I've ever seen
From start to finish this is really a tour de force with great cinematography, great sound editing and great interviews from those who knew Arthur Russell. I've seen so many music documentaries that have been underwhelming; Wild Combination was a breath of fresh air. Although I do not love all of Arthur Russell's music, this is certainly a documentary worth watching, profiling a fascinating person's life story. Hearing the perspectives of both his parents along with colleagues who respected and admired him (i.e. Allen Ginsburg, Phil Glass) is extremely compelling. I can't imagine not wanting to hear more of his music after experiencing this film.
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