Richie Finestra considers selling his struggling record company; Richie takes a detour to an unplanned reunion with Lester Grimes; Richie orders his A&R department to find new acts; Richie ...
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Richie Finestra considers selling his struggling record company; Richie takes a detour to an unplanned reunion with Lester Grimes; Richie orders his A&R department to find new acts; Richie jeopardizes his relationships with his wife and children.
The song in the club at the beginning of the pilot is "Personality Crisis" it is the lead track from the New York Dolls' self-titled debut album. It was written by Dolls lead singer David Johansen and guitarist Johnny Thunders. See more »
American beer was not available in Coventry (UK) in the '70s. Drinking from a bottle was not done in 70s UK. Glass in such a venue would not be allowed. See more »
I think we need to keep this professional.
Try to remember this the next time you stick your finger in my ass.
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is anyone more creative in film about putting images to sound?
What Vinyl highlights without beating around the bush is how much Martin Scorsese has it in his bones to put music to images, or images to music, however his process is. Working from material he developed with Mick Jagger (I wonder where he saw these things happening... probably everywhere), and Boardwalk Empire/Wolf of Wall Street collaborator Terence Winter, he sees material that is set in the world of the record industry and takes it by the balls. It's almost instinctual with him, along with his editor, to use pacing, every camera movement, every little cut or however BIG a cut might be, to create a dynamic and hair-raising pace. In this case the editor isn't Thelma Schoonmacher, and it shows that the flow isn't quite the same as with her, but it's still strong and propulsive in montage and how cuts overlap with music.
The story has a record exec (Cannavale) guiding us through what it takes to get things done... as kind of a loser in a lot of ways. He and his group (including a surprisingly funny Ray Romano) have to try and find a way to get Polygram - people from Germany no less - interested in their company. That's the spine for what is mostly a series of loosely connected scenes, and it jumps around a lot in time. We see how Richie (Cannavale) finds his footing (or tries to, and doesn't quite get there right away) in the early 60's with a black blues musician who he tries to groom into a pop star, and this is mixed in with the "present" day of 1973.
He's floundering in his attempts to make his position bigger, and he is interacting with real life figures (bigger than life, massively, like so much it is borderline distracting) like Robert Plant and Peter Grant of Led Zeppelin. The latter of those two, by the way, allows for one of those incredibly scenes of a screaming-horrible argument that unfolds like the best of Scorsese and Winter's scene: with wild comedic lines and such an over the top passion that it becomes part of the satire of it all (which it is, in some part I'm sure, and I think Jagger knows it as well).
It's a lot of characters to introduce, and some of them are surprises I should leave (my personal favorite, with only two scenes in this pilot only, was most surprising due to his other profession outside of acting, that's all I'll say). But Scorsese and Winter and company do a terrific job setting up the relationships for the characters - how hot and cold the marriage is between Cannavale and Olivia Wilde's character (see that scene with the bottle of booze, almost with no dialog, masterfully staged and performed) - and what the stakes are in the music industry at the time. There's this sort of crazy, almost bi-polar sense that while music is at its most creative peak here with so many different forms taking shape with punk rock, soul and funk (with the earliest inkling of hip hop), and of course the stuff that was the thing at the time (Led Zeppelin), while there's still the money people and the records to sell and everything that can (and still does) make the music industry so corrupted and abhorrent.
In other words, it's a little of the Boardwalk Empire approach of looking at history with characters who are amalgamations of other characters mixing with real people in a place of 'this is where things really change for an entire culture for people', while it displays just how immensely talented this filmmaker is with putting music to picture. How every song cuts together, whether people are performing them or it's just on the radio or backdrop, not a note is missed to get you in that mood of 1963 to 1973 in music. If nothing else, even if you don't find all the jokes work (most of them did for me), or if some of the characters are caricatures (Max Casella for one), it's hard to see the medium of film - more than TV as this works as a TV movie by itself really - used to its maximum, bloody, brutal potential.
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