Sunday, October 9, 2011

Essential Cinema - 52

The T.A.M.I. Show

The Barbarians
The Beach Boys
Chuck Berry
James Brown and The Famous Flames
Marvin Gaye (with backing vocals by The Blossoms)
Gerry & the Pacemakers
Lesley Gore
Jan and Dean
Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas
Smokey Robinson and The Miracles
The Rolling Stones
The Supremes

Directed by Steve Binder

Produced by Bill Sargent

From T.A.M.I. Show

Possibly the best Rock and Roll film ever made.

From T.A.M.I. Show

When you see the original Rolling Stones with Mick Jagger barely into his 20s, it really hits home that my generation is getting old. Comparing Kanye West and Lady Gaga to these performances, it becomes painfully obvious that newer is not always better. Here are the roots of rock and roll before they branched out into a million different genres. The pure stuff. The gold.

From T.A.M.I. Show

In their song "When The World Is Running Down", The Police mention this film in the lyrics. That was my first knowledge that it ever existed. I have heard about it since but had never seen it. So when I was updating my Netflix cue a few months ago, I found it and had the DVD delivered to our home last week.

I watched this with my wife and we were both blown away on several levels.

From T.A.M.I. Show

First of all there is the talent. This is raw stuff by very gifted young performers who were just entering their own or were already legends. There is no dubbing, there is very little editing and it is all performed live.

There are 48 songs performed in a little under two hours, with one act following the other on stage, and often times performing together. You can't get performers to do this sort of thing any more, either contractually or talent-wise.

From T.A.M.I. Show

Second is the technical expertise with which the performances were shot. Considering this was a live show and shot with modified television cameras, the sound and the imagery are exceptional.

Finally there are the songs. You know almost everyone one of them if you are over 40, and my wife was amazed to actually 'see' the performers that sang the songs that she listened to as a kid.

To get a glimpse of why this film is so astounding, watch the clip of James Brown that is linked above, or click on the title to go to the Wikipedia page for more details about film.

From T.A.M.I. Show

As for cons, there aren't any. Just watch the film to find out why.

For those that can't get hold of the DVD, go to You Tube to see clips of the show, there are many of them, but get ready to spend a whole afternoon watching them, they are that addictive.