Posts Tagged ‘CONCERT FILM’

Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration Live (2019) ****

With Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash, Kris Kristofferson, Diane Krall, James Taylor | Music

Canadian singer songwriter Joni Mitchell takes a back stage for her birthday celebration  tribute concert which features some of the World’s best known singers. Arriving on the arms of her escorts, she sits down to enjoy her own work performed by others. And it’s a motley crew – a bit like asking Polanski to direct a Scorsese film – it’s just not the same classic, but the original elements are still there. So if you’re expecting to hear Joni sing, you’ll be disappointed but entertained royally, nevertheless.

Most Memorable of all is Graham Nash who strikes out with the only song not written by Joni – but for her – Our House, simply and poignantly performed on the piano (and what a fabulous strong voice still – at 77). The two lived together for several years in their twenties in California. Diane Krall also shines with her husky voice of warm treacle. Seal sings softly (but then spoils it with a wimpish comment “I worship the ground you walk on”). But Chaka Khan brings a welcome vitality to the stage after Emmylou Harris’ dreadfully bland rendition of a song about Irish convent girls. Awful too, is Rufus Wainwright who really ruins Joni’s stunning song Blue, and then talks about his husband, thanking him profusely, for some reason. No Rufus – not your platform, thanks. He does a slightly better job with “I am on a lonely road and I am travelling….” Although no one could sing it like Joni. Brandi Carlile has the voice most similar to Joni, but more bassy and without the subtle complexity.

James Taylor and Norah Jones are also welcome. During the concert, there are archive clips of Joni on stage and birthday greetings come live via video from Elton John and Peter Gabriel, who gives creative expression to Joni’s iconically complex tunes and lyrics describing them “sparkling like jewels on a trampoline”.

The voluminous LA venue is hung with Van Gogh style artwork of Joni and photos by Henry Diltz, Nurit Wilde and Norman Seeff whose recent Joni: The Joni Mitchell Sessions, is being released in the US on hardback.

Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration Live | The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, California | NATIONWIDE FROM 4 MARCH 2019

 

 

Björk: Biophilia Live (2014) | BFI London Film Festival

Dir: Nick Fenton, Peter Strickland.  With Björk, Manu Delgado, Graduale Nobili, UK Filmed concert, 97min

Like most artists, Björk is uncompromising – you have to be, really, to preserve your creative control and vision in a highly competitive market where not only talent, innovation and self-belief are required, but also perseverance and downright doggedness. Björk is a singer who possesses all of these attributes and manages to be exotic and mysterious into the bargain. If her tonally tuneless droning appeals, then you will be there for this biopic in which her unique style is showcased during a concert at Alexandra Palace in 2013, featuring 10 new compositions. Made all the more ethereal and ‘out there’ by her judicious collaboration with Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton whose highly stylised and striking visuals compliment her performance to perfection, this is a vibrant and mesmerising experience: images from nature form the basis of a ‘multidimensional, multimedia’ project: opening with David Attenborough’s mellow voiceover, Björk and her largely girl band is accompanied by a psychedelic array of swirling images from starfish and jellyfish dancing over the sea bed, to lightning, lunar cycles and tectonic shifts. If Björk’s your bag, you’ll love it. MT

SCREENING ON 9/10 OCTOBER IN OWE2 AND SOHO and ON GENERAL RELEASE FROM 17 OCTOBER

THE LFF RUNS UNTIL 19 OCTOBER 2014

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