Docs That Rock

Hands Across Stand By Me

amNew York’s Urbanite blog (which I just stumbled upon during a random Google search) raves about an entry at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Playing for Change: Peace Through Music, which took professional sound equipment around the world to record street musicians, is just the type of earnest music doc that usually makes my eyelids heavy. (I like more story with my music.) I won’t prejudge the film here since i haven’t seen it; I only want to quote the blogger who is floored by the opening sequence:

A street musician in Santa Monica, California starts singing a plaintive version of Stand By Me; through the magic of digital editing a deep-voiced singer in New Orleans is layered in, followed by singers from all over Europe, South Africa, India, Tibet, Native Americans….By the end of it more than 35 diverse musicians from 18 locations can be heard doing Ben E. King’s classic, in a variety of languages and vocal styles. It gave me goosebumps–and the audience gave it an ovation when it ended.

So a beef: this is a small film needing presumably all the publicity it could use. Is the hailed opening sequence anywhere on the internet? Nope. Only a trailer on the film’s website that isn’t embeddable. Hmmm. Seems like anti-marketing. At least you can hear the opening song from the film even though I can’t figure out how to filch the flash file. It’s on the movie’s website (don’t get distracted by the trailer and make sure to press pause so it won’t battle the song – look for the tiny Stand By Me player under the page’s main box and press play.) Probably would help in this instance to have the visuals to feel the same way as the blogger. Anyone see the movie?

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May 1, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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