Song - Artist -
Dance Yrself Clean - LCD Soundsystem -
This Friday, May 25 I was lucky enough to go to the showing of Marley the Movie (http://www.bobmarley.com/marley_the_movie.php) at a great venue, Real Art Ways in Hartford (http://www.realartways.org/). First off, the venue itself was very well done considering the structure used to be an industrial factory, but this group has used the space creatively and remodeled a portion of the building to include a lobby, a concession stand, and an enourmous theater inside. Once the movie began I was first impressed by the quality of the film, I had heard it was in HD but just the clearness of the picture and sound was incredible. The movie is chronological, so it began with Bob's family in his hometown of Nine Miles, which is ridiculously rural with very little to offer for a growing musician. I had no idea that his father was actually a white man, Norval Marley, who was a captain going through the area, but did not stay in Bob's life for very long. According to the movie, he was teased and treated worse growing up due to the fact that he was half black and half white such as doing extra labor and not being taken seriously. Bob and his mother moved away from the poor district of 9 Miles and ended up in Trench Town, which you can hear being referenced in many of his songs. This is where he was exposed to instruments and the styles of music popular at the time. He then met up with Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston (who narrates and recalls stories for much of the movie) and they formed The Wailers. I thought a great story they gave was the fact that the boys had practiced for months, but were still a little nervous to get up on stage, so to prepare themselves they went to a local cemetary late at night to play their entire set to all the graves. The movie follows the various artists he collarborates with along the way includeing Lee Scratch Perry, Desmond Dekker, and Jimmy Cliff. He had trouble at first selling his music because reggae was associated with the Rastafarian movement, which people tended to write off as a group of stoner bums. Eventually the music becomes a hit and he meets Rita, his wife and they have several children. In the film his children describe him as extremely competitive regardless of the fact that his kids were so much younger and he would race them and go full-out and of course beat them. Other parents in the neighborhood rarely let their children over since the Marleys were thought to be "potheads" and "no-goods". I was shocked at not only the number of mistresses that Bob had (and children with them), but the fact that Rita stayed with him that entire time because she saw herself as his "guardian angel" and it was her duty to stand by and serve him in other ways. She says that their goal of spreading the Rastafarian movement is what kept her together with him because what they were doing on tour was so much bigger to her than infidelity. The movie finishes up with his death, due to cancer that was caught much too late and spread throughout his body, and then the reactions from his family and children. Overall, the movie was very impressive. They picked just the right things to include in it, especially the live footage and the stories told by his fellow musicians and family because by the end the audience felt that they knew who the guy was, for good and for bad. I think it is a great tribute to Marley and its great that his story is living on and the music will stay relevant in generations to come.
From Academy Award winning director Kevin Macdonald, comes this celebration of the life and work of visionary performer Bob Marley.
Featuring exclusive interviews with Marley’s family and friends, performance clips and interviews with the man himself, this life affirming documentary will provide a fresh insight into a legend.
"I think what's great about the film is though there have been a lot of things done on Bob, I think this one will give people a more emotional connection to Bob's life as a man – not just as a reggae legend or a mythical figure, but his life as a man." – Ziggy Marley
"Sprinkled with riffs, concert footage and home videos, the family-authorized documentary does what the artist usually did: When in doubt, return to the beat." -Scott Bowles, USA Today
"The movie has enormous force - because it's about a genius, yes, but even more so because of the intelligence, passion and wit of the people who knew Marley." -Farran Smith Nehme New York Post