Long Live Rock Movies! ūüėéūüéł

“School of Rock” (2003)

school of rock

Let’s start with our substitute teacher, Mr. Schneebly – what kid hasn’t wished for a sub like him? ¬†No grades, being part of a kick butt rock band, defying parents, breaking the rules. ¬†Good, right?

Jack Black’s character Dewey Finn is the forever loser and quintessential wanna be rock star, but when he steals his roommate’s identity as a substitute teacher, (Mr, Schneebly) he discovers he has a ¬†class of very musically talented 5th-grade students. So, Dewey decides to turn his class into a rock band to potentially win the Battle of the Bands and $20,000. ¬†I won’t spoil whether the kids win or don’t win the battle¬†but as a result of the contest they gain self-confidence and continue to play rock in an after school program coached by Dewey. ¬†Long live Rock!

This film totally tapped into my inner rocker!

 

“The Commitments” (1991)

commitments

What happens when a group of white working class Dubliners forms a soul band?  A rousing film with some great music inspired by legendary artists, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett.

The band nails the soul of the greats by immersing themselves 24/7 in classic soul standards:

  • ¬† ¬† “In the Midnight Hour” – Wilson Pickett
  • “Try a Little Tenderness” – Otis Redding
  • “I Never Loved a Man” – Aretha Franklin

Whether on buses, hanging up laundry or in music store windows, they were feeling the soul. ¬†In the words of ¬†F√©lim Gormley (Dean Fay- Saxophone), “I’m black and I’m proud!”

I’m so glad the movie was authentic with the cast singing on the soundtrack. ¬†(The actors were cast ¬†for their musical abilities.) Lead singer (Andrew Strong “Deco”) was nuts but the standout talent of the band.

The Commitments was voted best Irish film of all time in a 2005 poll sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey and launched a generation of Irish musicians and actors.

 

 

¬†“This is Spinal Tap” (1984)

 

This is spinal tap poster

 OMG, the funniest, dead on satire of a rock metal band ever!

Classic in every sense of the word, Director/Writer Rob Reiner’s masterpiece was also written and scored by the stars:

Rob Reiner – (Marty D. Bergi) – Mokumentarian

Spinal Tap

Christopher Guest – (Nigel Tufnel)

Michael McKean- (David St. Hubbins)

Harry Shearer – (Derek Smalls)

This mockumentary feels so real that some moviegoers thought they were an actual group!

The “Stonehenge” number during the Smell the Glove tour is priceless. ¬†Due to a mix up with size dimensions, the¬†Stonehenge¬†replica for their epic song is 18 inches instead of 18 feet tall. ¬†The little people performers in the number were taller. And Derek Smalls getting¬†stuck in the stage prop egg is hilarious!

¬†In 2002,¬†This Is Spinal Tap¬†was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the¬†Library of Congress¬†and was selected for preservation by the United States¬†National Film Registry.

 

 

These are 3 of my favorite Rock Movies – Let me know yours in the comments!

 

 

 

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“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” 30th Anniversary Event

fathomevents

turnerclassicmovieslogo

TCM Big Screen Classics
In Select Cinemas Nationwide

Take a day off with Ferris Bueller because you know “life can move pretty fast”. Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the John Hughes cult hit with a special screening by Fathom Events in partnership with Turner Classic Movies as part of their TCM Big Screen Classics series.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986) will be accompanied by special commentary from TCM host Ben Mankiewicz, who will provide insight, background and more.¬†The event also includes special interviews with the cast and director John Hughes about casting Matthew Broderick in the¬†iconic role of Ferris Bueller.

“Ferris Bueller‚Äôs Day Off” 30th Anniversary

Sunday, May 15th & Wednesday, May 18th

Ferris

“Ferris Bueller‚Äôs Day Off” (1986)

Ferris is truly a “righteous dude”. I love his philosophy on life. It’s very simple – Live It! Treasure every moment and run like someone left the gate open.

I featured “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” in a previous post about gratitude. I took the position that it was actually Ferris Bueller’s Day On!

Ferris is the type of person who lives in the moment and shows gratitude every day for his life and the endless adventures that it holds. He squeezes every last drop out of living, is grateful for it and is always thirsty for more!

As part of the TCM Big Screen Classics series, the film will be presented on Sunday, May 15th¬†and Wednesday, May 18th at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (local time) each day.¬†Tickets are available by clicking on the orange ‚ÄúBuy Tickets‚ÄĚ button on the website.

I’ll give you a heads up about the other upcoming movies in the series so you don‚Äôt miss your chance to catch a classic film on the big screen every month in 2016!

As Ferris always says –

 Ferris-Bueller-Quotes-3

Long Live Rock Movies! ūüėéūüéł

“School of Rock” (2003)

school of rock

Let’s start with our substitute teacher, Mr. Schneebly – what kid hasn’t wished for a sub like him? ¬†No grades, being part of a kick butt rock band, defying parents, breaking the rules. ¬†Good, right?

Jack Black’s character Dewey Finn is the forever loser and quintessential wanna be rock star, but when he steals his roommate’s identity as a substitute teacher, (Mr, Schneebly) he discovers he has a ¬†class of very musically talented 5th-grade students. So, Dewey decides to turn his class into a rock band to potentially win the Battle of the Bands and $20,000. ¬†I won’t spoil whether the kids win or don’t win the battle¬†but as a result of the contest they gain self-confidence and continue to play rock in an after school program coached by Dewey. ¬†Long live Rock!

This film totally tapped into my inner rocker!

 

“The Commitments” (1991)

commitments

What happens when a group of white working class Dubliners forms a soul band?  A rousing film with some great music inspired by legendary artists, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett.

The band nails the soul of the greats by immersing themselves 24/7 in classic soul standards:

  • ¬† ¬† “In the Midnight Hour” – Wilson Pickett
  • “Try a Little Tenderness” – Otis Redding
  • “I Never Loved a Man” – Aretha Franklin
  • Whether on buses, hanging up laundry or in music store windows, they were feeling the soul. ¬†In the words of ¬†F√©lim Gormley (Dean Fay- Saxophone), “I’m black and I’m proud!”

I’m so glad the movie was authentic with the cast singing on the soundtrack. ¬†(The actors were cast ¬†for their musical abilities.) Lead singer (Andrew Strong “Deco”) was nuts but the standout talent of the band.

The Commitments was voted best Irish film of all time in a 2005 poll sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey and launched a generation of Irish musicians and actors.

 

 

¬†“This is Spinal Tap” (1984)

 

This is spinal tap poster

 OMG, the funniest, dead on satire of a rock metal band ever!

Classic in every sense of the word, Director/Writer Rob Reiner’s masterpiece was also written and scored by the stars:

Rob Reiner – (Marty D. Bergi) – Mokumentarian

Spinal Tap

Christopher Guest – (Nigel Tufnel)

Michael McKean- (David St. Hubbins)

Harry Shearer – (Derek Smalls)

This mockumentary feels so real that some moviegoers thought they were an actual group!

The “Stonehenge” number during the Smell the Glove tour is priceless. ¬†Due to a mix up with size dimensions, the¬†Stonehenge¬†replica for their epic song is 18 inches instead of 18 feet tall. ¬†The little people performers in the number were taller. And Derek Smalls getting¬†stuck in the stage prop egg is hilarious!

¬†In 2002,¬†This Is Spinal Tap¬†was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the¬†Library of Congress¬†and was selected for preservation by the United States¬†National Film Registry.

 

 

These are 3 of my favorite Rock Movies – Let me know yours in the comments!

 

 

 

Movie Music Magic – Danny Elfman ūüéľ

Danny Elfman

Danny Elfman

Music is essential to a film production. It sets the tone and mood and helps tell the movie’s story. A great musician “behind the camera” is Danny Elfman, who’s scored such film’s as “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”, “Batman” ¬†and “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

Daniel Robert Elfman (born May 29, 1953) is an American composer, singer, songwriter, and record producer. From 1976 to 1995 he was the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Oingo Boingo.

In 1976, Elfman entered the film industry as an actor. In 1982, he scored his first film, Forbidden Zone, directed by his older brother Richard Elfman. Among his honors are four Academy Award nominations, a Grammy for Batman, an Emmy for Desperate Housewives, the 2002 Richard Kirk Award, and the Disney Legend Award.

I first became aware of Danny Elfman from his band, Oingo Boingo. Their ska driven music was freeing and fun. ¬†Ska-influenced the new wave band in 1979, and then changed again towards a more guitar-oriented rock sound, in the late 1980s. The band’s appearance in Back to School¬†energized the soundtrack with “Dead Man’s Party”.

Oingo Boingo Deadman's Party

“Back to School” (1986)

Some of Elfman’s music influences were Bernard Hermann, Franz Waxman, and Philip Glass.¬†In 1985, Tim Burton and Paul Reubens invited Elfman to write the score for their first feature film, “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”. Elfman was apprehensive at first, because of his lack of formal training, but with orchestration assistance from Oingo Boingo guitarist and arranger Steve Bartek, he achieved his goal of emulating the mood of such composers as Nino Rota and Bernard Herrmann.

Elfman immediately developed a rapport with Burton¬†and has gone on to score all but three of Burton’s major studio releases.¬†Elfman also provided the singing voice for Jack Skellington in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and the voices of both Barrel and the “Clown with the Tear-Away Face”. Years later he provided the voice for Bonejangles the skeleton in Corpse Bride.

Trivia: Elfman also composed the theme to “The Simpsons”.

Burton has said of his relationship with Elfman: “We don’t even have to talk about the music. We don’t even have to intellectualize ‚Äď which is good for both of us, we’re both similar that way. We’re very lucky to connect”. (Wikipedia)

Danny Elfman’s score of “Batman” (directed by Tim Burton) won him a Grammy Award.

Elfman admits his favorite movie to score was “Edward Scissorhands” (Tim Burton director).

edward scissor hands

Tim Burton, Winona Ryder, Johnny Depp and Danny Elfman in 1990.

Danny Elfman has three children: Lola (born 1979), Mali (born 1984), and Oliver (born 2005). On November 29, 2003, he married actress Bridget Fonda.

In October 2013, Elfman returned to the stage to sing his vocal parts to a handful of Nightmare Before Christmas songs as part of a concert titled Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton.¬†He composed the film score for Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), and composed additional music for Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) together with Brian Tyler.

 

Sparkle Forever! – Irene Cara

Irene1

Irene Cara

April 7, 1976, marked the film premiere of “Sparkle” and my introduction to the young, up and coming star, Irene Cara. ¬†¬†“Sparkle”¬† is the story of 3 sisters (Lonette McKee “Sister”, Dwan Smith “Delores”, and¬†Irene Cara¬†“Sparkle”) growing up in 1950’s Harlem. They become “Sister and the Sisters” girl group (formerly¬†The Hearts) and we journey into their lives as their mother “Effie” (Mary Alice) struggles to raise the girls and reign in the “spirited” “Sister.” ¬†Along with Styx (Phillip Michael Thomas) and Levi (Dorian Harewood) the girls face and deal with the trials and realities of ¬†life.

I have 2 sisters and always wanted us to be a hot girl group.  (Unfortunately I was the only one who sang:(

Directed by: Sam O’Steen. Music: Curtis Mayfield.

sparkle-poster-artwork-dwan-smith-irene-cara-lonette-mc-kee

Lonette McKee, Irene Cara, Dwan Smith

 

Cara also went on to star in¬†“Fame”¬†1980, the¬†“movie that changed my life” and brought her superstardom. ¬†Irene’s voice would later influence my own performances. ¬† Young, beautiful and talented, she had it all! ¬† Her voice cut through me like a knife. ¬†I believed every word she sang and the lyrics seemed to sync up with the dreams I held in my heart.

Fame” You ain’t seen the best of me yet. Give me time I’ll make you forget the rest.”

Flashdance – “What a Feeling” started the¬†clarion¬†call to believe¬†that “I can have it all.” ¬†And in 1984 the song “Flashdance” won Irene Cara an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song.

 

What’s she doing now?

 From Stardom to seeming obscurity.

I hope this piece has introduced or reintroduced this accomplished artist back into our cultural landscape.

Irene Cara has won an Academy Award, 2 Grammy awards, Golden Globe and numerous other awards.

For me – Irene Cara’s star will Sparkle forever!

 

”Fame” – Movie that changed my life

Fameposter

 

Seems Facebook ¬†has started an – “on this day 1 year ago memory” feature on my timeline. I look at this as either an opportunity to relive warm memories or regret an overshare posting that will follow me for eternity. Fortunately, my 1 year ago memory is one of my warmest; my observations of the movie that most influenced my life. So, in keeping with the spirit of retrospection, here’s “Fame” – Movie That Changed My Life, originally posted June 6, 2014.

♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥

I was reading an article about music that influenced the author’s life. ¬†Since my thing is film, I started thinking about movies that affected my life. ¬†My very first thought was right on. ¬†“Fame” – Released May 16, 1980. Directed by Alan Parker. ¬†Screenplay by¬†Christopher Gore. (Lyric:…baby remember my name.”)

 

The film chronicles the lives of aspiring students attending a New York High School for the Performing Arts. We follow their journey from auditioning to acceptance, through graduation. It won 2 Oscars – Best Music, Original Song -“Fame” and Best Music, Original Score.

 

Coming out of the theater that night my life had changed with the realization that I must pursue my lifetime love of music and performing.  Honor my spirit!

From birth, I was an artist. ¬†Growing up in Motown there was music a plenty. ¬†Listening to Smoky Robinson, The Temptations, The Supremes, you get the idea, I could visualize the movie behind the song lyrics. ¬†I can’t prove it, but I believe I came up with the idea for the music video. ¬†Thanks for the credit MTV:)

I also loved to sing and knew the words to any and every song. ¬†Old or new, it didn’t matter. ¬†Yes, I was the girl with the hairbrush microphone pouring my heart out to Lulu’s “To Sir With Love.” ¬†My friends and I even got together forming our own girls group. ¬†Look out Diana Ross, there’s a new diva in town.

 

Throughout my school years, I found my way into choirs and in college I took an acting class or two. However, as an adult I never actually took the leap to being an actress and vocalist. ¬†Never declared, “I’m a performer.” ¬†Until I heard “I Sing The Body Electric.”¬†

I sing the body electric.

I celebrate the me yet to come.

I toast to my own reunion.

When I become one with the sun.

 

Having left Motown in 1985 for Chi-town, my moment had arrived.  Chicago is an incredible city and the theater scene is amazing! The local park district had a theater group so I dared myself to audition for the musical Pal Joey. I did, got cast, and, as they say, the rest is history.  From that moment on I was either in a play, auditioning for a play or in rehearsals for a play.

I’ve performed in pretty much every musical you can think of: ¬†Bye, Bye Birdie, West Side Story, Little Shop of Horrors, Cabaret. (You get the idea) ¬†I found my theater family and my voice. ¬†I realized that performing was the missing piece of my soul, my essence. ¬†And it all started on that spring evening in May 1980 with Fame. ¬†“I’m gonna live forever. Baby remember my name!”

 

fame_title

 

Dedicated to Anne Meara

(September 20, 1929 –¬†May 23, 2015)

Anne Meara 1975

(Played English teacher Elizabeth Sherwood – Fame 1980)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Rock Movies

“School of Rock” (2003)

school of rock

Mr. Schneebly – who hasn’t wished for him to be your substitute teacher? ¬†Come on now, confess! ¬†No grades, being in a kickbutt rock band, defying parents, breaking the rules. ¬†Good, right?

Jack Black’s character Dewey Finn is the forever loser, wanna be rocker, but when he steals his roommate’s identity as a substitute teacher, he discovers he has a ¬†class of very musically talented 5th grade students. So, Dewey decides to turn his class into a rock band to potentially win the Battle of the Bands and $20,000. ¬†I won’t spoil whether the kids win or don’t win the battle, but as a result of the contest they gain self confidence and continue to play rock in an after school program coached by Dewey. ¬†Long live Rock!

This film totally tapped into my inner rocker!

 

“The Commitments” (1991)

commitments

What happens when a group of white working class Dubliners form a soul band?  A rousing film with some great music inspired by legendary artists, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett.

They nail the soul of the greats by immersing themselves 24/7 in classic soul standards:

  • ¬† ¬† “In the Midnight Hour” – Wilson Pickett
  • “Try a Little Tenderness” – Otis Redding
  • “I Never Loved a Man” – Aretha Franklin
  • Whether on buses, hanging up laundry or in music store windows, they were feeling the soul. ¬†In the words of ¬†F√©lim Gormley (Dean Fay- Sax) “I’m black and I’m proud!”

I’m so glad the movie was authentic with the cast singing on the soundtrack. ¬†(The actors were cast ¬†for their musical abilities.) Lead singer (Andrew Strong “Deco”) was nuts but the standout talent of the band.

The Commitments was voted best Irish film of all time in a 2005 poll sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey and launched a generation of Irish musicians and actors.

 

 

¬†“This is Spinal Tap” (1984)

 

This is spinal tap poster

 OMG, the funniest, dead on satire of a rock metal band ever!

Classic in every sense of the word, Rob Reiner’s masterpiece was directed, written, scored by and stars:

Rob Reiner – (Marty D. Bergi) – maker of documentary

Spinal Tap

Christopher Guest – (Nigel Tufnel)

Michael McKean- (David St. Hubbins)

Harry Shearer – (Derek Smalls)

This mockumentary feels so real that some movie goers thought they were an actual group!

The “Stonehenge” number during the Smell the Glove tour is priceless. ¬†Due to a mix up with size dimensions, the¬†Stonehenge¬†replica for their epic song is 18 inches instead of 18 feet tall. ¬†The little people performers in the number were taller. And Derek Smalls getting¬†stuck in the stage prop egg is hilarious!

¬†In 2002,¬†This Is Spinal Tap¬†was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the¬†Library of Congress¬†and was selected for preservation by the United States¬†National Film Registry.

 

 

These are 3 of my favorite Rock Movies – Let me know yours in the comments!