Leonard Cohen Concert Inspires Oscar Winner-Best Documentary

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sturgess66
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Leonard Cohen Concert Inspires Oscar Winner-Best Documentary

Postby sturgess66 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:31 am

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/20-feet-stardo ... 23816.html
'20 Feet from Stardom' About Backup Singers Wins Documentary Feature Oscar

The Canadian Press
By Ryan Nakashima, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – 1 hour 41 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Darlene Love made sure not to fade into the background when a film about backup singers won an Oscar Sunday night.

The former church choir singer, who has backed up stars like Dionne Warwick, Marvin Gaye and Elvis Presley, broke into song after the film she appears in, "20 Feet from Stardom," won an Academy Award for best documentary feature.

"I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free," she sang before the Dolby Theatre crowd. "And I know he watches me."

The film, directed by Emmy-award winner Morgan Neville, follows singers who rarely get the spotlight, some of whom who came of age in the 1960s and 70s behind luminaries like Ray Charles, Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder.

Backstage, Neville said he "had a hunch" that Love would use the newfound attention to belt out her feelings.

"They sing all the time, it's what they do," Neville said. "The question was, was the orchestra going to drown (her) out?"

Neville also acknowledged late producer Gil Friesen, the A&M Records executive whose fascination with backup singers at a Leonard Cohen concert inspired the film. Friesen died in December of cancer at age 75.
"Tonight, I know he's celebrating with us," Neville said.


One of the benefits of the film's acclaim since its debut at last year's Sundance Film Festival has been the improved career opportunities for the backup singers in the film.

"It's brought them a little closer to the spotlight," producer Caitrin Rogers said.

Neville concurred. "I think we have to change the name of the film to 'Stardom.'"
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Andrew (Darby)
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Re: Leonard Cohen Concert Inspires Oscar Winner-Best Documen

Postby Andrew (Darby) » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:25 pm

I see Sharon Robinson is in the cast, as herself, so that's nice 8) ... but I don't know whether it's in a singing role or an interview about performing as a backup singer or both.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see this in due course or ascertain this information earlier from someone who's already seen it.

Cheers,
Andrew :)

.
'I cannot give the reasons
I only sing the tunes
The sadness of the seasons
The madness of the moons'
~ Mervyn Peake ~
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sturgess66
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Re: Leonard Cohen Concert Inspires Oscar Winner-Best Documen

Postby sturgess66 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:51 am

Here's another article - this one about the producer and A&M Records President Gil Friesen - and his inspiration from attending Leonard Cohen's show in Las Vegas.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/en ... 5813.story
Oscars 2014: The man behind '20 Feet From Stardom'

Longtime A&M Records President Gil Friesen worked on '20 Feet From Stardom,' a look at backup singers, until his dying day in 2012. It went on to win the feature documentary Oscar.

By Randy Lewis
March 3, 2014, 4:50 p.m

On one level, it was no surprise that veteran record company executive Gil Friesen was drawn to the theme of "20 Feet From Stardom," the film about backup singers that won the Oscar for documentary feature Sunday night.

Friesen, longtime president of A&M Records, was at a performance by Leonard Cohen in Las Vegas several years ago when he got the idea to explore the question of why support singers who, although tremendously talented, never became stars in their own right.

There was a parallel in his own life: Friesen himself was a different breed than high-profile record label heads like Clive Davis, Berry Gordy and Ahmet Ertegun. Sometimes referred to as "the ampersand in A&M," the label started in the early 1960s by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, Friesen had a considerably lower profile, preferring to keep attention focused on the musicians and filmmakers he was working with.

....

[READ FULL ARTICLE AT THE LINK ABOVE]

Although Friesen didn't live to collect an Oscar as producer of "20 Feet From Stardom," he did learn shortly before he died that it had been chosen as the opening entry for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

"The Weinstein Co. bought the rights to it that night," Guerinot said. "I remember one incredible moment at Sundance: I was standing next to Jerry [Moss] as the film finished and all the people in the audience were cheering, and he said, 'Man, this guy went out at the top of his game.'"
holydove
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Re: Leonard Cohen Concert Inspires Oscar Winner-Best Documen

Postby holydove » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:37 pm

Andrew (Darby) wrote:I see Sharon Robinson is in the cast, as herself, so that's nice 8) ... but I don't know whether it's in a singing role or an interview about performing as a backup singer or both.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see this in due course or ascertain this information earlier from someone who's already seen it.

Cheers,
Andrew :)

.
Hi Andrew,

I saw it & sorry to say, Sharon doesn't sing or speak in this film. There is just a very short video clip of her standing in front of a microphone - it's about 2 seconds long - & she isn't even identified in the film. The clip of Sharon appears during a sequence of similar short clips of a few singers, & none of them are heard - there is other music going on in the background during that sequence. It's completely unclear who she is performing with, or where; the only thing that's clear is that it's not a recent clip - judging by the way she looks, I would guess it's from perhaps some time in the '70's, or thereabouts. In fact, I first saw the film last year, & didn't know in advance that Sharon was in it, & after I saw it, I didn't even realize that she had been in it - that shot totally passed me by :shock: . Then recently, I saw the list of cast members with her name in it, so I watched it again in order to find her. Well, I did find her, but like I said, the shot of her comes & goes in the blink of an eye. It's a shame that they didn't even identify her, as there are many shots of people where their names appear on the screen; but she's not the only one that wasn't identified.

It is an interesting film, though - even the second time around, it was still interesting. It focuses mostly on back-up singers who started their careers in the '50's, but it also focuses on a couple of singers who are younger; the interviewees present various viewpoints on the plight of the back-up singer, the music industry, as well as the inner spiritual/psychological journey of the musician; & Lisa Fischer, esp., has some very interesting things to say. So if the topic interests you, you'd probably like it.
yentek
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Re: Leonard Cohen Concert Inspires Oscar Winner-Best Documen

Postby yentek » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:06 pm

I saw the documentary. It is okay, but cannot hold a candle to last years winner "Searching for Sugarman", which was also music-themed and was exceptional.
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Andrew (Darby)
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Re: Leonard Cohen Concert Inspires Oscar Winner-Best Documen

Postby Andrew (Darby) » Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:42 pm

Holydove, thanks for clarifying Sharon's part in that movie - it would have been nice if she had had a more significant role, but that's the way it goes. ;-)

Cheers,
Andrew :)
'I cannot give the reasons
I only sing the tunes
The sadness of the seasons
The madness of the moons'
~ Mervyn Peake ~
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AlanM
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Re: Leonard Cohen Concert Inspires Oscar Winner-Best Documentary

Postby AlanM » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:21 am

Attention Australian members.
20 Feet From Stardom will be broadcast on ABC1 at 10:00pm on Sunday January 10th, 2016 (tomorrow).

Alan
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
sereneava
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Re: Leonard Cohen Concert Inspires Oscar Winner-Best Documentary

Postby sereneava » Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:59 am

Thank you Alan, I might have missed it. Cheers

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