February 7th, 2012

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Cinema of the Blues School: Hallelujah!

Released in the same year as "The Jazz Singer," "Hallelujah!" was directed by King Vidor. What it lacks in technical proficiency, this film makes up with atmosphere. Juke joints, knife fights and evangelical preachers, "Hallelujah!" set the model for the future Cinema of the Blues. </a>
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Cinema of the Blues School: "Lady Sings the Blues"

Often remembered for the Oscar nominated performance of Diana Ross, "Lady Sings the Blues" documents the rise and fall of Billie Holiday. With billie Dee Williams and Richard Pryor in strong supporting roles, Diana shines when on center stage singing the blues. Her Oscar nomination comes from her subtle moments of dispair and misery. The scenes of domestic violence are operatic, but painfully real.

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Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Cinema of the Blues School: Crossroads

Hurricane Bain suggested that the first semester of Blue School include this forgotten gem, "Crossroads." Between "Karate Kid" projects, Ralph Macchio shines as Lightning Boy, a slide guitar vitruoso in New York. With a passion for Bllues music, Lightning Boy journeys south and meets Joe Seneca. As with Blues Road movies, the pair unit and battle the devil in the "Crossroads."

This 1986 cast is offbeat, from Harry Carey Jr. to Joe Morton, a future Blues Brother who portrays "Scratch's Assistant." Lightning Boy has a guitar battle for his soul, with none other than Steve Vai.

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Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Cinema of the Blues School: "Blues Brothers 2000"

In critical circles, it is common to knock this motion picture.
Missing John Belushi, John Candy and Cab Calloway, "Blues Brothers 2000" was clobbered at the box office at the same time that "Titanic" was making box office history.

Yet, everytime Cinema Dave sees this film with a crowd, people laugh and sing along. Jeer all you want at movies like "King Kong versus Godzilla" and "Blues Brothers 2000," guilty pleasures like these prove that living well is the best revenge.

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Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Cinema of the Blues School "Ray"

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When watching "Ray" with "Lady Sings the Blues," one sees simiar careers. The musical numbers in both movies are magical, but the drug addiction scenes are darkly disturbing.

The Blues acknowledges pain and suffering, but understands the importance of redemption.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Cinema of the Blues School "Hard Times"

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"Hard Times' is another blues documentary set in Mississippi. This time Big George Brock is centerstage; sharecropper, boxer, club owner and musician with a harp. Big George Brock is a likeable character, a man among men. So why does he sing the blues?
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Cinema of the Blues School "M is for Mississippi"

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"M is for Mississippi" was the 3rd entry from the recent Fort Lauderdale Blues Festival last month. Film makers Roger Stolle and Jeff Konkel travel the Mississippi in search the blues community.
The duo encounted 14 blues musicians who are on 14 different ladders of success.