Music and Movies
A Hard Day's Night: what it appropriated from earlier pop music movies
Riachard Lester's first Beatles' musical A Hard Day's Night is rightly regarded as a landmark in 1960s moviemaking in general and movie musicals in particular. However, the movie is not as revolutionary as it first appears. Lester used many of distinctive features of Hard Day's Night in a pop musical he made a year earlier - the unheralded It's Trad, Dad (Ring-a-Ding Rhythm in the USA). The rapid cutting, gritty settings, rapid pace, and above all, the fascination with the relationship between fans and their musical idols are all on display in the earlier film. An even earlier film, 1957's Expresso Bongo, had also focussed on pop stars and their interaction with fans, and, like, Hard Day's Night, emphasised the unglamorous surroundings of the pop music world.
Jazz and Swing Under the Nazis
The 2013 German Tv series Generation War, released in the USA and some Europeran countries in cinemas, places considerable emphasis on the appeal of jazz/swing music to its five main characters. One of them is, initially, a jazz musician; another is determined to become a successful vocalist in the torchy Marlene Dietrich style. The only problem was that in the Thrid Reich jazz and swing was officially prohibted as inferior music associated with negroes and Jews. Yet such music remained popular throughout the war.
Rock Around the Clock and its musical, social and cultural significance
Don't Knock the Rock: a benign view of rock 'n' roll & the generation gap
The Girl Can't Help It - the best rock 'n' roll movie ever?
Spielberg's 1941 and the jitterbug / swing dancing craze
`Maurice Jarre's music for Is Paris Burning?
Réne Clément's movie about the liberation of Paris in 1944 received a hostile reception that iMaurice Jarre's intriguing music for the 1966 film has remained relatively neglected. However, many admirers of the composer's work regard the soundtrack album as shamefully neglected and regard it as worth ranking alongside his work for Dr Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia. The music is a successful blend of the martial and the romantic. It has wistful snatches of Parisian popular ballads alongside stirring marches, best exemplified by the Overture. The music includes a lilting waltz - one of Jarre's best compositions.
Les Misérables - the movie of the musical
The origins of the 2012 movie of the stage musical Les Misérables can be traced back to 1980, when the French ream of composer Claude-Michel Schonberg and lyricist Alain Boublil (above right) produced a best-selling concept album (above left),which was then transformed into a atage musical that ran for some months in Paris. It was not until 1985 that the reworked English-language version was staged, with new lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer.