The Blues A Musical Journey: The Soul of a Man

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Musicals

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Time Out says

Wenders was among the European baby-boom generation that resurrected the music of the Depression era blues musicians long since forgotten by their own countrymen. Here he digs up three favourites - Blind Willie Johnson, Skip James and JB Lenoir - and retells their stories through a mix of pithy re-enactments, archive recordings and film footage, Fishburne's sympathetic narration and a raft of contemporary re-interpretations by the likes of Beck, Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Bonnie Raitt, Cassandra Wilson, Los Lobos, Lucinda Williams, T-Bone Burnett and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Slight in shape and modest in its claims - there are gestures towards cultural contextualisation (the Depression, the Civil Rights struggle and the John Mayall/Cream/Newport '64 revival, the treasure chest recordings sent out to the stars with NASA's Voyager 1 that included Johnson's 'Dark Was the Night'), but Wenders never elaborates the point - it is at least a film with real feeling for its subjects.

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