The Blues A Musical Journey: The Soul of a Man
Time Out saysWenders 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.
Cast and crew
Vernon Reid, James Blood Ulmer, Los Lobos, T Bone Burnett, Bonnie Raitt, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Marc Ribot, Garland Jeffreys, Skip James, Laurence Fishburne, Nick Cave The Bad Seeds, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Shemekia Copeland, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Chris King, Keith B Brown, performers Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Beck, Cassandra Wilson, JB Lenoir