Elvis Presley-The Searcher HBO documentary

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Mr. LP Collector, Apr 15, 2018.

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  1. dudley07726

    dudley07726 Forum Resident

    Location:
    FLA
    They sanitized it as much as they could. Though, at this point in time with most of the people in that doc dead, there’s no reason to. Still amazing that even ill, he performed a hell of a lot of shows in the last years. Not taking away from his talent as a singer, he’s was quite a boring performer from 68 on.
     
  2. kingofthejungle

    kingofthejungle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jonesboro,AR USA
    Coming from a visual arts background, the idea that there is a single narrowly defined way to appreciate an artist's work before it can be considered "accurate" is totally foreign. We invite aesthetic reappraisal, and welcome the observation of forces exhibited in an artist's work that may have been unconscious. Great artists are often able to capture more than they intended. In fact, being able to capture some aspect of life in a multidimensional way is a large part of what makes someone a great artist. I think it's also worth considering that Elvis's art has an inherently political dimension whether he intended it or not, because of the highly charged moment in which he was mixing divergent cultural forces. It's not surprising that Springsteen connects deeply to that aspect of Elvis's work.
     
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  3. john beacham

    john beacham Forum Resident

    We all know how the story ends, but it's still an overwhelmingly sad one. I believe Elvis had so much more to give the world. If he had only followed artistic muse after the triumphant and brilliant '68 comeback, and parted ways with the opportunistic Col Tom Parker, there's no telling what more he could have achieved.
     
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  4. dudley07726

    dudley07726 Forum Resident

    Location:
    FLA
    I think Springsteen was only in there because his manager produced this doc.
     
  5. Yeah, sure, Springsteen hopped the gate at Graceland not to try to meet the man, but because he was a big fat phony. Get that outta here!
     
  6. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

    Springsteen buys into that Rolling Stone style of rock writing (<koff, Greil Marcus, koff>) in that much must be made into grand myths and legends, spiritual promises and truths unveiled.
    It's like...Dylan didn't pick up the electric to rock, he did it to bring the lightning of freedom that America and the world so desperately needed as it rolled into war.
    It can make some :rolleyes:
    It can also rob the audacious fun from the artist's work.
     
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  7. SoundAdvice

    SoundAdvice Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver
    Petty met Elvis when he was a kid and Bruce saw one of Elvis' final shows in Philly after his failed attempt to meet him at Graceland in 1976.
     
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  8. MRamble

    MRamble Forum Resident

    Initial impressions: a triumph. They were able to streamline a dense and complicated story into something that was deeply engaging and at times, gripping. Their decision to keep the interviewees out of the visuals was perfect. It keeps you focused on the world they've created and more importantly keeps you focused on Elvis and no one else. Zimny and crew effectively peeled back the crusted over layers of pop culture and revealed the life of an artist, a searcher, who's story was more tragic than anyone could have known.

    I was pleased just how perfectly they were able to use as most of Elvis' music to help push the story. I always knew a perfect soundtrack could be made from Elvis' recordings going beyond the greatest hits. Using the music to frame the stories and transition in and out of certain periods of this huge story were all done with exceptional precision.

    As a fan, I'm thrilled with what they've done here. Bravo all the way.

    PS. As much as this documentary is Elvis'--it kind of is also Tom Petty's.
     
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  9. I333I

    I333I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ventura
    You should really do some research before making comments.
     
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  10. Yes, mostly. That said, they could have used more Elvis music and less Mike McCready, which, while tasteful, occasionally veered a little close to generic "we can't use Elvis music in this so here's the next best thing that sounds like it was recorded in the '90s but it'll do" background music from every unauthorized Elvis doc ever.
     
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  11. I333I

    I333I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ventura
    I enjoyed the doc (especially the Burning Love footage, holy crap!) even though most of the content is mostly common knowledge to those who follow Elvis. I hope that this will turn more people on to his music and lose the focus on the “bloated” years and whatever else National Enquirer fodder that has tainted the true talent of this man.
    This guy breathed music. He seemed like an encyclopedia of knowledge and used his influences masterfully.
    I appreciate that the documentary dropped hints (perhaps Elvis’ life would’ve changed for the better if another challenge, such as world tours, was presented) but didn’t entirely point fingers. Loved hearing the Colonel (though I slightly despise the man) and various comments from Elvis that I’ve never heard. I did feel it was a bit rushed, but I expect most people wouldn’t sit and watch a film about Elvis that goes beyond a 4 hour running time. I would’ve loved if it was a three-parter, but I’m happy that it was made and am excited about watching it again.
     
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  12. GillyT

    GillyT Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seatoun
    Not so much "skip over" as re-focus the attention of the audience upon the art, the one thing that has been conspicuously absent in the discussion about Elvis for 30 years, since the publication of Albert Goldman's book in 1981. The salacious details of Elvis' slide into drug addiction have been done to death. May I respectfully suggest you watch the film from the beginning, in its entirety. Although you may not have those questions answered directly, there will be enough context provided to understand, if you're open to that. ;)
     
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  13. I333I

    I333I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ventura
    EXACTLY.
     
  14. Priscilla and Jerry Schilling talked about this at a Elvis Radio roundtable in Memphis the week before the premiere. They made it a point to be honest but not make an entire story about Tom Parker the evil promoter.

    I thought it was fair, juxtaposing Elvis' position on things with the Colonel.
     
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  15. MRamble

    MRamble Forum Resident

    I see what you mean but I for the most part found McCready's input to be very effective. It acted as a nice breather and those breaks allowed you to refocus on Elvis again when his voice came back on.
     
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  16. MRamble

    MRamble Forum Resident

    In the context of a 3.5 hour film, they gave enough time for the later years. Not sure what more they could have added. The message was received loud and clear on what Elvis' final days were like. Plus, who doesn't already know the details of that period?

    Meeting Nixon? Irrelevant.
     
  17. Yeah, that's what the recent movie is for :D
     
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  18. GillyT

    GillyT Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seatoun
    I remember as a kid being taken to a double feature: Concert For Bangladesh and Elvis That's The Way It Is. One film bored me to tears. I remember quite clearly that it definitely wasn't Elvis! :laugh:

     
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  19. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    I do not think one has to come from a visual arts background to take a non-single narrowly defined view of an artist's work. Reappraisals and ongoing analysis is part of the process of evaluating an artist and his or her work, life and career. And yes, great artists capture and/or create more than they intended, no one has asserted otherwise. But, there is a fine line between that and initiating a pretentious narrative that becomes borderline fanciful, and from my point of view, I thought Springsteen took those liberties on a couple of issues in both Part One and Part Two of the documentary. And it is certainly his prerogative to do so, but I found those embellishments and interpretations unconvincing. Clearly, you disagree. We all are not going to see it the same way.
     
  20. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    The documentary did an effective job presenting Elvis' dilemma with his management's limitations and Parker's controversial dealings and mismanagement without doing a hit-job on Parker.
     
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  21. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    I think a quote from Peter Guralnick's Careless Love book regarding how Elvis and Charlie Hodge put together the Las Vegas shows for his opening in 1969 after the Comeback Special would be salient to this point:

    "With Elvis's analytical mind and his natural flair for dramatics, Charlie felt that there was no way he could miss; the grandiosity of the his ambition only raised the stakes. Everything he had ever admired in music, he told Charlie, 'He now had on stage with him. Every type of music that he enjoyed was now in his show. The front men did country or rock 'n'roll, there was the gospel sound with the quartet and the soul sound with the Sweet Inspirations, and together you had a beautiful choir. Then a big band sound [from the showroom orchestra] with things that swung and dramatic things that had a symphonic sound.' To Charlie there was no limit on what Elvis was likely to accomplish."

    Now we all know that Elvis was not a politically motivated artist in any traditional sense, but I do think Bruce Springsteen as well as Tom Petty's comments are both on point and hint indirectly of the fact that Elvis saw himself as a figure who was above politics and very much as a uniter and not a divider so to speak, particularly with his choice later to record American Trilogy. I am not a huge Springsteen fan per se and in fact only have one of his albums in my collection, but I do think his comments were not hyperbole or far off the mark by any stretch.
     
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  22. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    The Guralnick passage reiterates that Elvis infused all of his musical interests into his show, creating a big, lush, diverse sound (and that was not the first time Elvis did such a thing; a number of his recordings from the 1950's and 1960's contained various influences). That said, I do not see it as an interpretation that Elvis was attempting to create a spectrum of Americana, making his show a "vessel for the entirety of the American experience," or that there was even such an indirect result. That is a grandiose interpretation and conclusion based on Springsteen's own social/political mindset, one that he is certainly entitled to. But again, I do not find it overly convincing.
     
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  23. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    I really believe that Springsteen's comments about the nature of Elvis and his music being a "vessel" for the expression of various social and cultural experiences of all Americans is spot on. My goodness, look at the great and socially impactful songs he was recording in succession during a very turbelant time in American history. Both If I Can Dream and In The Ghetto were songs that Elvis knew to some degree had political messages behind their beautiful veneer. Elvis was in fact warned by several people to stay away from recording In The Ghetto as it could have been seen as quite polarizing politically at the time. The recording of American Trilogy might have been seen by Elvis as a way of healing some of those wounds that had been experienced by so many Americans and a way to bring his diverse fans together. A very noble idea and not too far a field of what Mr. Springsteen was trying to say in the documentary.
     
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  24. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    An original LPM-1254 with silver printed "RCA Victor" on the label, in as good a condition as you can find.
     
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  25. MYKE

    MYKE Offended By The Easily Offended

    Location:
    Tennessee
    I'd been wondering how long before I got to see this. Gave up HBO a long time ago, and sure didn't want to pay $14.99 to stream HBO. Then, while on Facebook, I see a post from Priscilla, giving tips on how, and where to see this for free, and on the list was Comcast On Demand, where for this week, HBO On Demand can be watched for free ! Of course I dropped what I was doing, and settled in for the entire 3 1/2 hours.
    I liked it, and look forward to the usual high-quality Blu-ray from HBO, we know they're capable of.
    .
     
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