Thursday, August 20, 2015

DOCUMENTARY WEEKEND: IN WHICH JUNEBUG LEARNS ABOUT MUSICIANS

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Thank you for your kind wishes for a speedy recovery. As I battled a multitude of symptoms that if Googled no doubt would lead to death--ignorance is such bliss--Franklin, your comments, and Netflix streaming became my faithful companions.

I watched some movies, most of which seemed to belong on Lifetime, a channel I don't watch because it no longer provides me with a laugh. First time's funny; second time's silly; third time deserves a spanking. That darn Hilary how-has-she-won-two-Best-Actress-Academy-Awards Swank, and that is too her middle name! made me cry with the sappy 2014 flick


You're Not You earns the Janie Junebug Seal of Scrappy ALS Patient Who Chooses To Die After Inspiring Another Woman To Live Her Own Dreams And Having A Husband Who Is A Jerk.

Hilary inspired me to move on to documentaries. After I got started on dox about musicians, I couldn't seem to stop. Here are some favorites:


From 2013, The Punk Singer is about Kathleen Hanna, who left the punk music scene because of a misdiagnosed illness. Hanna was the lead singer of Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and Julie Ruin. She is the co-founder of the "third wave" of feminism, commonly known as Riot Grrrrrl.


2012's Beware of Mr. Baker introduces us to a man most of us don't want to know--drummer Ginger Baker of Cream fame. Eric Clapton admits that he would break down in tears while Baker fought with bass player Jack Bruce. Ginger Baker might manage to head the list of self-destructive rock stars. Old Man Baker even uses his cane to hit filmmaker Jay Bulger. 


Also from 2012, we have Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey. If I were a Journey fan, no doubt I would adore this documentary about the band finding a new lead singer, Arnel Pineda, on YouTube. Although I've never cared for Journey, I enjoyed this rags to riches story because of Pineda's magnetism. The first two documentaries I discussed were much better, however. Sadly, Pineda's story could qualify him for Lifetime movie treatment. 

Happy Viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

41 comments:

  1. If you find you need to watch another documentary give Alive Inside a try. I adored it.

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  2. I have not seen any of these movies but some sound interesting. Journey was my first rock concert I went to as a kid. Beware of Mr Baker is on my list to check out.

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    1. Beware of Mr. Baker is a great film, but Ginger Baker is a very nasty person.

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  3. Good morning, dear Janie Junebug!

    It is I/me, Shady Aloysius I Like 'Em Scrappy Del Knight aka "King of All Media."

    I hope you noticed my reply to your comment on SDMM about the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot. I also highly recommend the music documentary The Wrecking Crew (2014) which features interviews with the veteran West Coast recording studio session musicians who worked for Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and other producers and played anonymously on thousands of great recordings of the 60s. Mrs. Shady and I watched it two nights ago and loved it. You can find it right there on NetFlix so go for it!

    I'm very happy to see you back in action, dear friend Janie!

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    1. Favorite Young Man and I finished watching The Wrecking Crew about an hour ago. It's full of great anecdotes. Obviously great minds think alike.

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    2. And yes, I saw your response about Pussy Riot. I can hardly wait.

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  4. I'd be interested in seeing The Punk Singer. As a classical musician, I found people on the opposite end of the music world to be fascinating. I like to see what makes them tick.

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    1. I'd say activism makes Kathleen Hanna tick.

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  5. And I liked the one about The Band. Don't remember the name, it was ages since I saw it, but it was really good. Martin Scorcese directed it.

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    1. I think it's called The Last Waltz. I imagine I'll get to it soon. I'm a Scorsese fan.

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  6. I just put You're Not You on my Netflix list--let you know how I like it!!

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  7. Thanks for the recommendations. I have one for you...First Position.
    I'm sure you'd like it.

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    1. Watched it about six weeks ago. Loved it. You know me too well.

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  8. I agree, about certain channels and movies not providing one with a laugh. I tend to steer clear of movies with too serious a subject matter. I have to be in the proper mood to watch 'serious things' or else I get too depressed. But my sister likes watching music documentaries. Hope you're feeling better, Janie. Wishing you well.

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  9. Hope this post means you are feeling better again. Where is WDW? Not tending to you?

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    1. He was here a few days ago and was very helpful. He's a sweetheart.

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  10. I haven't seen any of these, but should give them a try.

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  11. I watched You're Not You--& I cried. Emmy Rossum is a treasure, as is Loretta Devine, who played her new African-American friend!!

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    1. Okay. I feel better now that I know you cried, too.

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  12. Hmmmmm! I will have to keep these in mind. Glad they helped you recover!

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    1. Thank you. Movies are excellent medicine.

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  13. Good night, dear Janie! I've seen all these flicks (it's a miracle), but Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey is my favorite of the bunch. That's amazing, because I LOVE Steve Perry and reject all the stand-ins that came afterwards. But Arnel Pineda has a fantastic voice (Steve's...) and a compelling story. I accidentally loved him.

    BUT NO ONE TAKES THE PLACE OF STEVE.

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    1. I didn't know who Steve Perry was till I watched this, so Arnel is fine with me.

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  14. I just bought a smart tv so that we'll be able to stream movies. I'm looking forward to watching the documentaries. We watched the one on Muscul Shoals a while back and it was amazing. The last waltz is a good picture though it's been many years since we've seen it.

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    1. Smart tvs are amazing. WDW's came with a remote that has a Netflix button. It's a little piece of heaven.

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  15. I am a huge Journey fan, so I will be watching that documentary. Thanks for the tip. I also must admit to a lifetime as a Lifetime Movie junkie. Three, four, five times. I'm still watching movies from 1990s over and over again. I may also check out Mr. Baker because I love a good dysfunctional musician story!

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    1. I won't say a word about the Lifetime movies because I don't understand.

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  16. I'll have to check these music docs out. Thanks!

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  17. Replies
    1. I feel great. Thanks for asking, Blue.

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  18. You know, I've always thought that about Hilary Swank, too. She started out on 90210 or one of those shows? Then did that Karate Kid movie and some movies-of-the-week...Boys Don't Cry was just a well-written movie-of-the-week. Not that she isn't talented--but so is Jennie Garth and I don't see anyone handing her an Oscar!

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    1. Hilary Swank happened to get two unusually powerful roles and won two Academy Awards. It bugs me that Annette Bening was nominated both times that Hilary won, and Annette doesn't have an Academy Award. She is a brilliant actress.

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  19. I might watch and enjoy some of those flicks sometime, but not when I'm SICK! Somehow, feeling like crap and watching a tear-jerker about someone suffering and dying from some horrible disease doesn't sound particularly entertaining to me. I'd rather watch something that would make me laugh and forget about the fact that I'm feeling like crap.

    Then again, I DO recall watching a bunch of uber-melodramatic Greta Garbo movies one time when I was sick... :)

    Stay well, and have a super weekend!

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    1. I only watched one sappy, made-me-cry movie. It pushed me to move on to the documentaries about music, which I enjoyed a great deal.

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  20. Janie!

    Hmmm... I've seen Arnel Pineda's story on PBS, I think through something called Independent Lens? I find it amazing because the only English he seems to know are the words to Journey songs! I like Journey, but I like Steve Perry. My dad and I make fun of Steve Perry, though, we tend to be very mean to Mr. Perry. :P

    I loved Bikini Kill in high school! I will have to check out that documentary. Thank you for these reviews.

    Love,
    Jessica

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  21. I am so sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Hope the coming week brings you smiles, sunshine and plenty of energy.

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  22. I forgot about Lifetime movies..... I used to love all those stories of pregnant teenagers and scorned women and high school bullies, as horrible as the scripts and actors were. Such quality entertainment.

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