des presidents, mafia bosses and actors/ actresses; musicians have been sexy characters to be portrayed in movie. Viewers will be offered various presentations: tragedy, history to other sides of the artist’s personal life. Apparently, filmmakers would not face “out of sources of idea” (promising musicians) to be portrayed. Moreover, Hollywood has always been possessing genuine ways in packaging movie, that is in accordance with character of the leading role—as well as surely, his/ her fans.
Unquestionably, we may not forget the remarkable performance of Jamie Foxx when he took the role of Ray Charles in Ray (2004). Starred as the legendary blind pianist/ singer, he got Oscar as the Best Actor Performance in Leading Role. The movie also had been acclaimed and nominated for awards, worldwide. Ray was one of bio-epical movies on musician that is deserved to get appreciations. Besides excellently presenting the character and personal life of Ray Charles, Ray also was able to present authenticity of historical backgrounds.
Such as when Ray Charles was rejected to perform in Georgia, since he was assumed presenting certain satanic music. At the moment, Ray Charles indeed took an original music base of Gospel and he developed it by adding touches of Soul, Rhythm & Blues up to reaching an orgasmic point: Rock n’ Roll. Other interesting scene is how Ray got an idea to sing uniquely by singing reciprocally with background vocals in song “What’d I Say”, or the motive he had on composing “Georgia on My Mind”.
Perhaps, trying to get a success alike what Ray got, a year after, Walk the Line was released. The movie, which was nominated in 5 categories of Academy Award, tells about the personal life of Johnny Cash, whose apparently had always been in turbulence until he reached his old ages.
Walk the Line was packed by formula almost alike that of Ray was. It was linear, complete and full of conflicts. The attention-grabbing point of the movie is on the “exploitation” of ego-centric and perfectionist character of Johnny Cash, whose could only be docile by June Carter, his eternal business-mate, who actually had been frequently his duet mate and later became Johnny’s second wife. The movie raised one of Hollywood’s underrated actresses, Reese Witherspoon, as a winner of Oscar. Walk the Line was story of a long journey; a quest sought by a legend in course of the climax of his life.
As Ray and Walk the Line set forth the adventure of music heroes’ careers, Nowhere Boy (2009) tells it through slightly different eyes. The British movie raises the adolescent life of John Lennon, a period before The Beatles was born.
Its point of interest is on what had been happened on Lennon’s life, by which had made him became influential person later on. The story tells about the significant role of Lennon’s mother, who taught him of playing banjo, then his first encounter with Paul McCartney up to Lennon’s complicated uniqueness during his schooldays.
Unlike those of the abovementioned movies, 24 Hour Party People tells about how was post-punk born in Manchester, England, which made it became famed by name of Mad-chester. Uniquely, the movie was emanated from the perspective of Tony Wilson; a radio presenter announcer, an owner of recording label and a night club manager. He was a responsible person on the birth of Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays.
This movie does not present the brightness of a legend, career tragedy or any kind of a journey towards a climax, but it portrays an authentic historical illustration on particular community, which was an embryo of a brand new sub-culture. 24 Hour Party People tells a lot about human struggle behind the scene, where they worked hard for the sake of legendary bands’ career. The movie, which was packed ala documentary film, might be a reference on the history of Manchester music and had been actually occurred at the end of 70’s to the beginning of 80’s periods.
Perhaps, talking about musicians’ personal life would be not enough without presenting tragedy. Sid and Nancy (1986) recites a ‘punk rock’ love story between iconic and controversial Sex Pistols’ bassist, Sid Vicious with Nancy Spungen, whose was murdered at a hotel’s bathroom as she was dating with Sid. Selena (1997) describes the life of Selena Quintanilla, a Mexican Latin-pop singer, who was tragically murdered by chairman of her fans club. The Doors (1991) tells about legendary group The Doors and Jim Morrison, who died at a magical age: 27.
There are still a lot of interesting bio-epical movies on musicians worthy to watch. Just check out the birth of blues legends: Willie Dixon, Etta James, Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters in Cadillac Records (2008); Eminem’s struggle in his semi-biography, 8 Mile (2002); uniqueness of 6 different characters of Bob Dylan in I’m Not There (2007) or the French legendary singer, Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose (2007).
The greatest musicians shall not only be listened, but they also offer something to be watched in cinemas. Each artist actually got uniqueness that is capable of breaking in certain developed long-standing order. Possibly, that is the noticeable reason why we have always been seduced to discover their personal life through particular movie or literature: human have always been searching for another more “real” way instead of reality. Musical themed movies have suggested us to listen to life.
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