‘Summer of Soul’ Reclaims a Concert Documentary Tradition

As music stars turn to movies as promotional tools, 奎斯特洛夫项目回顾了电影表演的黄金时代,但学院很少承认这一点.

Sly Stone in a scene from &灵魂的夏天,” about the 1969 Harlem Cultural 节日.
信贷...Searchlight Pictures/Hulu

在2010年代中期, 关于流行音乐的影片包揽了本届奥斯卡最佳纪录长片奖. “Searching for Sugar Man,” “Twenty Feet From Stardom” 而且 “Amy” all won the prize. It was an unexpected boom: in the decades prior, nonclassical music documentaries had received only scattered nominations.

All of those winning films were biographies or chronicles of a scene or community. 今年, 虽然, 一部被提名的纪录片是关于音乐表演的:《SA真人》,” about the 1969 Harlem Cultural 节日 that featured Sly 而且 the Family Stone, 尼娜西蒙, Mahalia Jackson 而且 Stevie Wonder, 等.

“这部电影背离了奥斯卡对音乐纪录片的看法,汤姆·鲍尔斯说, 她是多伦多国际电影节纪录片编导,也是 纯纪实 播客. “They have been drawn to music-based films, but the cores of those films are not performances, they’re other kinds of storytelling.”

具有讽刺意味的是, the only concert documentary to win an Academy Award was “Woodstock” in 1971, a film that cast a strong shadow on “Summer of Soul.” The events in each film took place during the same season, 但这部电影在马克斯·亚斯格的农场拍摄的“三天和平与音乐”成为了一代人的试金石, the footage from Harlem languished.


当然, “Summer of Soul” isn’t only a concert film; its director, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, best known for his day job as the drummer for the Roots, has rejected this description of the project, 而且 the movie touches on multiple topics involving the politics of the time. But with its focus on the stage, 《SA真人》直接与高质量音乐会纪录片的传统联系起来,并重新获得了这种传统, a form that has seen its reputation rise 而且 fall over the rock era.

In the 1960s, concert documentaries were respected projects. “夏日的爵士乐,拍摄了1958年纽波特爵士音乐节上路易斯·阿姆斯特朗(Louis Armstrong)和查克·贝里(Chuck Berry)的表演, is preserved in the National Film Registry, while Murray Lerner’s “节日,” shot at the 1963-66 Newport Folk 节日s, was an Oscar nominee in 1968. Documentary pioneers like the 梅耶斯兄弟 而且 D.A. Pennebaker were involved in multiple music movies that helped define the era.

“这些电影人更多的是受到纪录片原则的驱动,而不是音乐,本杰明?. 哈伯特, 《SA真人》的作者,乔治敦大学音乐副教授. “They were all older than the generation they were shooting. 他们有点像人类学家,试图把SA真人拉进60年代美国不断变化的世界.”

米娅面具, a professor of film at Vassar College, noted similarities between “Summer of Soul” 而且 films like “给我庇护。” the Maysles’ chronicle of the Rolling Stones’ chaotic, disastrous appearance at the 1969 Altamont festival, or “不要回头看。” Pennebaker’s document of Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour. “比如《SA真人手机版app下载》,’ there isn’t a strong linear narrative, but the musical culture undergirds a whole host of other things,她说. 而《SA真人》更具有情景性,它捕捉了演唱会沿途的瞬间.她指出,在这些方面,“《SA真人》让人想起了那些影响深远的纪录片。.”


In a telephone interview, 汤普森解释说,他最初的想法更接近传统的音乐会纪录片. “我当时想,‘我有40个小时的素材,这个必须是90分钟,’”他说. “在做了25年的节目之后,我自然而然地知道,如果SA真人有90分钟,那就是14首歌. And there’s way more artists than there is space for songs, so now I’m thinking in terms of a cool mix tape.

“I’m not saying I would have gone cut-而且-paste traditional documentary,他继续说, “but I would have probably told the story of a Harlem festival, then exp而且ed it to Spanish Harlem 而且 other cultures, 而且 then opened it to the worldwide setting, the African artists that were there, 而且 that would have more or less been the story.”

But when the p而且emic hit in March 2020, Thompson 而且 his team had to recalibrate. 对出席音乐节的几位艺术家的采访被取消,需要一个新的方向. “疫情爆发时,SA真人的叠叠乐掉了下来,就不再只是演唱会的视频了,他说. “We had to start from the top 而且 be creative.”

伍德斯托克音乐节之后,一波摇滚演唱会电影不可避免地接踵而至,从平克·弗洛伊德(在庞贝!), David Bowie 而且 the Grateful Dead, 随着午夜电影在当地艺术场所的兴起,这一现象不断涌现.

这一趋势也覆盖了黑人表演者,如纪录片的发布 “Wattstax” 还有《SA真人手机版app下载》,以及其他被拍摄但多年后才出现的歌曲,比如 “灵魂力量” (来自1974年奥斯卡获奖影片《当SA真人是国王》(When We Were Kings)中穆罕默德·阿里(Muhammad ali)和乔治·福尔曼(george Foreman)打架的音乐节)和艾瑞莎·富兰克林(Aretha Franklin)的福音表演《SA真人》(Amazing Grace).”

信贷...Stax /幻想

这个时代在极端中达到顶峰:一方面,有齐柏林飞艇(Led Zeppelin)的喜剧过度 “The Song Remains the Same” (1976), with preposterous fantasy sequences 而且 cuts taken from different shows, such that the b而且’s outfits sometimes change within a single song. 另一方面, 马丁·斯科塞斯(Martin Scorsese)的《SA真人》(最后的华尔兹, 1978)记录了乐队原始阵容的最后表演, with a cavalcade of guests representing all of the group’s influences 而且 history. “最后的华尔兹” is often described as the finest example of the form, but Dr. 哈伯特 also noted that some have called it “the death of the concert film, 到处都是摇滚明星和内部笑话每一个镜头都是有条不紊地计划好的.”

几年后, MTV戏剧性地永久地改变了观众和电影音乐之间的关系. With the addition of series like “MTV Unplugged,” it became much more common to watch music performance; the concert film was no longer restricted to the pop elite. To st而且 out, it took something exceptional, like 1984’s “失去意义——平衡了Talking Heads乐队创新的舞台布置和乔纳森·戴米(Jonathan Demme)导演的极端简单——或者是普林斯(Prince)《SA真人》中展现的无与伦比的精湛技艺 “在时报上签名.”

信贷...Hugh Brown/Cinecom Pictures

Dr. Mask表示,随着时间的推移,纪录片“已经从cinéma vérité-style转向了更具故事性和商业吸引力. We see a real shift with something like Madonna’s “真心话大冒险” 那些80年代和90年代初的电影想要彻底改变音乐会电影,让它完全变成另一种样子. Now Beyoncé is doing her own version of that with projects like “柠檬” 而且 “同学会.’

音乐家们制作音乐会电影来记录特殊事件(LCD Soundsystem的2012年“Shut Up 而且 Play the Hits,,是在乐队的“告别”演唱会上拍摄的——这场告别一直持续到2015年的重聚),或者是技术上的尝试(野兽男孩的2006年) “太棒了”, entirely made up of footage taken by members of the crowd). 最近, with streaming services’ perpetual need for content, 肖恩·门德斯(Shawn Mendes)和爱莉安娜·格兰德(Ariana Gr而且e)等流行歌手的演唱会电影已经成为宣传的主要内容.

Beyond its incorporation of local 而且 global events in 1969, what’s different about “Summer of Soul” was Thompson’s approach to editing, which was based in his background as a musician 而且 especially as a D.J. “When I was stuck, my producer 而且 editor would say, ‘If this was a D.J. gig, what would you do next?’”汤普森解释道,并补充道,“如果这部电影是我最喜欢的《SA真人手机版app下载》专辑或D.J. set I was doing, how would I cut 而且 scratch 而且 go to the next thing?”

鲍尔斯也认为,这种结构是这部电影与传统音乐会纪录片的最终区别:“他把评论和音乐混合在一起,做得非常出色. You’re getting the concert, 但你也将这一层音乐史巧妙地融入到讨论中.”

《SA真人》出现在一个围绕种族和政治的深刻问题的当代时刻, 它讲述的关于哈莱姆文化节的文化和背景的故事是必要的. 但同样重要的是,与任何伟大的音乐会电影一样,作为项目核心的精彩表演也要以自己的方式得到认可.

“It benefits from a heightened political awareness, but it also enables you to see these talented folks on display, being appreciated by a Black audience,” Dr. “SA真人习惯于打开新闻,听到黑人的痛苦. ‘Summer of Soul’ gives audiences an opportunity to celebrate Black joy.”