CANDY MOUNTAIN 1987
U.S. film. A retelling of the "road movie" a'la Jack Kerouac's novel, "On The Road" (there's even a scene crossing the Bear Mountain Bridge, as depicted in "On The Road"). Candy Mountain was directed by Robert Frank (Pull My Daisy
and C*cksucker Blues
), who worked with Jack Kerouac during the filming of "Pull My Daisy."
In this story the beat characters are musicians including, Joe Strummer, Arto Lindsay, David Johansen, Tom Waits, Dr. John, and Leon Redbone. Candy Mountain opens in an empty New York high-rise, with Julius (Kevin J. O’Connor) gazing out the window at the skyline below. Right then and there, on a whim, he decides to set off on a journey without a plan. From here, Candy Mountain plays as a series of vignettes, and the various places Julius visits are each improbable and colorful.
One of the first is a one-night-stand playing bass in a swing band headed by David Johansen (Buster Poindexter/New York Dolls), during which he swindles his way into a wild goose chase for the legendary Elmore Silk (Harris Yulin), a guitar maker and recluse who has fled the New York hipster scene, and whose guitars are now the stuff of legend (and insanely expensive). Johansen bankrolls him, and this propels Julius, "on the road." Many of the encounters Julius has are, fittingly enough, musical in nature. Tom Waits, Leon Redbone and David Johansen all get chances to sing along with their acting, Joe Strummer also makes an appearance, playing a dirt cheap, unplugged electric guitar while Arto Lindsay bangs a piece of metal.
Julius lies through his teeth almost from frame one; it’s doubtful he was ever in a band called "Big Trouble," as he claims, and his half-baked notions of rock stardom reveal him as shallow and more than a little naive. Multiple people tell Julius that the road, "Ain’t what it used to be," and the film, in a sense, becomes an anti-road movie. Kevin J. O'Connor, Eric Mitchell, Mary Joy, Bob Joy, Joe Strummer, Arto Lindsay, Mary Margaret O'Hara, David Johansen, David Margulies, Laurie Metcalf, Harris Yulin, Nancy Fish, Tom Waits, Dr. John, Leon Redbone.
Plus this bonus selection...
HARRY NILSSON 1972
U.K. TV special. First broadcast on New Year's Day 1972, this special showcases Harry Nilsson's musical ability and sense of humor. The show was recorded in 1971 at the BBC Television Theatre (now the Shepherd's Bush Empire). It shows Harry in the middle of the two main phases of his career—the early whimsical songs ('67-'71), followed by the later harder-edged period ('71 onwards).
Songs: "Mr. Richland's Favorite Song," "One," "Gotta Get Up," "Walk Right Back," "Cathy's Clown," "Let The Good Times Roll," "Life Line," "Think About Your Troubles," "Joy," "Are You Sleeping?" "Without Her," "Coconut," "1941."
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