Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown (2014)

Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown (2014): Directed by Alex Gibney, produced by Mick Jagger. Aired on HBO and available with extras in DVD format. 

This one's an entertaining and insightful documentary for any and all James Brown fans. The archival footage is worth the whole package; newer interview footage is also better than the usual in such motion documentaries. 

I'm pretty well-versed in James Brown musicology and cultural impact, but even so, with Mr. Dynamite I learned a lot of new stuff, new ways of considering things. 

(In one of the more surreal scenes of Mr. Dynamite, see presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey sing along with James Brown in 1968. It's plain bizarre!) 

Alex Gibney is a trenchant documentary filmmaker -- compare with some of his other works such as Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005); The [Lance] Armstrong Lie (2013); We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013); Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (HBO, 2015); Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine (2015).

Today's Rune: Gateway.      

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