• Film ID:
  • 11287
  • Availability:
  • DVD Available from Shop
  • Film cert:
  • Running time:
  • DVD=90 min.
  • Nationality(ies):
  • America.
  • Primary Language(s):
  • English.
BILLY BRAGG AND WILCO - MAN IN THE SAND (2001)
(MAN IN THE SAND)
Cast
Director(s)
Categories
Review
This excellent documentary follows Billy Bragg as he embarks on a mission to put music to a selection of lyrics penned by folk legend, Woody Guthrie. Billy's love of the People's Troubadour is evident as he visits his home town, tracing Woody's life and influences with the help of his daughter, Nora Guthrie. The music (compiled on two albums, 'Mermaid Avenue' Vol.'s 1 and 2) is excellent and is lifted with the collaboration of Wilco. Jeff Tweedy, lead singer with Wilco, seems particularly inspired by the task, helping create melodic highlights like California Stars, Remember the Mountain Bed and One by One. Natalie Merchant is also brought on board to lend Guthrie's 'Birds and Ships' a fresher, lighter sound to the project. Despite being essentially a music 'Making Of' documentary, the pace is refreshingly thoughtful; the settings and archive footage are evocative of an era that was difficult to live through but easy to romanticise about, and the narration (largely provided by Nora's languid voiceover) adds to the surreal, dreamlike subject matter: the task of breathing fresh musical life into lyrics written on dead, dry and dusty paper. Sublime.
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