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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Movies - A MIGHTY WIND (2003)

A Mighty Wind
Directed by Christopher Guest
Written by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy

While I kind of enjoyed Guest's previous fictional-documentary style films BEST IN SHOW and WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, I somehow never got around to watching A MIGHTY WIND until now. That was a mistake, as it's easily the best of those three, and is close to on the level of the classic SPINAL TAP (which it also shares some cast with, of course). There seems to be a lot more affection for the characters in here than in Guest's previous two films, although it doesn't shy away from laughing at them (and also has a lot of secondary characters to mock unmercifully, in particular Bob Balaban's especially clueless character). Or at least I wound up caring about them more than I did the dog and theatre people of the other films.

To do then now would be retro. To do then then was very now-tro, if you will.

This is the story of a folk reunion concert prompted by the death of the record executive who founded the label of those acts. Three acts, the nine-member New Main Street Singers, the trio The Folksmen (played by the Spinal Tap trio) and the duo Mitch and Mickey, get together for a concert, and this has the road to the show, highlights of the actual show and the aftermath.

The Folksmen were definitely the highlight of the show. There are a lot of scenes of the three playing off each other which could have come straight out of SPINAL TAP (how they got bumped to a lesser label where the records were made without holes in them). The Mitch and Mickey story was also pretty touching, in a weird sort of way, and I thought Eugene Levy did the most inspired acting turn in the movie.

Also some great music in the film. I love a movie that puts a lot of thought into the music, and the selections written for each of the groups is perfectly in synch with the timelines and archetypes they represented.

I see that the DVD of this has a whole lot of extras, including the complete concert. I guess I'm going to have to pick that up.

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