Sunday, June 27, 2010

Phil Spector

Kenneth Anger, Martin Scorsese, and all that pop music in movies

Kenneth Anger brags that he was the one to blame for all the pop music in movies these days. He would put pop songs on the soundtracks to his art movies. I'm not sure---I think he even paid to use them. He started the trend. I can see how a devil-worshiper would be proud of that.

Martin Scorsese said that, in film school, they were repeatedly warned not to use pop music in their movies. You can't do it! You can't get the rights! Then he saw Kenneth Anger's art movies and realized that was crap and started using pop music, I guess in student films.

Well, some new details are emerging.

There's new a documentary about that repellent little puke, Phil Spector, now rotting in prison for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.

In 1973, John Lennon phoned Spector and told him to come to the studio. "Someone's ripped you off, Phil."

At the studio, they showed him Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets, which apparently contained a song called "Be My Baby" that Spector owned.

Spector called his lawyers and told them to "kill it."

Scorsese had inexplicably used the music without permission.

For some reason, John Lennon convinced Spector not to seek an injunction to pull the movie from theaters.

That's an anecdote from The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector.

At least, it's an anecdote from a REVIEW of The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector, a documentary based on long interviews with Spector between murder trials. I haven't seen the movie and I'm not likely to.

Ironically, the documentary itself plays a number of tunes in their entirety without Spector's permission.

Other reviews

The review in Jewish Week, perhaps not surprisingly, dismisses Lana Clarkson as a "fading B movie actress" and portrays Spector as the real victim. "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector," it said, "is a compelling portrait of a Jewish-American artist foundering on the shoals of his own self-willed isolation, which is itself compounded by social realities that have wounded better people than Spector."

On the other hand, Prairie Miller, on News Blaze, wrote:
Sitting beside the white piano where he worked with John Lennon on Imagine, Spector rants against a jury he claims 'all voted for Bush' and viewed him as either guilty or insane, while intimating that he can't get a fair trial because of his outcast status within the music industry...

...whether sitting in court with extravagantly wigged head bowed like a kid berated for being caught stuffing his hand in a cookie jar, or rambling on back home with wild eyed tales, Spector comes across as an immature child stuck long ago in traumatized arrested development (not to mention deeply retro, frozen in time favored mod attire) who doesn't seem to understand the consequences of his acts, and at the same time a conversely wrinkled old gnome....

From a review in Variety:
But the most original contribution to The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector is surely the quasi-Godardian juxtaposition of silent-running trial footage -- complete with diagrams, videotapes, displays of bullet trajectories and blood spatters -- with signature lush orchestrations of Spector's music, as one familiar tune after another, playing out in its entirety, trumpets his artistry. Effusive quotes by Mick Brown, enumerating each song's peculiar brilliancies, are displayed onscreen.

Mick Brown, by the way, wrote another article about Spector during the first trial:

Spector's prevailing mood seemed to be one of indignation that he should be on trial at all. From the moment of his arrest, he had displayed a marked lack of remorse, or even sympathy for the victim. A transcript of Spector's angry and frequerntly incoherent ramblings in the Alhambra police station, which was not heard in court, has him describing Clarkson as "a piece of s---. And I don't know what her f---ing problem was, but she certainly had no right to come my f---ing castle, blow her f---ing head and [indecipherable] a murder."

I'm glad that little bastard is in prison. And I'm glad another inmate knocked a couple of his teeth out in the prison yard.

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