320 posts categorized "Documentary"

March 29, 2021

TEENAGE KICKS: THE UNDERTONES

COLESMITHEY.COMPunk 101: The band from Derry.

"Are teenage dreams so hard to beat?
Every time she walks down the street
Another girl in the neighborhood
Wish she was mine, she looks so good"

Even if The Undertones had only written “Teenage Kicks,” the band would stand as one of the most important Punk groups responsible for energizing international culture and music. Hell, the song's been covered by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, not to mention Nouvelle Vague's great version. And still the hits kept coming. "Mars Bar" is the ultimate non-commercial song about how a candy bar can keep you going when you're knee deep in shit of any political/societal strife.

The Undertones - Teenage Kicks watch for free or download video

"My Cousin Kevin" is a hard slag on every golden boy destined for oblivion. "Here Comes The Summer" is a joyful romp about the one season that promises anything and everything. I could go on but you need to listen to The Undertones records for yourself. 

Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 6.54.52 PM

With significant on-screen assistance from legendary BBC Radio DJ John Peel, Irish documentarian Tom Collins packs every necessary punch into a lively 72 minute documentary.  

Review: The Undertones - Singles 1978 - 1983 | Vinyl Chapters

From 1975 to 1983, The Undertones held their own alongside Punk heavyweights such as The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Blondie, Johnny Thunders, and The Clash. What musical excitement.

Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 7.05.44 PM

That The Undertones’ sparkling brand of radio-ready power pop was created in the midst of Northern Ireland’s Troubles, which lasted from the ‘60s into the late ‘90s, is a testament to the group’s deceptive maturity despite their young ages.

Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 7.04.17 PM

In the '70s, New York City was beset with garbage piling up in the streets and CIA-introduced heroin, but Derry, Northern Ireland was steel trap of military occupation. Bombings, shootings and guns stuck in kids’ faces everyday prompted The Undertones’ rebellion of musical sweetness. To watch this great documentary is to get a sense of how five young Irish musicians (Feargal Sharkey, John O'Neill, Damian O'Neill, Michael Bradley, and Bill Doherty) declared their freedom and individuality with infectious original songs about teenage angst. Contrary to the misconception that Punk was about kids who couldn't play their instruments, shouting unintelligible crap, bands such as X-Ray Spex, The Damned, Billy Idol, The Buzzcocks, and The Undertones made joyful pop that made you want to dance, fuck, and hang out with your pals. 

Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 6.58.14 PM

The band’s lead singer Feargal Sharkey’s irrepressible tenor voice cuts through every song with an urgent passion that cannot be denied. Sharkey has an amazing voice that he puts to fierce fun-loving purpose. It’s sad that Feargal is interviewed alone while other bandmates share the luxury of each other’s presence in some sequences. Such is the fallout from the band’s inevitable breakup amid personal and social pressures. Nostalgic and bittersweet joy emanate from a labor of love movie that will get your heart pumping and your feet tapping. The band from Derry is unforgettable. 

4 Stars

Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 7.01.19 PM

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

March 20, 2021

GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI

COLESMITHEY.COM

Liberating. Exhilarating. Honest. Fearless. Grace Jones’s status as one of the most important cultural artists of the 20th and 21st centuries is confirmed in every second of Sophie Fiennes’s exceptional filmic memoir. Grace Jones’s ironclad persona is revealed through hot performance clips contrasted with a visit to her homeland of Jamaica.

Screen Shot 2021-03-20 at 7.02.26 PM

Grace Jones’s electrifying stage presence, dynamic vocal phrasing, and muscular physical style is contrasted with her multi-layered ability to seamlessly exist between and amid international cultures. Dynamic stage lighting and stage craft plays a part.

A singing gypsy cheetah with a heart of gold, Jones expresses her lava-like emotions without putting them on her sleeve. Far from the diva Jones is frequently perceived to be, she comes across as the most grounded and sincere individuals you’ll ever meet. This lady has more communication skills than you can imagine. 

'Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami' Review: She's Almost Too Much for One  Film

As far as musicianship goes, Grace Jones is in a category unto herself. When Grace comes on stage in front of a packed house of adoring fans, and lifts a pair of marching band Zildjian cymbals to hit every accent in her dangerous version of the Punk classic “Warm Leatherette” (by The Normal”), the musical excitement and satisfaction comes in waves.

Screen Shot 2021-03-20 at 7.00.43 PM

Green fluorescent light beams down on Grace during her staggering version of Roxy Music's "Love Is The Drug." The scene is so sci-fi cinematic cool that you can't help but fall under the wicked spell being cast by this ultimate goddess of all things both human and primal. 

Screen Shot 2021-03-20 at 7.26.53 PM

Discover a world of humanity and earth-shattering songs delivered with primal passion by a woman whose skill and ability to transform reality is legendary for good reason. Until you’ve seen this film, you don’t know half as much as you think about the one and only Grace (Fucking) Jones. Not even Jagger, Bowie, Reed, or Iggy ever had an inch on Grace Jones. Big love.

Screen Shot 2021-03-20 at 7.06.41 PM

Rated PG. 115 mins. 

5 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Cole Smithey on Patreon

March 19, 2021

GAMESTOPPED

Watch GameStopped Streaming Online | Hulu (Free Trial)

Essential. ABC News’ (53 minute) soup-to-nuts exposé of the “Gamestonk” story, tells you most of what you need to know about this cataclysmic moment in the history of Wall Street.

Dave Portnoy (Founder, Barstool Sports) calls Wall Street, “the world’s biggest casino.” The label seems apt for an economic arena controlled by crusty white dudes trying hard to keep anyone from crashing their party of riches.

Screen Shot 2021-03-19 at 3.56.48 PM

Enter an avid GameStop Reddit community (wallstreetbets), equipped with a free stock trading app (Robinhood), to rally together to take down cynical Wall Street short-sellers by purchasing loads of GameStop stocks. Then, Elon Musk chimed in, and the GameStop rocket soared. 

PHOTO: Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev speaks out in the ABC News Originals documentary "GameStopped."

Leave it to ABC News to crank out a super-pro documentary, complete with repeated chyrons so you can always identify talking heads such as Vlad Tenev (Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Robinhood), Keith Gill (a.k.a. Roaring Kitty), and Danny Moses (Founder, Moses Ventures). 

Hulu Review: "GameStopped" from ABC News Gives Entertaining and Insightful  Recap of 'GameStonk' Saga - LaughingPlace.com

The doc is worth watching if only for GameStop stock-holder Jaydyn Carr’s (10 years-old) great explanation of “short-selling.” From the looks of this sea change moment, Wall Street is about to become a much more diverse playing field. Here comes the little people taking a place at the Wall Street table for real.

Not Rated. 53 mins. 

4 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Cole Smithey on Patreon

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos

COLE SMITHEY’S MOVIE WEEK

COLE SMITHEY’S CLASSIC CINEMA

Throwback Thursday


Podcast Series