Wednesday, April 18, 2012

BOB MARLEY documentary Hollywood premiere 4.17.12

At top, my photo of Bob Marley performing in 1976, seen amongst other media in author Harvey Kubernik's "This Is Rebel Music." Below it are snapshots from the 4.17.12 Hollywood premiere of Marley, long awaited documentary of the Reggae godhead.

Seen are five of the late icon's eleven children, including Ziggy Marley and the very poised Cedella Marley who addressed two overflow theatres that night; then assorted, colorful and delighted invitees such as world-renowned Reggae archivist Roger Steffans (far right in both) and aforementioned,
multiple music book writer Harvey Kubernik (in black sans Rasta's red, gold and green) who saw Bob Marley and the Wailers live no less than seven times. I left Halle Berry and Zack De La Rocha of Rage Against the Machine unperturbed by choosing not to shove an additional camera in their faces. Hey, your humble photojournalist and longtime Reggae fan was there to see this film too!

Directed by Kevin Mcdonald (The Last King of Scotland, State of Play, Donald Cammell: the Ultimate Performance and many worthy others,) Marley joins the short list of highest quality music documentaries. Foremost was his command of context for understanding the musician: offered was commendably omnipresent footage throughout of Jamaican life then and now via news clips and sweeping panoramas of the island's verdant beauty contrasted with stark urban poverty.

Interviewed were survivors Bunny Wailer, the equal parts innovative and wacky producer Lee Scratch Perry, Island Records honcho Chris Blackwell, all three I-Threes including wise and understanding spouse Rita Marley plus numerous insiders.

I've always loved Reggae music since first heard. Thirty-six years ago I wrote "Rastaman Vibration: Bob Marley and The Wailers" as an extra project beyond my publications art job responsibilities at A&M Records, who'd licensed music from Island for this. Cover and frontispiece below.

Jeff Walker of Island advised me to gear my text toward
hip American college kids, as any potential African-American fan base then had eschewed the hardscrabble grittiness of Reggae (a conundrum address in the MARLEY documentary) in favor of the '70s glitz of Diana Ross and Lionel Ritchie. (Jeff's wife Kim Gottlieb's fine pix of Marley & Wailers in Jamaica graced
my book.)

So staple college fave author Kurt Vonnegut's 1963 tome "Cat's Cradle" was stirred into the copy for piquant alternativeness: I seem to have been the first to correlate its plot's tropical island worship of a living deity Bokonnen with Haile Selassie, born Tafari Makonnen. I had been introduced to the tenets of Rastafarianism/worship of Emperor Haile Selassie some ten years prior by my brother's best friend in college who'd made numerous trips to Ethiopia via his father's work there.

Previewed at this year's SXSW and debuting in Berlin, MARLEY opens April 20 in limited release in the U.S. 36 years after my Marley book, I had to be so informed that the film's deliberate release date "420" is up to the minute American kidslang for ganja, referential to twenty minutes after the school day ends...

NOTE: link directly back to if all elements such as photo layouts or videos aren't here.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...