Retro Week In Cinema: November 21-27, 2013

standing in the shadows of motown

I stand in lots of shadows, I like being in the background I guess!

A documentary from an English class I hated,

Standing In The Shadows Of Motown (2002, Paul Justman, United States Of America) **

We watched this in English class, it’s a movie my instructor loves and while I feel my problems with the movie are real I also can’t help but feel her deciding to break down the entire movie and describe what we should feel before we even watched it influenced how I felt about it a tiny bit. My problem with this film is highlighted in the live performances from the time the film was made. The thesis of the film is that The Funk Brothers were responsible for all of the Motown sound and that without them there would be no Motown. To present this idea the filmmaker and all those interviewed toss every other person involved in Motown to the wayside. Those live shows are the key, because they are missing something. The words that came from the writers are there, the sound of The Funk Brothers are there, but Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson and others aren’t, and it shows. The Funk Brothers helped with the sound of Motown, but so did many others, it was a group effort and this very bland documentary loses sight of that fact.


There’s only one movie in competition this week and that’s why Standing In The Shadows Of Motown takes home retro movie of the week honors. And with that, all of my work has been collected onto this blog. I won’t be back next week with more retro reviews, because there’s nothing left to add!


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