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Thread: Mandolins in the Movies

  1. #101

    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    There is an 8-part Italian rom-com series on Netflix now -Generation 56K- which has a bowlback mandolin as part of a band playing music in the final episode. Very good series and over before you know it, unlike those USA series that go on for years. The setting is a small island village off the coast of Naples, so the music being played is Neapolitan.

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  3. #102
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    I just got done watching "Almost Famous" for the first time in eons - well, decades - and there is a fair amount of mandolin in the incidental music, particularly throughout the last hour. For instance, in the scene at the airport where Penny Lane is leaving and her plane is taxiing past the terminal, and William is running along the series of plate glass windows keeping her in sight. I was looking for info in the credits, and there wasn't anything specific. But there is this: Original Songs Written By Cameron Crowe, Nancy Wilson, Ann Wilson; Original Songs Produced By Nancy Wilson. I'm willing to take a leap of faith and give her the credit.

    Under "Additional Musicians" are Peter Frampton, Mike McCready, Jon Bayless, Ben Smith, Gordon Kennedy. I think they're all guitarists.
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  5. #103
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    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    Ry Cooder plays mandolin on this wonderful version of Senaca Square Dance from the movie Long Riders.

    https://youtu.be/XLuOVE5DRUQ
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  7. #104
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    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    I just got done watching "Almost Famous" for the first time in eons - well, decades - and there is a fair amount of mandolin in the incidental music, particularly throughout the last hour. For instance, in the scene at the airport where Penny Lane is leaving and her plane is taxiing past the terminal, and William is running along the series of plate glass windows keeping her in sight. I was looking for info in the credits, and there wasn't anything specific. But there is this: Original Songs Written By Cameron Crowe, Nancy Wilson, Ann Wilson; Original Songs Produced By Nancy Wilson. I'm willing to take a leap of faith and give her the credit.

    Under "Additional Musicians" are Peter Frampton, Mike McCready, Jon Bayless, Ben Smith, Gordon Kennedy. I think they're all guitarists.
    I've posted video of Nancy Wilson playing mandolin. I'm also betting it's her
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  8. #105
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    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    This came up today on another thread, about a new online game based on the Wordle model, called Framed. A player must guess the name of a movie based on a succession of frames from it, with an incentive of doing so with as few clues as possible. The occasion of an image including a mandolin was the impetus for posting about it. I understand one isn't supposed to say "out loud" what the answer is so as not to "ruin the fun" for prospective players. That won't matter after midnight tonight, when a new film will be posted as the object. Not my circus; not my monkeys. This is for posterity, not playing a game.

    The movie was mentioned earlier in this thread, Post #19, but without an image. So, from "O Brother! Where Art Thou?":

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  10. #106

    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    In the movie Winter’s Bone, Jennifer Lawrence’s breakout flick, she plays a teenager searching the Ozarks for her missing father. At one point she goes to her dad’s sometime-girlfriend’s house and finds a birthday party in progress for girlfriend’s elderly mom. Mom is played by actual Ozark singer Almeda Riddle who sings “Fair and Tender Ladies” with a Mando accompaniment. The scene is useful to the movie because it provides a pleasant break from the rather harrowing scenes of violence and intimidation which make up much of the film, and shows a positive side of the backwoods culture, where the economy is summed up in a brief conversation: “He cooks crank”. “They all do, nowadays.” Good movie.
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    Mandoline or Mandolin: Similar to the lute, but much less artistically valuable....for people who wish to play simple music without much trouble —The Oxford Companion to Music

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  12. #107
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    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    Regarding Winter's Bone, I too enjoy the music in the show very much. Debra Granik, the director, works local culture into her films. In this case, she discovered while making the film that music sessions in homes were common entertainments in that part of Missouri, so she worked one into Winter's Bone. However, the movie was made in 2010, while Almeda Riddle was a traditional singer who died in 1986. The person in the movie was Marideth Sisco, a local singer with "a radio program/ podcast on Ozarks folklore (sic)" (from CD liner notes). Sisco also connected Granik with other local musicians seen in the movie. On the soundtrack CD, Marideth sings "Fair and Tender Ladies," a traditional song, with Blackberry Winter, a band who's mandolin player is Bo Brown. I don't think he's the mandolin player in the movie's party scene (different weight, hair and beard length from the the video below, a year or two later). The soundtrack is very good for those who like old time music and really raw country (and it spares us the Death Metal number in the young couple's bungalow). I'm not sure how Almeda Riddle got into your mind, Bill. Perhaps it was because Marideth sings another song, "High on A Mountain," written by a younger Carolina contemporary of Riddle, Ola Belle Reed. By the way, Winter's Bone, which starred Jennifer Lawrence before we'd heard of her, is an excellent movie, but very dark, at the far end of the scale from rom-coms. (For the symbolic thinkers among us, it has shades of the folktales collected by the Brothers Grimm.)

    The party scene isn't available online, but here's Marideth Cisco singing "Fair and Tender Ladies" with Blackberry Winter, featuring Bo Brown on mandolin:

    Last edited by Ranald; Apr-19-2022 at 2:42pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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  14. #108
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    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    Here's part of the birthday party scene from the movie, Winter's Bone, with Marideth Cisco and Blackberry Winter plus another lad they'd just met jamming with them on banjo. They're singing "High on A Mountain" by Ola Belle Reed (see post #107 above). You get a couple of brief glances at the mandolin player, who may or may not be Bo Brown -- can anyone out there from Missouri tell us?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8tL...nel=dnul88enur



    Marideth Cisco:

    https://www.nashvillescene.com/music...55ad96b54.html
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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  16. #109
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    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    In the Judy Garland film 'Meet Me In St. Louis" there is a mandolin in a few scenes. It's been a while (probably over ten years ago) but I remember seeing this very mandolin (allegedly, anyway) for sale on eBay. I came close to buying it because of its history, but I ended up passing in the end. It sold for something like $200.

    I always wonder what happens to movie set stuff like this. Now I know. Sometimes, at least, it ends up on eBay.
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  18. #110
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    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    Just watched "Some Kind Of Wonderful" - which, as far as John Hughes teenage drama movies go, is kind of wonderful - and during the credits there is an Irish/English folk/rock band called Lick The Tins playing the Elvis chestnut, "Can't Help Falling In Love." Quite pleasant version, and I think there's a wee bit of mandolin in the second verse. Mixed down (as mandolins so often are) so I can't be sure. And the credits I've found on the web don't mention it. Their wikipedia page says the lead singer, Alison Marr, picked up the mandolin later in the 80s. She also plays tin whistle here. I don't know, even after listening a few times with headphones. Sometimes things get added in the studio and not everyone gets credit, as when there's some contractual conflict. BTW, the reels at the end were added later for the single's release, as the song itself was deemed too short at 2:30. Anyway, I'd be happy to include this in our compendium, as the movie is right charming.

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    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    I watched "Ghost World" tonight. This quirky movie about some quirky people leading quirky lives (and with lots of other quirky things going on), directed by Terry Zwigoff ("Louie Bluie," "Crumb") and starring Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, and Steve Buscemi, slipped past me some 20 years ago, but was up on Amazon Prime. About 41:00, when Thora's character gets allowed into Buscemi's character's inner sanctum where his collection of 1500 78s reside, there was an odd-looking mandolin hanging on the edge of the stacks. I suppose that's not entirely surprising - Zwigoff is a member of R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders, and though his main instrument in the band is cello, he does play mandolin occasionally. Not necessarily this one, mind you, which looks more like a piece of art than an instrument, even if it is strung. But in this context, it's a bit of an Easter egg.

    So is the not-so-random appearance of the first record by RCATCSS earlier in the movie, when those two first meet, at his tag sale. She wonders if it's any good; he says it isn't.


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  21. #112
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    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    So last night I gave in to the incessant flogging by the cable TV On-Demand yakkers of a movie called "Dog" and watched it, since it's on Amazon Prime (which I get free as a perk with my phone service). It's a road movie starring two recently decommissioned soldiers - one human, one canine - as the one escorts the other some 1500 miles to the funeral of the latter's deceased partner, with plenty of adventures and misadventures along the way. The opening credits are accompanied by a rendition of John Prine's "How Lucky" by Kurt Vile, with the songwriter joining him, in what I think was one of his last recordings. There's a bit of a mandolin solo in there, played by Pat McLaughlin - nothing fancy, but solid and in-the-pocket. All of this was a pleasant surprise. As was my enjoyment of the film, beyond my expectations.

    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  23. #113
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    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    I'm sure it's been mentioned before in this thread, King of The Gypsies, featuring some great music played by The Smith Street Society Band, Stéphane Grappelli, Matt Glaser, violin; David Grisman, Andy Statman, mandola; John Carlini, Diz Disley, guitar; Buell Neidlinger, acoustic double bass; Don Um Romao, percussion. (Personnel on Camera). I watched this again last night (I had it saved on the dvr) for the music sequences. It was funny to see David Grisman without his full beard. I didn't realize Dom Um Romao was in the band, I remember him from early Weather Report and Brazill 66.
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    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    You are correct, sir, way back in Post #6, by Fearless Leader himself - and then confirmed three posts later by Top Poster Jim Garber. So you are in good company.

    BTW, David Grisman developed the hirsute look later on in his career. When he started out, he was clean-shaven. Here he is on the cover of the Even Dozen Jug Band album cover in 1964 (other members include Maria Muldaur (then Maria d'Amato), Steve Katz, Stefan Grossman, and Joshua Rifkin - quite a lineup). That last photo was taken by Roland White in 1966.

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    Last edited by journeybear; Nov-12-2022 at 12:06pm. Reason: further research
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  26. #115
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    Default Re: Mandolins in the Movies

    Love those early photos of the Dawg. I remember getting the early Dawg recording back in the day and being amused at how young David looked.
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