wild combination: a portrait of arthur russell (DVD, £17.50)label: Plexi
Incredible film documenting the life of the seminal musical genius Arthur Russell, featuring cameos from Philip Glass, Ernie Brooks, Jens Lekman and Allen Ginsburg. Wild Combination is director Matt Wolfís visually absorbing portrait of the avant-garde composer, singer-songwriter, cellist and disco producer Arthur Russell. Before his untimely death from AIDS in 1992, Arthur prolifically created music that spanned an extraordinary diversity of styles and won the love of artistic communities that would seem utterly disparate. His collaborators and most ardent supporters ranged from Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg to bands like Talking Heads and The Modern Lovers; the pre-Studio 54 disco scene of Nicky Sianoís Gallery and David Mancusoís Loft; and DJ-producers like Francois Kevorkian and Larry Levan, among others. Arthurís music spanned both pop and the transcendent possibilities of abstract art and now, over fifteen years since his passing, his work is still being embraced by new and ever growing audiences. Wolf incorporates rare archival footage and commentary from Arthurís family, friends and closest collaborators including (in order of appearance) the musician and writer David Toop (who did the last print interview with Russell), parents Chuck and Emily Russell, Allen Ginsberg, Ernie Brooks (The Modern Lovers, The Necessaries), Philip Glass, Russellís partner Tom Lee, Steve Knutson of Audika Records (responsible for reissuing Russellís work in recent years), singer-songwriter Jens Lekman and others.
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