Thursday, July 31, 2003
More Video, More Music

When I previously noted some music-centered films we had watched recently, I omitted that we had seen D. A. Pennebaker's Down from the Mountain, a film about the music from the Coen brother's film, O Brother Where Art Thou, and about the people who make the kind of music in the film.

If you've been in Outer Mongolia for the last several years and haven't attained any awareness of that Coen brother's flick, the music in question is hillbilly music or what's commonly called bluegrass. The Pennebaker flick documents a performance at the Ryman Auditorium (former home to the Grand Ole Opry) in downtown Nashville by artists such as Emmy Lou Harris, John Hartford, Allison Kraus, and Ralph Stanley.

Some of the individual performances are very moving. The show taken as a whole didn't grab me as much as I'd've hoped, and I think that's largely in part to the fact that someone other than John Hartford should've been given the MC role. Still, an overall enjoyable, entertaining, and thoughtful film.