Bob Marley

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Bob Marley

Post  eddie on Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:55 pm

Marley – review

Kevin Macdonald's detailed portrait of Bob Marley grapples with the last king of reggae's philosophical and religious convictions

Andrew Pulver

guardian.co.uk, Monday 13 February 2012 16.19 GMT


Larger than life ... Kevin Macdonald's documentary Marley was put together with input from Bob Marley's family and close associates. Photograph: Berlin film festival

After a slightly uncertain period since his Oscar-winning The Last King of Scotland, which encompassed two holding-pattern features, The Eagle and State of Play, as well the experimental YouTube film Life in a Day, Kevin Macdonald has returned to his first love – documentary – with this portrait of reggae legend Bob Marley. Marley is hardly a forgotten figure, of course, and several slices of his story have been aired in BBC4 films such as 50 Years of Island Records and Reggae Britannia, but Macdonald has put together an "authorised" portrait, with extensive input from Marley's family and close associates.

What results is an immensely detailed overview of Marley's life and times, from the hillside Jamaican shack where he grew up to the snowy Bavarian clinic where he spent his last weeks in a fruitless attempt to cure the cancer that killed him in 1981, aged 36. Arguably the first third is the most revelatory, with photographs of a heartbreakingly young and clean-cut Marley hacking his way through the Jamaican charts with the first, ska-influenced, incarnation of the Wailers: hits like Simmer Down and their warbling version of Teenager in Love, put them on the map in the mid-60s.

Macdonald, however, is clearly concerned to offer more than a straight music biog; he grapples at length with Marley's philosophical and religious convictions, as well as his precarious place above the fray of Jamaica's post-colonial political antagonism. The film opens with a sequence inside an African slave embarkation point (dramatically named "the door of no return") and returns time and again to the knotted loyalties of Jamaican politics and Marley's attempt – through conversion to Rastafarianism – to convey a global Black Power message in his music. (Though, rather weirdly, one of his musicians claimed not to know that Gabon's president Omar Bongo was a "dictator" after they arrived in the country for a concert in 1980. Even after they found out, they still played – though made up for it by headlining Zimbabwe's independence celebrations later that year.)

At well over two hours, Macdonald's film packs a lot in; Marley's wife, girlfriends, several of his children, art director, manager and sidemen – all get a showing. But then Marley was a larger-than-life figure, bestriding his era like some denim-clad colossus; he's worth the extra time investment.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Bob Marley

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:31 am

Bob Marley - in pictures

The director of a new documentary on the Jamaican reggae legend talks about six photographs of the singer

Kevin MacDonald

The Observer, Sunday 8 April 2012

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Bob Marley

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:32 am


Bob with his mother, Cedella, and half-sister, Pearl, c. 1961
'When Bob was 15 or 16 his mother Cedella decided to start a new life in America and this is the photo she had taken to remind her son of her. It’s the first photo of Bob that exists. He had left school at about 12 and was working in various jobs, and then he took up music. At about this time he made his first record, Judge Not'. Photograph: Freud PR

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Bob Marley

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:35 am


With his friend, Lloyd 'Bread' McDonald, in Trenchtown, c.1967
'Bob had earned his own nickname, Tuff Gong, by now – and he was certainly tough, incredibly disciplined; he exercised, ate a strict vegetarian diet, swam, ran on the beach everyday. By now, every woman falls in love with him. He is becoming the rasta, too, with his short dreads.' Photograph: Freud PR

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Bob Marley

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:37 am


Kingston c.1974
'Everyone smokes ganja in Jamaica. Bob probably had his first joint at 10. And because he was a rasta, weed had a sort of sacred significance. By the time of this photograph you can see Bob has crucially found his strength, by becoming part of an outcast sect. Nowadays anyone can say they are a rasta, but then they were the lowest of the low in Jamaican society. Bob is bringing that on himself; he is confident enough to do that.' Photograph: Freud PR

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Bob Marley

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:40 am


With Claudie Massop, 1978
'In the years after independence Kingston was divided in a politicised gang war. Bob was apolitical and knew gang leaders on both sides. Here he is pictured with Claudie Massop, leader of one of the PNP’s most violent gangs. Bob had almost been murdered in 1976 and went into exile in London a month later. While there he was persuaded to return by Massop among others, to perform in a "peace concert".' Photograph: Freud PR

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Bob Marley

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:43 am


Battersea Park, London, 1975
'Bob used to play football all the time. In London he rented a house in Chelsea with the band. They would come done and play football in Battersea park most days. They would take on anyone; the legend goes that a National Front team came down to the park and the Wailers beat them easily.' Photograph: Freud PR

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Bob Marley

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:46 am


Kingston One Love concert 1978
'Bob had been out of the country for 18 months after he had been shot. The One Love concert in 1978 saw him return at his most vibrant and alive. Many people in the country looked to him as the one man who had the ability to unite them. He was the returning hero.' Photograph: Freud PR

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Bob Marley

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:50 am

Bob Marley: the regret that haunted his life

Director Kevin Macdonald explains how he pieced together his new film about reggae legend Bob Marley, from troubled early years in Jamaica to worldwide adulation - even after death

Tim Adams

The Observer, Sunday 8 April 2012


Bob Marley: 'always the outsider'. Photograph: Stills Press Agency /Rex Features

In 2005, the director Kevin Macdonald was working in Uganda on his film The Last King of Scotland. In the slums of Kampala he was struck by a curious fact. There seemed to be images of Bob Marley and "Get up, stand up" slogans and dreadlocks wherever he went.

Marley had been on Macdonald's mind anyway: he had been asked by Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, if he would be interested in getting involved in a film project about the Jamaican musician's enduring legacy.

The original plan had been to follow a group of rastafarians on their journey from Kingston to their spiritual homeland of Ethiopia, to attend a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Marley's birth. As it worked out, that film was never made, but, when the opportunity arose for Macdonald to make a more ambitious documentary about Marley, he jumped at the chance.

Crucially, the film had the blessing and support of the Marley family and key figures in his musical evolution, including the long-estranged original Wailer, Neville "Bunny" Livingstone. "It seemed very important to make this film now, while some of the people who had known Bob the best, in the early years in particular, were still around to tell the tale," Macdonald says.

He set about collecting interviews and researching some of the more mysterious aspects of a much mythologised life, that ended tragically prematurely in 1981, with Marley aged only 36.

There were frustrations for Macdonald, not least the almost complete absence of footage or photography from the formative years of Bob Marley and the Wailers. But, with persistence and the rich memories of the period from Livingstone, Marley's widow Rita and others, he pieced the biopic together.

In his lifetime Bob Marley was a reluctant interviewee. "Having little formal education," Macdonald suggests, "he felt uncomfortable being asked questions by journalists." Anyway, there were aspects of his past on which he did not want to dwell, particularly his feelings about his white, absent father, Norval Marley, a man who claimed to have been a captain in the colonial Caribbean army, but wasn't.

In some ways, in the film, "Captain" Norval becomes the key to understanding Marley. As Macdonald says, "a lot of people assume Bob was black and are surprised to discover he had a white father". The prejudice associated with that fact in Marley's remote home village of Nine Miles high up in the Jamaican hills helped to form the powerful quest for identity that he discovered in rastafarianism.

The contradictions of his biography were translated into a hugely seductive global metaphor for struggle and unity: "Let's get together and feel all right."

"I was doing some press with Ziggy Marley the other day," Macdonald says, "and he said of his father, 'I think Bob always regretted that he wasn't black.'

"I wouldn't put it in those bald terms, but I think that was a key to his psychology and to the music. He was always the outsider, and he found a way in his life and music to redeem that fact."

That redemption also provided Macdonald part of the answer to why Marley had huge significance not only in the Ugandan slums but among the dispossessed the world over. His film ends with a sequence of contemporary references to the singer among popular political movements. "In Tunisia at the start of the Arab spring, people are singing Get Up, Stand Up," Macdonald says. "Immediately after the fruit seller set fire to himself to start the revolution, that was the slogan written on the wall near where he died."

That influence can be measured in many ways: three decades after his death, Marley has 30 million Facebook followers.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Bob Marley

Post  eddie on Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:57 am

Marley – review

Kevin Macdonald's impressive portrait of Bob Marley offers a glimpse of an extraordinarily full yet oddly mysterious life

Philip French

The Observer, Sunday 22 April 2012


'An outsider on a mission to bring people together': Bob Marley in Kingston, Jamaica, 1980. Photograph: Armando Gallo/Retna

Kevin Macdonald's three fictional movies have taken him to Idi Amin's Uganda, Washington DC and the northern reaches of Roman Britain. They're all thrillers of various kinds, as are Touching the Void and One Day in September, the tightly focused, feature-length documentaries that preceded them. Touching the Void centres on a dangerous expedition by two British climbers in the Peruvian Andes in 1985 and uses interviews with the real participants and simulated scenes played by actors. One Day in September is about the massacre of Israeli athletes by Arab terrorists at the 1972 Olympics and, in addition to interviews and archive footage, employs computer graphics to explain the course of events.

Marley
Production year: 2012
Countries: Rest of the world, USA
Cert (UK): 15
Runtime: 145 mins
Directors: Kevin MacDonald
Cast: Bob Marley, Rita Marley, Ziggy Marley

His new film, a cinebiography of Bob Marley is a bigger, baggier and simpler thing. It's the story of a man who lived an extraordinarily full yet oddly mysterious life and died a world figure 30 years ago, shortly after reaching the age of 36. It is, however, told without any reconstructions or impersonations and neither Sidney Poitier nor Morgan Freeman was called in to deliver a rousing commentary explaining the man's contradictions, achievements and significance.

The picture begins in West Africa at an old fortress on the Gold Coast (now Ghana). Through its "Door of No Return" leading to the sea passed many of the millions of shackled slaves who were shipped across the Atlantic. This was the journey made by his ancestors that shaped Marley's life, identity and music and the belief system that drew them together.

He was born in the remote Jamaican village of Nine Mile in 1945 and Macdonald takes us there in a lyrical aerial shot across the steep, wooded hill country. His mother, Cedella, was black and 16. His father, Norval Marley, a white man aged 65, was employed by the forestry commission to prevent the theft of timber. He rode around the countryside like a seigneurial Cossack and styled himself Captain, though there's no evidence he'd held any commissioned rank or served in any war. In the only known photo of Norval, he's on horseback attempting to look authoritative and his family refused to recognise Bob when he once called on them for help.

Macdonald sees Bob as a man who felt rejected by both the black and the white communities, an outsider who was to find a symbolic home in Africa through embracing Rastafarianism, a style of personal independence and social defiance, and a mission to bring people together in a grand international, inter-racial brotherhood.

Marley grew up in extreme poverty, first in the countryside, then in the slums of Kingston's Trenchtown, where the first photograph of him was taken at the age of 12. The documentation of the early life is thin, but Macdonald is able throughout to draw on the colourful testimony of his formidable mother, his friends, fellow musicians, a variety of female companions (Marley had nine or 10 children by six or seven different women) and later some businessmen, politicians and gangsters.

There are splendid anecdotes about survival, about Bob and his band, the Wailers, developing a new kind of music that fused local and international forms into a distinctive form of reggae, and the zig-zagging of a career that took Marley to the United States, where his mother had relocated, to Europe and to Africa. Much of what we hear from Jamaican witnesses is spoken in a beguiling, if sometimes obscure, patois and there are the kind of contradictions in the individual assessments of his character and the accounts of the fraught progress of the Wailers that one would expect. This is Rashomon territory.

But there are compromises and concessions of a different kind that have come about through the need to secure interviews, musical rights and other necessary forms of co-operation. These are reflected in the names of several family members and various close business associates listed in the credits as producers. Some of these people provide the finest testimony. Among them are Bob's Cuban-born wife Rita, who worked in his backing group and recalls seeing stigmata on Haile Selassie's hand during his triumphant visit to Jamaica; Bob's three children by her (Cedella, Ziggy and Stephen); the beautiful, spirited Cindy Breakspeare, his trophy companion and former Miss World who bore him a child but refused to embrace Rastafarianism; and the laidback British impresario Chris Blackwell of Island Records.

If Marley ultimately remains something of a mystery (he gave few interviews and in none was particularly forthcoming), we nevertheless get a vivid impression of a career that included a brief stint on a Chrysler production line in Delaware, a long period of apprenticeship as a composer (initially working with homemade instruments) and a rise to local and international stardom. Gradually, the dreadlocks, the music and the cloud of ganja smoke come together to form as recognisable an image as that of the equally short-lived Che Guevara.

He was, however, altogether less militant than Che, virtually apolitical, which did not prevent competing forces seeking his allegiance or seeing him as a valuable symbol for their causes. In 1976, an assassination attempt in Jamaica drove him into exile. It wasn't, however, a bullet that did for him but the stud of a boot during a game of his beloved football in a London park, triggering the melanoma in his foot that eventually consumed his body.

We hear of a beautiful moment in a wintry Bavarian clinic where Bob's mother read the Book of Job to the emaciated singer, his dreadlocks lost to chemotherapy, shortly before he flew across the Atlantic to die in Miami in May 1981.

Perhaps this impressive, thoughtful portrait should have ended there. Instead, it concludes with a succession of Marley's hits being sung in a various languages by cheerful young people on every continent. That's all a little too "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" Coca-Cola-ish for my tastes.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Bob Marley

Post  u on Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:13 am

.


Last edited by Bot Walker on Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:17 am; edited 1 time in total

u

Posts : 208
Join date : 2012-12-05
Location :

Back to top Go down

Re: Bob Marley

Post  eddie on Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:45 pm

Bob Marley's inadequate grasp of US law regarding the assassination of police officers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU3QX9k3nNo
Family Guy: "I Shot the Sheriff".

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 60
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Bob Marley

Post  pinhedz on Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:16 pm

Speaking of Bob Marley, I used to think he wrote this song, but it was really Jimmy Cliff, so the jokes on me. Razz

 

pinhedz
Schrödinger's Hepcat

Posts : 11532
Join date : 2011-04-11
Location : DC

http://www.balalaika.org/

Back to top Go down

Re: Bob Marley

Post  Sponsored content Today at 4:19 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum