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FACTS ABOUT the movie standing in the shadows of motown.

Standing In The Shadows of Motown DVD

2 DVD SET $22.98
VHS $19.98


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Entertainment Tonight - Standing in the Shadows of Motown Grade: A
Reviewed by Owen Gleiberman

Is the 1967 version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," with Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell fusing their voices to scale the peak of devotion, the greatest love song ever recorded? It can feel that way when you're listening to it, and you could say the same about a lot of other Motown hits; they have a majestic sweetness. Early on in Standing in the Shadows of Motown, Paul Justman's joyful documentary look at the Funk Brothers, the dozen or so session musicians who played the instruments on nearly every Motown song, the drummer Steve Jordan makes what seems, on its face, like an outrageous assertion about the music that emerged from the "Hitsville, U.S.A." factory from 1959 to 1971. "You could have had Deputy Dawg singing on some of this stuff and had a hit," he says. "Because the tracks were just so incredible. They were musical entities unto themselves."

Standing in the Shadows of Motown documents the career of the Funk Brothers, the unknown band behind all of Motown's Detroit-era classics. A 10-year labor of love for producer Sandy Passman, the film works on both a human-interest level -- focusing on the travails of the band members now finally receiving their well-earned due -- and as a slice of Motown's early history. ... The concert scenes of the latter-day Funk Brothers are beautifully shot by Doug Milsome and not only capture the joy of the music but also how passionately the modern artists in the film love these songs.

[T]his documentary aims to prove who really had the funk through archival footage and touching, sometimes humorous, interviews with the living musicians. Throughout the movie, an updated, super-groovy jam session with present-day admirers like Joan Osborne, Ben Harper and Bootsy Collins prove the Brothers can still work it out --and makes for one killer soundtrack.

The New York Times
This salute to the literally unsung and underrecognized studio heroes of Motown is so good because it is one of those rare documentaries that combine information with smashing entertainment. And it is one of the few nonfiction films that will have you walking out humming the score, if you're not running to the nearest store to buy Motown CD's. ... The stories the musicians tell about their lives and work are the center of the picture. These moments make Motown truly inspiring and mesmerizing film. ... Standing in the Shadows of Motown doesn't seem to have a single poorly told anecdote, and we get a chance to see how well developed a sense of drama the funkateers possess.


NEW YORK (Reuters) -

"Standing In The Shadows Of Motown," directed by Paul Justman, was chosen as the year's best non-fiction film while the award for best first film was given to "Roger Dodger."

Critically acclaimed drama "Far From Heaven" swept the 68th annual New York Film Critics Circle (news - web sites) awards on Monday, taking five prizes, including best film and best director, and setting the stage for one of the most confused Oscar battles in years.
The 34-member New York group's naming of "Far From Heaven" as best picture came after film critic groups in Los Angeles and Boston chose different pictures this weekend. Los Angeles critics picked Alexander Payne's "About Schmidt" on Saturday as the year's best picture while Boston critics selected Roman Polanski (news)'s Holocaust film "The Pianist" as its surprise winner. To top it off, the National Board of Review (news - web sites), a veteran film appreciation society, chose yet another film as its best of the year: "The Hours," a film based on the life and work of novelist Virginia Woolf. Critics awards often serve as precursors to the Oscars (news - web sites), which are chosen in March. All that is clear at the moment is that it is a strong field with no obvious front-runner.

The New York critics named "Far From Heaven's" Todd Haynes (news) as best director and the film's Dennis Quaid (news) and Patricia Clarkson as best supporting actor and supporting actress.

In addition, Edward Lachman was named best cinematographer for his work on the 1950s drama of a marriage rocked by the husband's affair with another man.

Daniel Day-Lewis (news) was named best actor by the New York critics for his work on "Gangs of New York," beating out Jack Nicholson (news), the star of "About Schmidt," in what a spokesman for the group said was a closely fought battle.

But in an unexpected upset, Diane Lane (news) was named best actress for her role as the roaming wife in "Unfaithful," beating Julianne Moore (news) who was up for her work as the wife in "Far From Heaven."

Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron (news)'s "Y tu mama tambien" was named best foreign film and Japan's Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" was named the year's best animated film.

The New York critics award for best screenplay went to "Adaptation" written by Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman.






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