The Blues (film series)

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The Blues is a 2003 documentary film series produced by Martin Scorsese, dedicated to the history of blues music. In each of the seven episodes, a different director explores a stage in the development of the blues. The series originally aired on PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) in the United States.

Feel Like Going Home[edit]

Feel Like Going Home
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Produced by Sam Pollard
Written by Peter Guralnick
Starring Ali Farka Touré
Corey Harris
Salif Keita
Son House
Taj Mahal
John Lee Hooker
Keb' Mo'
Willie King
Cinematography Arthur Jafa
Edited by David Tedeschi

Director Martin Scorsese pays tribute to the Delta blues, tracing the roots of the music by traveling through the state of Mississippi with the musician Corey Harris and then traveling to West Africa. Willie King, Taj Mahal, Othar Turner and Ali Farka Toure give performances of early Delta blues songs, along with rare archival film of Son House, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker.

The Soul of a Man[edit]

The Soul of a Man
Directed by Wim Wenders
Produced by Alex Gibney
Written by Wim Wenders
Narrated by Laurence Fishburne
Music by Skip James
Blind Willie Johnson
J. B. Lenoir
Cinematography Lisa Rinzler
Edited by Mathilde Bonnefoy

Directed by Wim Wenders the film explores the musical careers of blues musicians Skip James, Blind Willie Johnson and J. B. Lenoir.

The Road to Memphis[edit]

The Road to Memphis
Directed by Richard Pearce
Produced by Robert Kenner
Written by Robert Gordon
Starring B. B. King
Bobby Rush
Rosco Gordon
Ike Turner
Cinematography Richard Pearce
Edited by Charlton McMillan

Directed by Richard Pearce, this episode focuses on the Beale Street music scene, particularly three Memphis blues musicians with different levels of acclaim: B. B. King, Rosco Gordon and Bobby Rush.

Warming by the Devil's Fire[edit]

Warming by the Devil's Fire
Directed by Charles Burnett
Produced by Margaret Bodde
Alex Gibney
Written by Charles Burnett
Starring Tommy Hicks
Nathaniel Lee Jr.
Music by Stephen James Taylor
Cinematography John N. Demps
Edited by Edwin Santiago

Directed by Charles Burnett, this film presents the tale of a young boy traveling to Mississippi to visit relatives. He is caught between the pressures of his religious mother and gospel music, and the eagerness of his blues-loving uncle. The film includes performance by

Godfathers and Sons[edit]

Godfathers and Sons
Directed by Marc Levin
Produced by Daphne Pinkerson
Marc Levin
Starring Marshall Chess
Chuck D
Cinematography Mark Benjamin
Edited by Bob Eisenhardt

Director Marc Levin follows Marshall Chess as he remembers his father's contribution to Chicago blues history as the co-founder of Chess Records and his own production of the controversial album Electric Mud. He organizes a reunion of the musicians that made Electric Mud to record new versions of Muddy Waters's blues standard "Mannish Boy", with contributions by hip hop artists, including Chuck D of Public Enemy, Common & Kyle Jason.

Red, White and Blues[edit]

Red, White and Blues
Directed by Mike Figgis
Produced by Louise Hammar
Shirani Sabratnam
Cinematography Barry Ackroyd
Mike Eley
John Lynch
Patrick Stewart
Edited by David Martin
Nigel Karikari

Directed by Mike Figgis, this episode is dedicated to blues culture in Britain and to the effect of the British Invasion on American blues culture. It contains footage from a jam session and interviews with the musicians Jeff Beck, Van Morrison and others.

Piano Blues[edit]

Piano Blues
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Produced by Clint Eastwood
Bruce Ricker
Written by Peter Guralnick
Starring Marcia Ball
Dave Brubeck
Ray Charles
Pinetop Perkins,...
Cinematography Vic Losick
Edited by Joel Cox, Gary Roach

Directed by Clint Eastwood, this episode is dedicated to blues music played on the piano. Eastwood, a piano player and accomplished composer, interviews such key figures as Dr. John, Ray Charles, Jay McShann (shown on the DVD cover), and Pinetop Perkins.


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