October 22, 2020

1975-04-03 – Democrat and Chronicle

1975 04 03 Democrat_and_Chronicle_Thu__Apr_3__1975_

Page~4C Rochester Democrat and Chmble. Thursday. April 3. 1975

Movie camera enhances rock

3! JACK GARNER but it had loud gaps. lots of
03f" Fem Editor dull sections of artistic
gantTfocnlzno‘nerm again: It took filmmaker Ken
never seemed quite whole. Russell! ӣ20m 3%an
it contained lots of good ““9 “e ““33“ . 3‘ ‘
exactly what happens in the

music — “The Hawker".
“The Acid Queen." “1921"
and ”I'm Free" -— and one
_cl_assic “Pinball Wizard" —

movie. ‘Tanmy".
Most film reviewers seem
to like the movie. including
-- Gannett'sBernard Drew and
The Los Angeles Times
Charles Champlin. and well
they should
lt'g a film (i incredible

excesses — but excesses that
are mostly justified by the
surrealistic nature of Pete
Townshend's rock 'opera.
The new version stands up
very well as rock music. The
movie is stronger than the
record in the sections that
are strong on the disc. And
where the record is weak. the
movie helps by providing at

Even the weaker musical
sections are improved from
the record by better instru-
mental work. I suspect Eric
Clapton did lots of playing on
the sound-track; the guitar
work is often brilliant.

The best sequences are
Eric Clapton's version of
“The Hawker". Tina

Tumer‘s “Acid Queen" and

leastvisualimageswhenthe Elton John's “Pinball‘

music drifts. Wizard." Any one of the

opera ’Tommy

threealone isworth the price Like the record. the movie
of admision. peaks early. The closnng
Claptonisaguitar-playing sequences. on Mm and

priest in a faith-healing
church service in honor of
thegoddess Marilyn Monroe.
The music is powerful.
dynamic and beautifully
played. Intact. I'd love to
hear Eric Clapton join The
Who for an entire studio
album sometime. it would be

Tina Turner turns in the
tap vocal performance of the
film. ller Acid Queen is
incredible. full of raw power
and soulful exuberance.

Elton John's vbcal and
piano work adds lots to “Pin-
ball Wizard". It's a much
better version than Rod
Stewart‘s in the London
Symphony recording of
“Tommy‘ '. John is obviously
a ham and his stage antics
are exciting and fun in the
film. His pinball machine, by
the way, comes equipped
with a piano keyboard and
John wears three-foot-high

record. don't begin to match
the intensity of the opening
and middle sections. But it's
a fairly minor flaw in an
otherwise innovative


and Jack Nicholson turn in
stellar performances They
don't add much musically,
but Reed's and Nicholson's
numbers are bridges
between the major
sequences AnnoMargi-e:
attacks her music a little too
dramatically but her acting
more than just/itjes her
extensive part.

“Tommy" would be the
perfect movie to film in 3-D. I
can see it all now. pinballs
coming out at you. Tina
Turner jabbing her gigantic
hypo needle at you. Elton
John kicking out at you with
those boots. It would be

great. .
As is. it's very good.