The most memorable sequence, and the one guaranteed to win over anybody unfamiliar or unmoved by Harry's work, is from a 1971 BBC-TV special, where (through the miracle of video-tape editing) a trio of Harrys sits behind a piano and sings a spell-binding three-part harmony version of the New Orleans classic "Let the Good Times Roll." The most jaw-dropping is an excerpt from an uncompleted documentary on the making of the Son of Schmillson album from 1972, in which Harry, dressed in a ridiculous suit and cardboard hat, gets a bunch of seriously old British geezers straight from a rest home to sing along on a tune whose endlessly repeated chorus goes "I'd rather be dead than wet my bed." It's an act of wanton cruelty and by the end really painful to watch, but I still laughed harder at it than at almost anything else I've seen in a movie this year.Both of those scenes, as it turns out, are on YouTube (albeit in not so great quality prints); in the meantime, you can read the rest of my review over at Box Office here.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Jump Into the Fire
Had a chance to review the new documentary Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him?), which is now in theaters, as they say, and highly recommended.