Happy Monday everyone! I want to start us off this week by recommending a beautiful documentary about the unsung pioneer of indie pop called, Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell.
Details after the jump.
I saw this documentary on a friend’s iPod projector over Christmas and fell in love with it. If you have never heard of Arthur Russell, he is worth researching as he can easily be credited as the sound source of contemporary indie pop. He is brilliant.
Russell cut his teeth in the ’70s among present-day musical heavy weights like Philip Glass, and enjoyed most of his success in the ’80s – but his sound, an abstraction in its time and modern even for present-day, is an inspiration to this generation’s pool of leading musical talent (Jens Lekman, for example, does a great cover of one of his songs). The documentary delves deeply into Arthur’s relationship with music, which is truly moving; however, it was Russell’s relationship with his partner Tom Lee that affected me the most.
There is a segment during Lee’s interview where Tom, whom after Russell’s death in 1992 was left with a mammoth-size library of his partner’s music, is discussing his favorite Arthur Russell tracks and the various ways he enjoys listening to them: on his Walkman, on his stereo, etc. Listening to Russell’s music is clearly an act of homage for Lee, but the tenderness with which he discloses the details of the activity reveals the overwhelmingly true love he still feels for Russell twenty years after his death. It is an incredible thing to witness. Watching that scene made me feel like I had never known what real love looked like until I saw Tom Lee speaking about Arthur Russell and I probably sobbed through the rest of the movie. I’m tearing up now just thinking about it.
So, while the subject of the documentary is musical in nature, I believe the film is really about love and what happens when you are brave enough to see your passions through. If you are looking to be moved one afternoon or evening, I strongly suggest seeing Wild Combination. It will change your life.
See the trailer here.
| photo originally found here
| edited by Penny & Sonja