A little over an hour earlier than As soon as Had been Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band kicked off the Toronto Worldwide Movie Pageant (TIFF) — the one Canadian documentary within the competition’s historical past to be chosen for the gala opening — co-executive producer Ron Howard introduced on the press convention that the movie had discovered a distributor exterior of Canada.
“Magnolia is going to distribute the movie theatrically around the world. We’ve very excited about this collaboration and partnership,” stated Howard onstage within the small media room, alongside his enterprise and artistic accomplice in Think about Documentaries, Brian Grazer, plus the 26-year-old Toronto director Daniel Roher, and the topic himself, Robertson.
As soon as Had been Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band — based mostly on Robertson’s 2016 memoir, Testimony, protecting the primary three many years of his life — was additionally government produced by Martin Scorsese, who directed The Band’s 1978 swan track live performance doc The Final Waltz. The U.S. movie legends partnered with Canada’s White Pine Photos, Bell Media Studios and Common Music’s Shed Artistic on the venture. The doc will air on Bell’s on-demand channel Crave.
Of getting such famous heavyweights as companions, Roher, a humble, articulate younger man, stated he didn’t really feel any stress. “It’s really amazing. I have this legendary team surrounding me, these three gentlemen and I really only felt empowered. It was only exciting and empowering to be working with these people. It was very much validating my own instincts in a lot of ways and everything that I imagined brought to the table, just took my creative instincts and put it on a rocket ship. And I guess went to the moon in this case, which is appropriate.”
Because the title suggests, As soon as Had been Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band tells the story of this revolutionary “band” of brothers: Robertson, Garth Hudson and the late Richard Manuel (d. 1986), Rick Danko (d. 1999) and Levon Helm (d. 2012). After backing Bob Dylan on his notorious electrical excursions, in 1968 The Band recorded its seminal debut album, Music From Huge Pink, followed a 12 months later with their self-titled album. Over the course of seven studio albums, Robertson penned such classics as “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Up on Cripple Creek,” “Acadian Driftwood” and “It Makes No Difference.” The doc contains present-day interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Taj Mahal, Peter Gabriel, David Geffen and Ronnie Hawkins.
In the course of the press convention Howard stated he and Frazer — whose firm has produced movies on Luciano Pavarotti, Eminem (Eight Mile), The Beatles (Eight Days A Week), Wu-Tang Clan (An American Saga, which simply debuted on Hulu), in addition to the present Empire — differ drastically of their connection and affiliation with music.
“I was never one of those kids that had music going all the time; I was not one of those people,” Howard admitted. “It wasn’t in my family, however I clearly understood the facility of music and what it might imply to films, to tv exhibits, and issues like that.
“As I began to maneuver particularly into the documentary world as a director and, on this case, as a producer, here is what’s superb: You may have these highly effective tales and but there’s this different aspect. Not solely might you by no means presumably afford to have a soundtrack in a movement image like we’ve in As soon as Had been Brothers, it is unimaginable. So it’s a terrific expertise for audiences, however you could have the story of human beings and you’ve got their voices on this different mode, this different medium, that is equally highly effective and works on this sort of superb, subliminal stage.
“That is one of many explanation why movies that mix nice narrative story, wealthy set of characters with unimaginable music is fascinating for audiences. And so, due to this fact, it is also actually thrilling for filmmakers.”
Grazer stated merely, “I love music.” He at all times listens to music and “made music,” presumably which means he’s a musician himself. He and Howard’s first film collectively, Night time Shift, contained hit songs; Boomerang “had multiple platinum out albums;” and he produced The Doorways movie as a result of “I just had this thing about Jim Morrison when I was going to high school.”
He then recalled a New York Instances editor telling him hip-hop was “an inferior subculture.” He disagreed, believing it was going to be “the culture.” He introduced it up as a result of he sees a parallel between hip-hop and the music The Band created. “What interested me about that as it relates to Robbie is it was the beginning of a movement and we can actually proof this out almost like a cinematic equation, which is exactly what you do, by the way, in documentaries.”
He known as The Band “the quintessential survival story for a rock band” and “the progenitors of a movement.” He identified, as many journalists have little doubt found this week, as Robertson does press for the movie and his forthcoming solo album, Sinematic, “each time you could have a dialog with Robbie, he has one thing extremely fascinating to say, extremely distinctive tales that assist inform not solely The Band itself, however its relationship to music itself. He is only a legendary individual and we’d say, ‘Let’s find a way to work together.’ And when Robbie says that, it occurs, and that is proof of that.
“I know that Ron and I, and, and Marty’s not right here in the meanwhile, however we’re all gigantically happy with with the ability to be related to Robbie and on this film.”
On the finish of the press convention, the Mayor of Toronto, John Tory, offered Robertson with a key to town, explaining, “You have stood as an example to those people and to many others to explore your talent, not to be afraid to produce something, whether it’s music or a film or a piece of art that leads the way, to be determined to succeed and to be whatever you want to be and to never stop telling your own story.”
“This is quite beautiful, guys,” stated Robertson. “I’m really touched by this and it’s a complete surprise to me. So thank you very, very much from the bottom of my heart. This is my hood, and now I’ve got the key and that goes with it.”