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Author Topic: Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (2019 Brent Wilson Documentary)  (Read 71892 times)
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« Reply #300 on: November 19, 2021, 03:23:36 PM »

'If only there were someone who Brian trusted enough to tell him when a line wasn't perfect and when it was, and got him to keep working on it until it was perfect'

Anyone got Steve Levine's phone number?

See also story of Someone To Watch Over me in the I Am Brian Wilson book. Ray L seems to be our guy.
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« Reply #301 on: November 19, 2021, 03:24:26 PM »

Brian doesn't communicate well with words.  He never was much of a lyricist, which is why he relied on Mike, Tony Asher, Gary Usher, Roger Christian, etc.  He communicates through music - listen to the backing tracks and instrumentals, and there is where the story of Brian Wilson lives.  
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« Reply #302 on: November 19, 2021, 06:10:04 PM »

Everyone should watch the darn thing before commenting.

Brian might not _say_ many more words than he has before, but this film studies his face and eyes like no others. It doesnít cut away. And there are words and thoughts he expresses that really took me aback with their power and clarity.

Worth your time.
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« Reply #303 on: November 19, 2021, 06:10:12 PM »

I don't come on here much anymore, but I wanted to check out what people are saying about the doc. I agree that Brian doesn't open up much, but there are still moments that for me were quite emotional to see, particularly when Brian hears some terrible news...Well, I don't want to spoil anything. He wasn't a chatterbox, but he put himself in a vulnerable position just sitting in front of the cameras like that. I found it very brave. Those who aren't familiar with his story will come away with empathy for him and (I think) an understanding of why he is the way he is, in addition to having a greater understanding of what makes his music special. Also, the filmmakers highlighted some music that a lot of the general public might not know. Special attention paid to the Holland album, for example. Jason Fine is an empathetic listener and a person who clearly puts Brian at ease (in fact, Brian says that and verbalizes how much he appreciates his friendship).

I wanted to note that I found the movie on Amazon Prime, where if you're in the U.S., you can rent it for $6.99 (or buy it for $14.99).
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« Reply #304 on: November 19, 2021, 09:14:54 PM »

Just watched LPR - absolutely loved it.  I have a question, but will precede it with a POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING

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In the film, there is a shot of the piano in the sandbox.  Does anyone know if that is an actual photo taken in the Laurel Way house, or was that taken on the set of Love & Mercy?
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« Reply #305 on: November 19, 2021, 10:11:56 PM »

Just watched LPR - absolutely loved it.  I have a question, but will precede it with a POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING

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In the film, there is a shot of the piano in the sandbox.  Does anyone know if that is an actual photo taken in the Laurel Way house, or was that taken on the set of Love & Mercy?

That's a very good question - I was wondering the same thing myself. I do remember reading either on this message board or perhaps a Facebook page that Marilyn actually has some photos that are unpublished of the real sandbox, so apparently they do exist.

I'm thinking and hoping and wishing and praying that that's actually one of the real photos, seen for the first time... but I would love for the experts to weigh in before making any conclusions...
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« Reply #306 on: November 19, 2021, 10:12:27 PM »

Everyone should watch the darn thing before commenting.

Brian might not _say_ many more words than he has before, but this film studies his face and eyes like no others. It doesnít cut away. And there are words and thoughts he expresses that really took me aback with their power and clarity.

Worth your time.

+1 to the max
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« Reply #307 on: November 19, 2021, 10:42:31 PM »

Looks like you can rent or buy the doco on Amazon now too.

https://www.amazon.com/Brian-Wilson-Long-Promised-Road/dp/B09LSZR6XT/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?camp=1789&creative=9325
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« Reply #308 on: November 20, 2021, 04:54:59 AM »

Just watched LPR - absolutely loved it.  I have a question, but will precede it with a POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING

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In the film, there is a shot of the piano in the sandbox.  Does anyone know if that is an actual photo taken in the Laurel Way house, or was that taken on the set of Love & Mercy?

That's from Love and Mercy, unfortunately - they used the pic seen here: https://twitter.com/beachboyslegacy/status/726817108592578560/photo/1

Sad we still haven't gotten an actual photo of it!
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« Reply #309 on: November 20, 2021, 05:07:23 AM »

Amy - nice to hear from you!  Hope youíre doing wellÖ
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« Reply #310 on: November 20, 2021, 06:37:07 AM »

Watched it with my wife last night and loved every minute of it. I have to say, there weren't as many "uncomfortable" moments as the advance reviews made it seem there would be. Certainly, Brian learning of Jack Reilly's death years after the fact was a raw, poignant scene where you really feel for Brian.

Once again, Brian mentions wanting to record an album of rock & roll covers which he's been saying for what, 15 years? But in this film we actually get to see him in the studio working on a cover of "Honeycomb." I wonder how many more (if any) of these covers he's done in recent years that could constitute that long discussed record.
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« Reply #311 on: November 20, 2021, 11:00:20 AM »

It was pretty solid.  Not reinventing the wheel in terms of Beach Boys/Brian Wilson documentaries but still pretty enjoyable to watch nonetheless.  It was interesting watching his interaction with Jason Fine throughout the film.  Brian seemed mostly at ease with him. 

Also curious as to the music they were recording.  Was it for the allegedly forthcoming soundtrack to this film?  That re-recording of "It's O.K." was flat, "Long Promised Road" wasn't bad and that new song was bizarrely Brian Wilson. 
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« Reply #312 on: November 20, 2021, 10:17:54 PM »

Vudu'd the film.   A few random thoughts...

The film is beautifully shot and edited, and the sound quality is fantastic.

It's interesting that listening to "It's Ok" is apparently somewhat therapeutic for Brian.  I didn't see that one coming.

I didn't really learn much about BW that I didn't know, except perhaps how personally fond of Jack Rieley BW seems to be.  Others in the BB universe seem to have viewed Jack negatively for various reasons, but it seems pretty obvious that Brian genuinely liked the guy.

I found it heartbreaking that Brian's memory of his early '80s closeness with Dennis with about mainly about drug use.  It's truly sad but frank commentary about where they both were at during that period.  His story of Denny guzzling jugs of fruit juice mixed with vodka is consistent with numerous descriptions by others over the years.

I thought I had read somewhere that Brian's return visit to Hawthorne High was part of this film.  Oh, well, maybe it'll be in the Director's Cut or as a bonus on the Blu Ray.

Kind of surprised by absence of comments by other Wilson family members.  Don Was' IJWMFTT had new non-archival commentary from Audree, Carl, Marilyn, Carnie & Wendy.  The first two obviously aren't available, but the latter three are.  Carnie appears in the studio, but she's never and interviewed and actually her husband Rob probably has more screen time.

I might have liked to have heard something new in the way of comments from Tony Asher and/or Van Dyke Parks.    In general, was pretty much surprised by the absence of commentary from peak-period BW associates such as the Vosse Posse and Wrecking Crew.  Sure, some of them are dead, but a lot of them aren't.  So where are the Danny Huttons and Dean Torrences and Don Randis and Bill Pitmans in all this?

All in all, though, it's a nice film and will likely attract some new blood to the BW/BB universe.
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« Reply #313 on: November 21, 2021, 06:04:26 AM »

I rented the film on Amazon Prime Friday. I had read some reviews beforehand that this wasn't going to shed a ton of new information and for the most part, that's true. I think, though, for a general audience, it did a good job of presenting Brian but also the music of Carl and Dennis. While I would have loved for some Love You tracks to have been played in the drive; I understand the limitations of a documentary. For me, the boring parts were the typical narrative structure that's in any BB/BW documentary. Stardom, creative genius, burn out, redemption.

The highlights for me were the more intimate moments; such as the conversations between Jason and Brian in the deli. Brian's memory of things is interesting; you wonder how much of it is age, substance abuse, Landy abuse, or Brian just being Brian. He knew of River Song and talked about it in 1976 in the Bob Harris interview. I know talking about Carl and Dennis is tough for him, so perhaps that's why he says he never heard POB. Or could it be the other factors listed? Who knows? I liked Brian singing You and I in the car, though; even if he didn't remember the lyrics. He seemed to recall Holland, though. As others posted, the news of Jack's death was a sad on camera moment but an insight into how Brian processes grief n the moment.  It was cool to see him yell out the window of the car to ask the year of the vintage car.

One thing of note was Brian mentioning Sly Stone staying over one night. Brian says that Terry Melcher brought him over and he assumes that Sly was sleeping after doing cocaine. In the Gaines book, there is a particular passage that intrigued me about Brian and California Music.

From the book:

"In order to alleviate Brian's cash flow problems, Terry Melcher and former Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, who now ran an RCA funded production company called Equinox Records, gave Brian a contract to produce 36 sides, with an advance of $23,000. Note: Carl Wilson wrote a letter to Crawdaddy magazine in 1976 in which he said, 'While people were saying they were trying to looking out for Brian and he didn't have any money and he didn't have any control, the fucking truth is that Sly Stone and Terry Melcher and all those people were hitting on him for $1500 a week, so they could score coke, ok? That is the fucking reason why Brian's name was taken off the checks.' Carl later apologized to Sly Stone and Terry Melcher in a follow up letter to Crawdaddy."

So was California Music just a ruse for Brian to get drug money when he was being cutoff by Marilyn? Carl comes off pretty mad in that letter, which was definitely unusual for him. I'm assuming he publicly apologized due to threat of libel/slander. Did Bruce and Terry really think Brian was going to help produce 36 sides at this point in his life, too? California Music just seems so random; it's nothing original, just a bunch of covers that were pretty outdated for the time, and I can't imagine their being a big market for that in 1974-1975. I understand wanting to cash in on the nostalgia wave, but these songs aren't the originals people grew up with.

It's a good film, wish it was more Brian/Jason driving around and listening to music, but I will take what I can get. I think any BB fan would enjoy it.
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« Reply #314 on: November 21, 2021, 08:06:05 AM »

Overall this was an incredibly unique, informative yet emotional, very high quality documentary. I donít really agree that this doc follows the usual structure of other BW documentaries - while it does carry the same themes, I think the structure is something that has never been attempted in a BW doc before. While the film is somewhat chronological to Brianís life, it also doesnít really feel that way because the film is cleverly broken up with the car and deli segments (which sometimes those conversations have literally nothing to do with The Beach Boys). I mean, take the Vanna scene from the movie haha, there is nothing like that in any other Beach Boys related documentary. On top of that, they play ĎLong Promised Roadí and ĎItís Okí over many different parts of the movie - pretty much most (if not all, this movie excluded) BW/Beach Boy documentaries only play certain songs when are relevant to the period in which they are talking about.

And I think the usual themes are a necessity of a BW documentary: imagine a film about Brianís life that didnít talk about Pet Sounds, or his drug use, or his redemption? It would be an incomplete story. But this film takes those themes and makes such a unique narrative out of them.

What was most unique about this documentary is the amount of time they spent playing/talking about songs that Brian didnít even write! I mean, that alone shows how this film stands alone from any other Brian Wilson documentary. The name of the movie isnít a BW song, the movie closes with Brian and his band covered that song. I donít know why they did that, and it is out of the norm, but it works! And it works really well.

What I LOVED about this film was that it just shows Brian being Brian. He is at times scared, hilarious, tired, energetic. He is also really mentally sharp. This film just shows Brian as he is - not who we think he is, or who we expect him to be. That alone makes this a required viewing for any fan - as there has been so much speculation and bullshit information about the man (especially on these forums) - yet this movie helps break those myths.

My only complaint about the film is the gushing about Pet Sounds material - it almost seemed forced. And this is coming from someone who does think that Pet Sounds is the greatest set of music ever composed. So perhaps it isnít something I should complain about - I only saw the movie once so perhaps I will have a different opinion on the second viewing.

Clearly the film was more about Brian and his brothers, but Mikeís lack of presence in the film is very obvious. It doesnít detract from the movie, but itís just a sad reminder of how fragmented these guys are right now. And given Mikeís petty lawsuits about the dumbest, most illogical sh*t, it was probably a very easy choice by Brent Wilson to leave Mike 1000 miles away from this doc. It was really nice to hear Brian compliment Mikeís singing voice.

Overall this movie is the most intimate look at Brian ever. I mean, where he opens up and admits that he hasnít had a friend to talk to in 3 years - that was heartbreaking, and yet itís real and in the movie. So this movie isnít trying to force a narrative, itís just showing Brian for who he is these days.

I think someone said it above or elsewhere, but this film is a great component to Love and Mercy. Brent Wilson and Jason Fine really knocked it out of the park with this. The quality is outstanding, and itís really not your usual BW documentary. Itís very unique, charming - it made me laugh out loud, it also made me tear up at partsÖwhich Iíve never done with any other Brian Wilson/Beach Boys documentary.

10/10
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« Reply #315 on: November 21, 2021, 11:55:44 AM »

Filmwax TV: Brent Wilson & Jason Fine youtube (BRIAN WILSON: LONG PROMISED ROAD)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T1P34rB5Cg
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« Reply #316 on: November 21, 2021, 09:38:09 PM »

I watched the film on Friday. I have always been curious about who Brian Wilson is as a person. This film does a good job, imo, of humanizing a legendary figure, and it did give me some insights into the guy. The funniest part for me was when he yells at the driver next to them, "hey buddy what year is your car?" or something to that effect. The most moving is his talking (and reacting) about his brothers, especially Carl.

I really appreciated Bruce Springsteen's take on the music being a balancing act between joy and melancholy -- I often feel like the happier side of the music gets set aside in favor of the sadder side. So it's good to hear that considered as elements in balance.

And my most recent moment of sadness in retrospect, seeing Billy playing in some of the Pet Sounds tour footage and then getting the bad news about him the next day. Now "Farewell My Friend" is the song playing most in my head.
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« Reply #317 on: November 22, 2021, 07:28:45 AM »

The funniest part for me was when he yells at the driver next to them, "hey buddy what year is your car?" or something to that effect.

That is a really fun moment, and it also got me thinking about the vast range of how human psychology works -- here's this guy who struggles a lot with fear and being nervous to do things, who has no trouble loudly and bluntly asking a stranger a question.  That's the kind of thing that absolutely terrifies me, and you can see that Jason is uncomfortable too.  We all have our stuff, and it's just interesting to see that Brian's social anxieties don't extend to initiating random interactions with a stranger.
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« Reply #318 on: November 22, 2021, 09:13:36 AM »

The Cadillac moment is fun.

 I also got a kick out of Brian's excitement about seeing Vanna White at the deli.

Speaking of the Beverly Glen deli, it's also a slightly funny moment when Brian tells Jason to park in the handicapped spot and Jason is hesitant but Brian says he parks there all the time.  It kind of comes off as humorous in the sense of "rock star parks wherever the hell he wants."  At the same time, as a gentleman in his late 70s with back and knee issues, Brian would almost certainly be entitled to a CA handicapped placard if he or his people were to obtain a note from his physician.
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« Reply #319 on: November 22, 2021, 10:13:35 AM »

The Cadillac moment is fun.

 I also got a kick out of Brian's excitement about seeing Vanna White at the deli.

Speaking of the Beverly Glen deli, it's also a slightly funny moment when Brian tells Jason to park in the handicapped spot and Jason is hesitant but Brian says he parks there all the time.  It kind of comes off as humorous in the sense of "rock star parks wherever the hell he wants."  At the same time, as a gentleman in his late 70s with back and knee issues, Brian would almost certainly be entitled to a CA handicapped placard if he or his people were to obtain a note from his physician.

LOL I didn't notice that part at all! Must look for that on my second viewing.
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« Reply #320 on: November 23, 2021, 03:01:58 AM »

Finally watched this last night (using a USA VPN and Vudu gift vouchers to purchase)

It was really good, really heartfelt. Brian speaks more than I was fearing and some of the pauses are really poignant.

It's a shame it couldn't be seen in a cinema, but a good watch nonetheless.
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« Reply #321 on: November 23, 2021, 12:22:38 PM »

I bought this on Friday and viewed it. Just barfing out some random thoughts:

I think the format is what I expected, given reports and the trailer. Very loose, no attempt to cover the whole story.

It is interesting that the original description of the film back when it was conceived/reported was that it covered Brian's "solo years", and I'd say this film is really more like "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" in that it goes back through the BB story as well to some degree, and also really doesn't attempt to talk a great deal about Brian's solo career beyond that he launched it and is still going.

I get why they get the talking heads they do for these films. As usual, some interview subjects offer more insight than others. No, Nick Jonas doesn't need to be here. He doesn't say anything disagreeable; I just think it lacks any gravitas. There is a bit of a sense of trying to sell the viewer too hard on Brian's genius though some of these interview clips; a bit like a McCartney doc.

I also still find it fascinating how Al Jardine has been touring full-time with Brian now for almost TEN years, and he's still largely ignored. I'm not saying he should be a main focus, but we get more interview footage with Nick Jonas than Al Jardine in this (who gets one very quick interview clip). I dunno, maybe the point was to *not* interview very close friends and family for this (in which case, why is Al there at all then?). But Al would have some very specific keen insights into Brian's life, having been back in it since 2012 and being able to contrast it to the past.

Yes, Brian seeming to not know things (hearing Dennis's POB, Jack Rieley's death) he clearly knew in the past is weird. I don't know how to really address it. It is what it is. That stuff happens. It is a bit weird to turn two of these slightly awkward instances into two very poignant parts of the documentary. But I guess the thing is that they're still poignant. Whatever is behind Brian's surprise about Rieley's death, it's genuine and it's really sad. We don't often get to see Brian's emotions like this.

I sometimes don't put *too* much stock into Brian's facial expressions. I think sometimes we're seeing a really intimate, personal, emotional moment. But there are some moments where I think we're just seeing Brian's facial tics.

The car ride footage is probably the most interesting. I kind of wished they had just given us like two and a half hours of Fine spitballing stuff at Brian and seeing what happens. Sometimes there's no reaction, or nothing interesting, but clearly sometimes it elicits an interesting response, and some truly funny moments. I mean, Brian asking for "It's OK" multiple times on the car stereo, WTF is that? *Is* it soothing? If so, why? Is there something almost a little subversive about why he uses that song that way? Potentially fascinating.

All in all, I can't find anything objectionable really. It's a couple hours with Brian, with some moments and things we don't often get to see. It's a pretty low-key affair. Despite the generous amount of cheerleading from interview subjects, I don't know how this film would play to non-fans; I don't know if it gets deep enough to really fully *show* his genius and talent.
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« Reply #322 on: November 23, 2021, 12:55:29 PM »

There is a bit of a sense of trying to sell the viewer too hard on Brian's genius though some of these interview clips; a bit like a McCartney doc.

Despite the generous amount of cheerleading from interview subjects, I don't know how this film would play to non-fans; I don't know if it gets deep enough to really fully *show* his genius and talent.

This is my only issue with this documentary. I know this was less of an informative documentary and it was meant to pull on your heartstrings (which I think it did perfectly), but how I wish someone like Philip Lambert had been interviewed even to show up for just 3 minutes on film explaining WHY those chord changes are genius...sprinkle in a little bit of music theory (or whatever you want to call it) just to help back up the claims. It's one thing to keep saying "genius" over again, but it's another to quickly show why Brian has a level of talent that has hardly been topped (if it ever has) by other songwriters. Lambert was great at doing just that in the Songwriter documentary.
______

BTW the iTunes Extras are really cool. And by "Extras" it is just one full 15 minute piece that has some extra car, other footage, and some interviews. There is a really beautiful segment that shows a lot of Audree Wilson photos/footage that I have never seen before, and overtop that montage Audree is heard on a very crisp recording singing wonderfully the tune "Is It True What They Say About Dixie" (I'm sure others here know of this recording but I have never heard it before) - really funny dialogue between her and Brian. The 15 minute clips ends rather abruptly.

Highlight of this segment was after spending time at Hawthorne High Brian yells to Jason "I wanna split after this, I've seen enough of this damn place!" LOL
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« Reply #323 on: November 23, 2021, 01:14:38 PM »

I also still find it fascinating how Al Jardine has been touring full-time with Brian now for almost TEN years, and he's still largely ignored. I'm not saying he should be a main focus, but we get more interview footage with Nick Jonas than Al Jardine in this (who gets one very quick interview clip). I dunno, maybe the point was to *not* interview very close friends and family for this (in which case, why is Al there at all then?). But Al would have some very specific keen insights into Brian's life, having been back in it since 2012 and being able to contrast it to the past.

Maybe the Jardine bit was just a leftover from the interview for Streetlight Harmonies of a few years back ?
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« Reply #324 on: November 23, 2021, 01:22:59 PM »

I think more than anything, this docís point and purpose is spelled out by Elton. He says, and Iím paraphrasing, that Brianís life of the last 30-odd years (post Landy) has been a creative accomplishment in itself. That is, heís built a life of caring and compassion around him from nothing. Really, thatís what the whole doc is about. He made great music in the past, he can still do it to some extent, but really just getting through every day and communicating with the world is a huge challenge. And Brian is older and less gregarious than he once was, but dammit, he does it. He pushes through.

Like Carl says, itís about the joy of life in a very simple way. The movie is much less sophisticated than IJWMFTT (which was really about re-creating the whole legend from scratch after the brutal Landy period), but it has a lot of heart and is far more spontaneous.
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