Monday, December 24, 1984

My Elvis Presley complete records project, Christmas 1984



In 1984 in Stockholm I borrowed from my friend Jouni Suomalainen his complete collection of Elvis Presley LP's, listened to them in chronological order and copied a Christmas selection of favourite tracks on compact cassette tapes.

The conventional wisdom about Elvis was that his 1950s were great, and after the army he went downhill, but Jouni persuaded me to listen carefully to the records of the early 1960s which were his favourites. Indeed, Elvis's voice grew into its full grandeur then, but unfortunately his talent was wasted in too many worthless projects.

The 1968 comeback show was a return to form in all ways. Even his 1950s hits such as "Love Me" and "Trying To Get To You" he now sang with a new, devastating force, made greater through his better command of his voice.

The early 1960s still have a special place in my memories. It was then that Elvis sang his best traditional blues track, "Reconsider Baby", and also his most magnificent spiritual songs. His interpretation of the Swedish hymn "How Great Thou Art" ("O store Gud", 1885, "Oi herrani", lyrics by Carl G. Boberg to a Swedish folk melody) is overwhelmingly better than any other I have heard. Elvis brought the impact of Mahalia Jackson and other great black gospel singers to his version and made other white singers look pale. His voice was rich and subtle, and in his best songs there was a haunting sadness underneath.

Even his most memorable Christmas songs were blues tracks: "Merry Christmas, Baby" (1971) and "Blue Christmas" (the 1968 comeback interpretation was the best).

CASSETTE IA
Merry Christmas, Baby (The Wonderful World of Christmas, 1971) 5'47"
Blue Christmas (live) 2'54"
One Night (live) 2'42"
Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (live) 1'50"
Baby, What You Want Me To Do (live) 1'45" (Elvis TV Special, 1968)
"I was lucky" (interview 1958) 38"
Love Me (live 1968) 2'33"
Trying To Get To You (live 1968) 2'55" (A Legendary Performer [I], 1973)
Tiger Man (live 1968) 2'39" (Elvis Sings Flaming Star, etc., 1968)
Peace In The Valley 3'15" (Elvis' Christmas Album, 1957)
The Girl Of My Best Friend, 2'22"
Girl Next Door Went A-Walkin' 2'13"
Reconsider Baby (Elvis Is Back, 1960)
In My Father's House 2'03"
Milky White Way 2'12"
If We Never Meet Again (This Side Of River) 1'56" (His Hand In Mine, 1960)
Suspicion 2'36"
Kiss Me Quick 2'57" (Pot Luck, 1962)

CASSETTE IB
I Gotta Know 2'17"
Surrender 1'52"
Are You Lonesome Tonight? 3'04"
His Latest Flame 2'08"
Little Sister 2'30" (Elvis' Golden Records, Vol 3, 1963)
How Great Thou Art 2'59"
Crying In The Chapel 2'23" (How Great Thou Art, 1967)
Shake, Rattle and Roll with introduction 2'36" +
I Got A Woman (Third Dorsey Show 11.2.1956 live) sum 5'32"
Baby, Let's Play House (Fourth Dorsey Show 18.2.1956 live) 2'12"
Blue Suede Shoes (Fifth Dorsey Show 17.3.1956 live) 2'19"
Money Honey (Sixth Dorsey Show 24.3.1956 live) 2'27"
Don't Be Cruel 2'11"
Ready Teddy (First Sullivan Show 9.9.1956 live) 1'57"
Love Me 3'15" +
Hound Dog "we are going to sing a sad song" (Second Sullivan Show 28.10.1956 live) sum 5'55"
Peace In The Valley (Third Sullivan Show 6.1.1957 live)
Return To Sender (Girls! Girls! Girls! 1962) 2'06"

CASSETTE II
Devil In Disguise 2'19" (Elvis Gold Records Vol 4, 1968)
Flaming Star 2'27" (Elvis Sings Flaming Star, etc., 1968)
In The Ghetto 2'46"
Any Day Now 2'58" (From Elvis In Memphis, 1969)
Blue Suede Shoes
I'm Counting On You
I Got A Woman
One-Sided Love Affair
I Love You Because
Just Because (Elvis Presley, 1956)

The selection was also based on the fact that I already had collections of Sun Records.

In 2022 at the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä I heard from Vesa Suomalainen that his brother had recently died in Uppsala, Sweden, but not from Covid. I will never forget the friendly gentleman Jouni Suomalainen. He had a distinguished side career as a street photographer all his life.

Jouni Suomalainen: " Jag blev intresserad av ’ street foto ’ när jag var ungefär 14. Min kusin som var 10 år äldre presenterade mig kameror, deras funktioner och syfte. Efter detta presenterade han gatufotografins stora namn, deras bilder gjorde ett stort intryck på mig. Han var perfektionist och duktig fotograf själv, han visade hur man håller kameran, trycker avlösaren och fotar, han tog många bilder på mig och våran familj. Han var så duktig, det väckte i mig tanken om jag kunde göra något likadant. Jouni " 24 April 2021

Jouni Suomalainen: " Street foto intresset har jag haft från när jag var 14. Köpte första riktig kamera när jag var 25. Gick en fotoskola i Stockholm 83-85. Jag är gatuvandrare fotar gatuliv, gillar det mest. " 11 September 2021

Wednesday, May 30, 1984

Samuel Fuller retrospective (Arsenal, West Berlin, 1984)


Samuel Fuller: I Shot Jesse James (US 1949) with Reed Hadley (Jesse James) and John Ireland (Bob Ford).

8.5.1984  I Shot Jesse James (US 1949) 16 mm
8.5.1984  The Baron of Arizona (US 1950) good print
9.5.1984  The Steel Helmet (US 1950) very worn 16 mm
11.5.1984  Fixed Bayonets! (US 1951) 16 mm, beautiful image
10.5.1984  Park Row (US 1952)  bad 16 mm
10.5.1984  Pickup on South Street (US 1953) 16 mm with bad joins
11.5.1984  Hell and High Water (US 1953) 35 mm with faded colour from Switzerland
12.5.1984  House of Bamboo (US 1955) Swiss partly mutilated print
13.5.1984  Run of the Arrow (US 1957) print with jump cuts
25.5.1984  China Gate (US 1957) OK Swiss print
24.5.1984  Forty Guns (US 1957) OK Deutsche Fassung
15.5. 1984  Verboten! (US 1959)  OK 16 mm
26.4.1984  The Crimson Kimono (US 1959) fine NFA print
16.5.1984  Underworld U.S.A. (US 1960) fine NFA print with some joins
16.5.1984  Merrill's Marauders (US 1962) OK Deutsche Fassung
17.5.1984  Shock Corridor (US 1963) OK print with French subtitles, some joins
17.5.1984  The Naked Kiss (US 1964) OK print with bluish toning
18.5.1984  Shark! / Un arma de los filos (US/MX 1969) OK Deutsche Fassung: Outsider: Haie am Höllenriff
19.5.1984  Tatort: Tote Taube in der Beethovenstrasse (DE 1972) OK
30.5.1984  The Big Red One (US 1980) original release version, Deutsche Fassung: 4 min cut (109 min)
19.5.1984  White Dog (US 1981) fine print.

Sunday, January 01, 1984

THE BEST OF THE YEAR 1983

THE FILM OF THE YEAR
Two Rode Together (John Ford)

POETS & MIND-BENDERS
¡Que Viva Mexico! (Sergei Eisenstein)
Nran guyne (Sergei Parajanov)
Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (Kenneth Anger)
Das blaue Licht (Leni Riefenstahl)
SVD (Kozintsev & Trauberg)
A Woman of Paris (Charles Chaplin)
The Shanghai Express (Josef von Sternberg)

FILMS WITH NEW WAYS TO SEE
Muriel (Alain Resnais)
Giulietta degli spiriti (Federico Fellini)
Providence (Alain Resnais)
Masculin-féminin (Jean-Luc Godard)
Rudolf Thome

ENGAGED CINEMA
Native Land (Hurwitz & Strand)
The Seventh Cross (Fred Zinnemann)

THE FUNNIEST
Charles Chaplin (A Day's Pleasure, Pay Day, The Pilgrim, Shoulder Arms, The Unknown Chaplin 1-3)
W.C. Fields: shorts, The Bank Dick, Million $ Legs
Harold Lloyd: Feet First, Grandma's Boy, A Sailor-Made Man, Dr. Jack, For Heaven's Sake
Buster Keaton: Seven Chances, Three Ages, Go West, The Cameraman
George Cukor: Pat and Mike
Billy Wilder: Kiss Me, Stupid
Mae West: I'm No Angel, Belle of the Nineties
Jean-Luc Godard: Charlotte et son Jules
Nelly Kaplan: La Fiancée du pirate

THE MOST CHARMING
Sheree North (The Best Things In Life Are Free)
Anna Magnani (Le Carrosse d'or)
The Love Goddesses
Frances Farmer (Come and Get It)
Haydée Politoff (La Collectionneuse)
Catherine Hessling (Nana)
Janet Leigh (Jet Pilot)
Brigitte Helm (L'Atlantide)
Jennifer Jones (Ruby Gentry)

HORROR
The Black Room (Roy William Neill)
Poltergeist (Tobe Hooper)
Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur)
Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi)
The Plague of the Zombies (John Gilling)
Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene)
Das Wachsfigurenkabinett (Paul Leni)
Mighty Joe Young (Ernest B. Schoedsack)
The Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz)
The Most Dangerous Game (Ernest B. Schoedsack)
The Old Dark House (James Whale)
Vampyr (Carl Th. Dreyer)

THRILLERS
Criss Cross (Robert Siodmak)
The Next of Kin (Thorold Dickinson)
Phantom Lady (Robert Siodmak)
The Prowler (Joseph Losey)
The Wrong Man (Alfred Hitchcock)
Dial M for Murder (Alfred Hitchcock)

CLASSICS REVISITED
Bronenosets Potyomkin (Sergei Eisenstein)
Arsenal (Aleksandr Dovzhenko)
Ladri di biciclette (Vittorio De Sica)
Miracolo a Milano (Vittorio De Sica)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford)

MUSIC
A Star Is Born (George Cukor)
A Salute to Fred Astaire
Rockrullen
Grace Jones: A One Man Show
Jazz On a Summer's Day (Bert Stern)
The Doors Are Open

COSMOS (Carl Sagan)

DIRECTORS OF THE YEAR:
HOWARD HAWKS (Air Force, Red River)
FRITZ LANG (Hangmen Also Die!, Fury, Siegfried, M, Man Hunt, Moonfleet, The Blue Gardenia)
KENJI MIZOGUCHI (Gion bayashi, Musashino fujin, Uwasa no onna, Gubijinso, Meito Mijomaru)
YASUJIRO OZU (Tokyo monogatari, Akibiyori)
NICHOLAS RAY (Lusty Men, In a Lonely Place)
JEAN RENOIR (Boudu, Le Carrosse d'or, Nana, La petite marchande d'allumettes, The Southerner, Madame Bovary, This Land Is Mine)
ERIC ROHMER (La Boulangère de Monceau, La Carrière de Suzanne, La Collectionneuse, Die Marquise von O.)
JEAN ROUCH (Les Maîtres fous, La Chasse au lion à l'arc, Jaguar, Moi, un noir, La Pyramide humaine)
ARNE SUCKSDORFF (Det stora äventyret, En sommarsaga, Människor i stad, Trut!)
ERIC M. NILSSON (Lourdes, I Tunisien, Europa 1900, Det var en gång)
PETER VON BAGH (Olavi Virta, Suomi pop series)