It’s time to close out the week with another review from One Movie Spouse. Between leading a team to save the podcast in early July, to cranking out weekly reviews, she’s been amazing this summer. I was jealous she was able to sneak off to see today’s film, but I’m also happy we get another great review out of the deal. For a few other recent reviews by Amy, check out “The Hate U Give” (Episode #559), “Someone Great” (Episode #552), and “Music Teacher” (Episode #538). All three are quality films you’ll want in your life.
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Hello, It’s me Amy, AKA One Movie Spouse back for another weekly review. ::MWAH:: Movies, movies, movies, I just LOVE the theater experience! I was fortunate enough to catch today’s film on the big screen at our local second-run theater. What made this experience so great was being surrounded by enthusiastic music fans. This was a treat for me as I was clearly the newbie in the room. Back to school in just a few short weeks, but you can always catch me on Twitter @OneMovieSpouse.
Today’s movie is “Echo in the Canyon” (2018), the music documentary written and directed by Andrew Slater with additional writing support by Eric Barrett. This film provides a nostalgic glimpse into the rocking electric sounds of Laurel Canyon in 1960s Los Angeles. My interest in “Echo in the Canyon” was piqued the first time I saw the trailer. I loved all that I heard, but I didn’t really have any expectations as I entered the theatre, simply curious and wanting to see what the hype was about. Buckle up, because it’s an awesome ride!
The film’s executive producer, and suave interviewer/musician Jakob Dylan, son of the legendary Bob Dylan, takes us on this incredible journey! I LOVE the 1960s Los Angeles vibe in this film! Recognizing guitar riffs that I’ve heard on the radio for years, the “around town” photos of classic Los Angeles landmarks, and the archive footage mixed with contemporary band member interviews immediately drew me into the entire film. If you loved the 1960s Los Angeles vibe of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Episode #547), then you’ll want to see this film too.
“Echo in the Canyon” provides both a nostalgic reflection for fans of Southern California folk-rock music (circa 1965-1967), and a musical education to those attracted to the distinct sounds of the time period. This film contains candid conversations and performances with musical legends such as Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), Ringo Starr (The Beatles), Michelle Phillips (The Mamas the Papas), Eric Clapton, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Roger McGuinn (The Byrds), and Jackson Browne (The Eagles). The energy in the theatre during this film was incredible. Fans of these greats were smiling and bopping along in their chairs, and clapped and cheered when the film was over. While my family didn’t listen to this genre of music growing up, I had several “Oh yeah!” moments when I could match a band or artist with a song I recognized from the radio. For a passive music fan like me, it was equally enjoyable, and I look forward to exploring more of the music beyond the few songs I know.
As One Movie Punch has grown in scope, and I’ve become a regular reviewer, I must say: Documentaries are becoming my jam! In addition to interviews with these musical legends, contemporary musicians shared how they were directly influenced by these older sounds. Beck, Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Regina Spektor, and Norah Jones share insights and record songs with Jakob Dylan. The artists didn’t seek to re-do these classics, so much as to pay homage to them, and share them with fans. Seeing and hearing original footage paired with the newer versions gave me goosebumps. It was so smooth! The efforts culminate into a 2015 concert at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles, snippets of which are featured in this film. If you are in love with the music of this film, and can’t get the songs out of your head, check out the soundtrack “Echo in the Canyon” to keep the good times rolling!
One additional gem in this film is that it includes Tom Petty’s last filmed interview. It was special to hear his perspective on this influential music and the film is dedicated in memory of him. And while this film doesn’t focus exclusively on his perspective, the film’s dedication was a nice touch to another truly influential musician.
“Echo In The Canyon” is an incredible musical documentary, which serves as both a reflection and an education about the 1960s LA folk-rock scene. It features both the artists of yesteryear who helped develop that sound, as well as artists of today influenced by it. Documentary fans, and fans of this music scene, will really enjoy this film.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% (CERTIFIED FRESH)
One Movie Punch: 9.5/10
“Echo In The Canyon” (2018) is rated PG-13 and is currently playing in theaters.
Join me next Saturday for my review of the romantic comedy “Plus One”, now streaming on Hulu. Because weddings are awesome. Most of the time.
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