The Eagles

Right now I am watching, for the umpteenth time, the Showtime documentary “History of the Eagles” – in my opinion this is an amazing piece.  It is beautifully made, in every way.  We get to see and hear what these men went through and how they developed as individual artists and as a group, and as people.  We hear how they felt, how they interrelated, how they grew, how they went forward on the intense, rocky, rewarding path of their lives and artistry.  The video, verbal, and musical elements are full, rich, and detailed, both the older material that the producers were able to gather and the current material filmed for the piece.  The interview elements are voluntarily incisive and revealing, but never heavy-handed or schmaltzy or tainted with spectacularization.  The Eagles past and present, and their colleagues and associates, all participated apparently fully and unstintingly.  The framing, if you will, of the individual people is spectacularly deft, and the sheer unthreatening quietness of the surround allows each one to say what he wants, what he needs, without fear of being dug at, and the result is a far deeper, far more vivid, and far more beautifully honest portrait of each person than I’ve seen in almost any other documentary.  I can only speculate as to how the producers and participants achieved this result – I’d love to be able to talk to the producers and hear how things went behind the scenes interacting with, and guiding through this process, all of these “alphas,” to quote Joe Walsh.  Most astounding of all, the editing and flow of the entire piece actually seems to generate a kind of gestalt – the whole is even greater than the sum of the amazing parts.  The icing on the top?  Several hours of amazing music.

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Filed under The Bardic Tradition in America, TV

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