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Joyful Noise [DVD] [1998] [US Import]

Sun Ra , Robert Mugge    DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 65.84
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Product details

  • Actors: Sun Ra
  • Directors: Robert Mugge
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Winstar
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Mar 1999
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000G3FB
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,410 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sun-Ra the Mythology 7 July 2007
Excellent up close and personal documentary on Sun-Ra. You get to listen to man as he tries to explain the Sun-Ra mythology. You get to see the communal house him and the Arkestra lived and rehearsed in, you even get to see the local shop they set up where they tell kids about Outer Space.
Plenty of live recordings from gigs and a rare clip on the band playing on a roof.

You could get the Sun-Ra movie Space Is The Place, which is also great, but I think this has a more rounded presentation of Sun-Ra as a man, artist and myth.

Great stuff...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all 18 Jun 2010
This is a documentary made in the early seventies about Sun Ra and his Arkestra. Here Sun Ra speaks about his philosophies on life and the universe interspersed with amazing concert and rehearsal footage. You also see what an incredibly charismatic man he was and see how he moulded a group of very individual people into a mutually supporting collective, it's wonderful! My favourite bit occurs when the interviewer, almost sneeringly, asks John Gilmore why he plays with Sun Ra, implying that the great man is a total nut-job. Gilmore's answer puts him in his place. If you want to watch and hear somthing truely joyful this is it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating document of a fascinating man 4 April 2000
By happydogpotatohead - Published on
This video gets four stars not for its execution (frankly, in spots it makes Blair Witch Project look like Citizen Kane) but for its subject, the mysterious Sun Ra and his Arkestra. The movie basically consists of Sun Ra talking about his philosophies, interspersed with interviews with members of the Arkestra and film of the Arkestra rehearsing and performing. However, the sound quality of this film leaves a lot to be desired; I haven't seen the newer version of this video/DVD and I hope they remaster the sound, because there are some dynamic moments here with the Arkestra.
Those of us who were too young to have experienced Sun Ra in person will appreciate this documentary for the wealth of information it provides about the Arkestra and the exciting shots of Sun Ra and the Arkestra in concert. Unfortunately, the makers of the film never let the band play one song all the way through, so we never quite get to see Sun Ra and the Arkestra at full blast. However, the segment in the middle of the film where Sun Ra is sitting at his piano composing and then does a version of "Round Midnight" is utterly priceless. It's an all too brief glimpse of the way this compositional giant worked. The rehearsal and performance footage is equally invaluable, because it shows how Sun Ra conveyed his musical ideas to the band, and how the individual personalities fleshed out his music to create the astonishing "cosmo sound" of Sun Ra and his Arkestra.
There are several problems with this film. The photography is grainy; the film looks like a PBS documentary filmed by college students in the late 70s, and the sound is terrible. They never identify which of Mr. Ra's compositions the band is playing in the concert segments (although "Astro Black" and "We Travel The Spaceways" are excerpted at the beginning and end of the film). These technical flaws are offset by the fact that it's one of the few documents of this underappreciated American composer that we have.
Sun Ra was an amazing and interesting man, and if you are a fan of Sun Ra, the performances by the Arkestra and the interviews with the band and Mr. Ra far outweigh the film's considerable technical shortcomings. For newcomers to the omniverse of the self-proclaimed Man from Saturn, this film may only be completely mystifying, but then again, I have the feeling that Sun Ra wouldn't have minded that either. Four stars for content, two stars for execution.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Documentary of a Fascinating Musician 1 Feb 2003
By x - Published on
Robert Mugge's "A Joyful Noise" is a great film that anyone who is interested in Sun Ra should buy immediately. It captures the Arkestra in a variety of environments, including at their communal home in Philadelphia, in concert at various locations, and even on a rooftop. The film also features excellent interviews with many members of the group, including the legendary John Gilmore, Danny Thompson, and, of course, the genius Mr. Ra himself. What is particularly wonderful about this film is that it provides various examples of their music and the philosophical context in which the group operated. This video is absolutely essential. This is also a good film to show to the small children in your family, because it will allow their ears to become accustomed to the puissant possibilities of sound.
With the film in mind, let's get a couple things straight about Sun Ra. First, his tendency to embark on long orations that invoked ancient Egypt and outer space were extremely sincere. It was not a joke or a ploy to attract attention. Secondly, Sun Ra and his associates gave their entire lives to create music that was truly revolutionary in its ability to radically reform the sonic conventions with which most of us are familiar. His desire to essentially choose a life of near poverty in order to create innovative jazz music is something that, in my opinion, illustrates how deadly serious he was about his music.
If there is any problem with the film, it is that most of the music segments are short and incomplete. Of course, the director clearly was trying to assemble a documentary, not a concert film, so this is understandable.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see program for all Sun Ra fans 17 July 1999
By Robert K ( - Published on
An amazing video about some of the aspects of creativity, philosophy and a way of life of one of the greatest American/world/universe jazz musicians. Sun Ra's excerpts from his "intergalactic" philosophy. Lots of excellent music. Sun Ra Archestra members' opinions on their boss and music. Inside look at the way the Sun Ra community lived and created. Worth seeing not only for those who know and like Sun Ra, but also for all jazz fans.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic sun ra 29 Aug 2003
By ramjac - Published on
if you are a sun ra fan then this is a must. if you want an introduction to sun ra you couldnt ask for much better. great live performances and classic quotes from the master of the one liner. " with all the school and hospitals you got, your supposed to have a better world than this" and" you cant have a whitehouse if you dont have a blackhouse, in fact you cant have anything without its opposite" and the timeless " space is the place." some of the music on this dvd is simply awesome. horns echoing ancient egypt, synthesizers making modern musicians look pathetic, an ancient infinity drum and a moog synthesizer. sun ra, tho he would deny he is of our species, is the man.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this has restored my faith 24 Oct 2007
By Samuel Eddy - Published on
forget the bull about everyone putting Sun Ra in novelty basket (because he may be one of the first to use a electric keyboard or he wore funny costumes,) i will stand up and claim he is a true genius (what ever that means) Sun Ra has fully restored my faith in the power and fredom that exsists in music 40 odd years after this music breaks through the commercial hundrums and destroys the pretence of all these modern hazz players Ra creates the blue print for future music. He never bows down to coporate tyes or holds back from truely exploring sound. Ra makes spirtual music for the next century. This film is not only beautiful check out the opening shots on the roof (absolutly amazing) but increadibly powerful although check out the latter free jams of ra sweating over his moog in great colourcomical at times this adds to the mystery of mr mystery, the way he comands his band and releases his vision is awe-inspiring powerfully nosy, beautiful and brilliant. Not many films capture such an amazing revolutionary group in vivid colour and sound as this dvd does, althose pop band from the sixties are ridculus compared to the universialy tuned in Mr Ra. this is a must for all real music cosmologist
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