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Sarcastically funny video blog about musicians in movies.

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Musicians in Movies

One Direction has just released it’s own documentary titled This is Us, and regardless of how you feel about the band, the film is sure to draw millions of screaming fans to the theater. But the poppy British boy band is certainly not the first to release a promotional film. The musician film genre has been fairly trendy lately with recent documentaries from Katy Perry and the late Michael Jackson as well. But is this whole fad simply that? In reality there has always been a fairly dominant history of musicians in movies, and the genre has an incredibly rich heritage.

Much unlike the documentary style films that cover a tour or a single concert, many pioneers in the singer to movie movement focused primarily on a combination of both acting and singing. Of course we’re talking about the likes of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, who starred in a plethora of romantic comedies, which, more often than not, acted as an avenue for these singers to show off their singing chops. That being said, films like the widely acclaimed High Society were reminiscent of Shakespeareesque comical ventures.

As these films grew to success, more big names like the King quickly followed suit. Elvis produced and acted in his own fair share of films as well, all of which heavily featured his own songs, and of course his hunky dancing. Going away from east coast high life however, Elvis took his viewers on lower class adventures, be it into the prison yard in Jailhouse Rock or on a scenic exploration of the islands as in Blue Hawaii.

Elvis of course was only the beginning of rock n roll, and The Beatles would cement their place as gods of popular music at an early stage. Few people, however, had realized how the Beatles would affect cinematic history. Unlike previous singers turned actors, the Beatles simply played themselves in their film. Their first movie A Hard Days Night acted as a truthful mockumentary that followed the Beatles through a day in the life, no pun intended. Later silver screen ventures from the Liverpool kids however took their art form far beyond their music, as Yellow Submarine brought an entirely new depth to their lyrics and trippy vibes.

With a turn towards realism and an increased interest in documentaries, the band documentary has skyrocketed in popularity, and few of the films from this genre are as impressive as Davis Guggenheim’s It Might Get LoudIt Might Get Loud interviews a long list of legendary rock gods, including Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, U2’s Edge, and Jack White, all of which give unique insight into their passions for music. Countless other music documentaries have tried to achieve this same level of depth, and we can only hope the film continues to inspire film makers to give fans a better look into our favorite musicians.

Returning to the present This is Us, it seems difficult to feel as though we’ve come full circle. Few would feel comfortable placing One Direction next to any of the greats previously mentioned. So before shelling out ten bucks to take your family to see the teenage sensations on stage, maybe look into one of these other classics first.

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"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way." Edward de Bono