By TOM D'ANTONI // Screening tonight at NW Film Center's 34th Reel Music Festival.
There should be a definitive documentary on Mose Allison, but this isn't it. This one is like reading a Wikipedia entry. There's nothing wrong with it and those who don't know much about the bard of Tippa, Mississippi will learn a lot of facts, but when it comes to the heart and soul of the man, it's not there.
How do I know? I've interviewed him. He doesn't seem much interested in answering questions put to him. You can tell by the chuckle he makes after most of his answers. He did not behave that way when I interviewed him. There's an obvious lack of connection between Moses and his interviewer.
And they left out one of the most important factors in his life. He was a decades long practitioner of Tai-Chi. He even wrote a song about it. That subject does not appear in this film. Why not? Because he didn't want to talk about it? If he didn't, what else didn't he want to talk about? Because the film maker didn't know about it? I don't have the answer to that, but you have to think that if this important part of his life is left out, or never discovered, what else is missing?
Why is his wife interviewed alone and why are there no shots of the two of them?
Still, it's Mose and there's lots of music to enjoy. Absolutely worth the price of admission for that alone. The shots of Tippa and facts about Mose father are interesting. The fact that his father virtually owned the town, and the effect on Mose is glossed over. Seemed like Mose didn't want to get into it very deeply.
You just have to not expect anything in-depth with this film. One thing it does accomplish. He passed in November and it makes me miss him even more.
Wednesday, January 25 @ 7:00 pm. Tickets.
This is how he reflected on his life:
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