more than a song

more than a song

Paul Vaktar-Savoy, Magne Fuhruholmen, and Morten Harket

Paul Vaktar-Savoy, Magne Fuhruholmen, and Morten Harket
Photo, light year entertainment

To be a fan of A-Ha in the United States in the late ’80s and early ’90s was to invoke the same joke over and over again: “Oh, what’s their greatest hits album EP?” It’s not like A-Ha has ever stopped recording, or been successful in much of the world. But here, along with a song—you know the one—that is used by many movies and TV shows as shorthand for ’80s cheese, they are referred to as the band that plays karaoke during Tests your falsetto. The same band that is often incorrectly referred to as the one-hit wonder Still Holds the Guinness World Record for highest concert attendance since a 1991 show in Rio de Janeiro, and also performed the critic’s estimate of the second best James Bond theme song, “The Living Daylights”. (The best, of course, is Duran Duran’s “A View T.Oye Beat.”)

Hence A-Ha: The Movie does not have a documented version of what you do, but it conjures up most of the world’s assumptions about the band, even as it dutifully repairs their legacy. For the first half, we are treated to several versions of “O Take”.N Me,” a very different song from the original riff in several (correctly) rejected incarnations, including the first single version that flopped. At least domestically, most ticket buyers (probably rightly) expected But following the irresistible hook of that chart-topping tune and surrounding it is the story of a band, in their own words, that follows neither the rise nor the fall. behind the Music Lean into the script or just nostalgia. It’s a compelling story of three perfectionists who find music to be their bond, but don’t work very well together unless they have to.

In the ’80s, singer Morten Harket was probably almost as pinned on the walls of as many European teen girls as Tom Cruise and George Michael. It was never a demanding role, except to the extent that it attracted the attention of record labels early in the band’s career. In fact, when A-Ha plays live, it is keyboardist Magne Furuholmen who serves as frontman, jokes with the crowd and drives the show. Meanwhile, guitarist Pol Vaktar-Savoy is arguably the boss behind the scenes, though he hates the spotlight. HarketThe K pipes include a superb vocal range, which hits “Take O.” There’s a reason for the chorus ofn Me” not only stands out but is tolerated so well :IThe T starts low and ends super-high, something most other rock stars can’t.

The film does not try to make a case for the greatness of the band, mainly because it is not needed; As mentioned earlier, his achievements set a worldwide benchmark. But it does offer some theories as to why his music stalled in the US, and why Bono’s (possibly unintentional) cradle from “The Sun Always Shines on TV” in U2,s “Beautiful Day” is increasingly better known here than in the original. According to A-Hey, their marketing error in the US was to pursue “Manhattan Skyline” as a single, with tempo changes and vocal changes that they hoped would adopt the trio. “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The film shows how he would have fought very hard with his label in this and some other circumstances (who argues with John Barry over his credit for the Bond theme?), and is easily capitulated elsewhere ( There’s a reason you only remember videos that use rotoscoped animation, and it’s not because others were not),

At one point, the film moves to the present day to show the band’s perfectionist nature in real time as they prepare. mtv unplugged, It’s a rare example of Harket getting tough on camera after years of effortlessly slaying it for a magazine cover. The speaker-Savoy control can be cranky, and furuholmen angry “little brother,” but it is here that we learn Harket Can get tired of your voice, and hate being forced to hit those high notes for too long.

Director Thomas Robsham, who directed the Norwegian documentary series Punks and produced the 2022 Oscar nominees the worst person in the world, fascinated by the prospect of documenting the recording of their next album, followed A-Ha for four years. That part never happened. At that point the band broke up and reunited, and still could not agree to record anything new. furuholmen The main holdout seems to be, thanks to a very personal reason he reveals end of movie Which goes much deeper than the business personalities or arguments over the songwriting credits.

Cleverly using a style of rotoscoping similar to the band’s early videos, Robsam creates flashbacks in real environments using drawn figures, occasionally using it for interstitial shots that he clearly wants. that it be in live-action. That said, there is a surprising amount of media left over from the band’s early analog days, but after achieving their biggest hits with their first single, the film was a satisfying show for longtime fans and newcomers alike. fills the gap.

Are there any errors? Sure. The film does not reveal the story of how the band got their name (Wikipedia is your friend here), nor why they record exclusively in English, although it is safe to assume that the latter was originally a targeted marketing decision. Waaktaar-Savoywho married an American, only speaks English from camera (he now also speaks his first spell name “Paul”), while Harket and furuholmen Stick to Norwegian, although they both speak languages.

Nevertheless, it started an advance wave of documentaries (including Edgar Wright). The Sparks Brothers) that first catch the music publishers exciting Gen-Xers. It’s amazing that boomers can choose from so many movies about The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, And much more, but for 1980s kids, even a -hectare film from the past four decades seems like a real gift. Especially since its greatest achievement may have been for fans to celebrate their longevity, and to destroy the perception of the group as a nostalgia (even though they refuse to record any new albums). ). After all, they’re still on tour at the moment, with a date at the Hollywood Bowl in July. can we get Eraser: The Movie next? Asking for a friend.

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