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Elvis by the Presleys
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Presley, Elvis - Elvis by the Presleys, 2 DVD, 270 minutes
Un documentaire retraçant la vie et la carrière du King. Pour la première fois, sa femme Priscilla et sa fille Lisa-Marie parlent d'Elvis, racontent la vie à ses côtés et autorisent la diffusion de nombreuses images d'archives personnelles totalement inédites (photos, films de famille). Découvrez également des images live rares et inédites des années 50 aux années 70.
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Par contre, je pense que ce DVD est formidable pour le grand public ou les personnes qui désireraient en savoir plus sur l'homme. Le documentaire est très bien fait et même si on ne peut pas empêcher quelques embellissements de la vérité, certains aspects négatifs de la personnalité d'Elvis sont également abordés.
On a le plaisir d'entendre aussi plusieurs chansons du King et pas forcément les éternels standards qu'on entend à tout bout de champ.
D'ailleurs le CD et le livre qui ont accompagnés la sortie de ce documentaire sont également très bien faits bien que le CD fasse complètement l'impasse sur les chansons des années 60.
Ce DVD est donc très intéressant et mériterait d'être diffusé sur une grande chaîne de télévision Française pour faire connaitre à un large public Elvis et la vérité sur sa vie. Les fans, quant à eux, trouveront leur bonheur également car ce documentaire remet quelques pendules à l'heure. De plus, quelle émotion d'entendre enfin Lisa Marie parler de son père si tendrement.
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Second thought: Wow, I sure hope they'll make this one available on DVD.
Third thought: Gotta buy this!
I was especially moved by the outtakes, shown in this production, that had been dropped from the original specials. Priscilla's warm, intelligent, and engaging, as usual; both she and Lisa Marie are forthright about the darker side of life with Elvis without stooping to talk-show sensationalism.
We've waited a long, long time for a documentary like this.
Priscilla (who is amazingly beautiful and seems to be aging at a rate of one year to every seven of our years!) is engaging and very forthcoming about her obvious affection for ol' 'E'. this portrait is more honest, and filled with less bias than any documentary so far. after Albert Goldman's turd of a book and everyone else who attacked, mocked and caricatured Elvis after his death, it's nice to find an intimate, mainly cheese-free study of who he was by the people who really loved him.
i liked him before this documentary and i like him even more now.
in no way, does the family portray Elvis as perfect, nor do they crucify him as an indulgent brat. he comes off as someone who became caught up in something bigger than himself and did the best he could to exist in that wild place without complaining. sure, Elvis could probably be an ass at times, but who isn't? sure, he was fairly incapable of personal intimacy...but i didn't see any hatred from Priscilla. in fact, with time, it seems she understands why he was this way and accepts him for it. i don't feel she was self-serving in any way. i also felt honored to hear things from HER personal perspective. I read, 'Elvis and Me' when it came out and i believe the wounds were still fresh back then. i didn't get the impression that there was any Presley propaganda or dirty laundry in what Cilla had to say here.
Elvis had control over Elvis' life and no one else. Pricilla did a damn fine job with herself and she must be a pretty good egg to be standing by Elvis the way she has. the Presley estate belongs to Lisa, not Pricilla. i really don't get the impression that money is her motivating factor with this show.
Pricilla's parents btw, are some of the coolest people i've ever seen. i'm certain they had a large impact on Elvis' life and it's obvious they felt for him as a son. i was glad to spend time with them as well as Cilla's sister. i'm sure you will too. these are people who experienced the crazyness from a distance and if they had something negative to say, i believe they would've said it.
through the eyes of the documentary subjects (granted everyone under the Elvis sun wasn't included), i feel i understand Elvis a little better. frankly, i don't want to hear every filthy detail of his life. this show does a wonderful job in breaking down the many facets of Elvis' life and giving you some insight into how they made up who he was.
sure it's a cliche to describe Elvis as a respectful, humble southern boy. after watching this you believe it. in fact, much of this is what i believe led to his downfall. you get the impression that Elvis' career decisions were not necessarily his own and he didn't speak up out of respect, trust and loyalty for the Colonel and the companies to which he was contracted. as horrible as the 60s movies and soundtracks were, you get the impression that Elvis did what he was told as a professional and did his complaining at home...and he suffered for it.
it's easy today, to laugh at Elvis and say he should have taken more control of his career. i believe the documentary shows that Elvis was incapable of disloyalty and i like him for it. i just read that Russell Crowe is making a settlement for 11 million dollars with a room service attendant in a New York hotel. apparently, the phone didn't work well enough for Crowe and this poor, minimum wage schmuck had the phone tossed at his head. the only reason Crowe is settling the case is due to US work permits being pulled. wot an ass. now, Elvis may have been a primadonna, but i sincerely doubt he would have engaged in such behaviour with people less fortunate than him. in fact, the one's he may have tortured are the one's he loved...and that's something Elvis didn't invent.
from the documentary, you get the impression that Elvis was a good guy that tortured himself as much as he delighted in his life's gifts. you see that these extreme emotions are what may have led to his early death. his talent was his savior and his downfall. all that remains is the record of his talent. i tend to rate Elvis on his highs rather than his lows.
finally, it's the crafting of the documentary itself. its just damn fun...period. yes, there's a great deal of footage that you've seen before as other reviewers have mentioned. however, they fail to see the pure craft in which the filmmakers use that footage. most of the edits are absolutely tounge-in-cheek. that's the point! example: the shot of Elvis leaving the Lisa Marie and "I Believe in the Man in the Sky" song clip...it's fun! that's the point! Elvis + Flying Machine = Man/Sky...get it? i like that the film is light and not pretentious or in corny glorification of Elvis. i feel it's more akin to home movie night with the Presley's and you're invited. i work in television myself, and from that point of view, these filmmakers did a consciously good job.
in the end, it's up to the individual viewer to decide. if you're thinking about picking this DVD up, in this reviewer's opinion, get it! it's fun, it's honest and it's sitting down with people you like sharing stories about a good guy who happened to be one of the most influential people of the twentieth century. the DVD did it's job for me!
One cannot question, and can only thank Priscilla and Lisa Marie for allowing us to see their personal photos and films, as well as for those amazing performances again.
Rest in peace, King of Rock and Roll
But this is NOT a fluff piece of Presley propaganda.
Everyone is surprisingly open and honest about a lot of their lives with Elvis, and the portrait that emerges from an already-researched-to-death life of the king of rock-n-roll manages to be fresh and fascinating to even the most jaded fan. The home movies and photos are extensive, the memories shared by everyone (especially Priscilla, Lisa Marie and Jerry Schilling) are open and unflinching, the details of a life so hidden from the public during Elvis' reign are interesting and enlightening.
Be sure to check out the bonus materials on the second disc. Jerry Schilling offers more details about Elvis' meeting with President Richard Nixon (even clips from an interview with Nixon is featured!) and talks about how Elvis gave all the cash he had with him to a soldier he meets on a plane coming home from Vietnam.
The king still manages to charm from beyond the grave.
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