Yes, I do plan on seeing “Bruno.” But my first order of business this weekend was checking out the documentary “Soul Power,” which opened today in a handful of theaters in L.A. and New York.
A companion piece to “When We Were Kings,” “Soul Power” focuses on the three-day music festival scheduled to coincide with the 1974 Ali-Foreman fight in Zaire.
The festival presented an awesome collection of talent: James Brown, B.B. King, Celia Cruz, Miriam Makeba, Bill Withers, the Spinners, the Crusaders...
Drawing from many hours’ worth of precious footage, director Jeffrey Levy-Hinte has prepared a joyful meal of a movie. But he takes his time in setting the table.
A third of the movie is over before the first concert scene (the Spinners doing “One of a Kind Love Affair”). I would’ve preferred less behind-the-scenes stuff about the construction of the stage, for instance, in exchange for a couple more music performances.
The performances are thrilling... building up to James Brown and the J.B.’s roaring through “Payback” and “Cold Sweat.”
Quite a coincidence that “Soul Power” would open on the very day that President Obama arrives in Ghana. Because the sight of Muhammad Ali and James Brown in Africa evokes the same sense of cultural magic.
Here is the trailer: