Over the past forty-plus years British film director Tony Palmer has established himself as one of the country’s foremost directors of documentary and factual films. One of Tony Palmer's first successes was the film All My Loving, which was released in 1968. Some seven years later Tony had the idea, encouraged by John Lennon, to document the history of popular music. The result was the groundbreaking and award-winning series of films made for television under the title All You Need Is Love. The full series of films was released in 2008 to great critical and commercial acclaim.
Volume Two I Can Hypnotise ‘Dis Nation- Ragtime covers the musical genre that underwent a revival during the mid-seventies.
Thanks to the hit movie The Sting, everyone reckons they know about Ragtime. But do they? This episode includes the oldest known piece of film (1898) showing what the cakewalk was really like. Also included are extracts from The Royal Ballet production based on Scott Joplin’s music, Elite Syncopations and extracts staged by the Houston Grand Opera of Joplin’s only surviving opera, Treemonisha. There is also rare early film of Irving Berlin (Alexander’s Ragtime Band) as well as film of Joplin’s birthplace and of the madhouse where he died.
Although reference is made to other early ragtime composers, this episode is essentially the story of Scott Joplin – an extraordinary tragedy of failure, frustration, pride, of the black man’s struggle to achieve for himself a proper place in American society. This episode features music from Eubie Blake, Scott Joplin and Irving Berlin.
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