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The Doors From the Outside


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#1 Roughie

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 11:52 PM

This is my review of The Doors from the Outside. It isn't a professional review, and isn't written as such. I more just wanted to give you guys an idea of what you're in for if you watch this film. Copyright to me still though!

I watched this with a wary eye and ear considering Patricia Kennealy was involved in it and billed as the Lizard Queen and Jim Morrisonís widow. Although in saying that I decided or at least tried not to judge it until I had seen it.
My first reaction was to yell ďwhat?Ē very loudly at the screen. Not a good start really is it? What caused this reaction? Was it something Kennealy said? Nope... it was in 4:3 aspect ratio! For a documentary released in 2009 and in a time of widescreen and HD this is unforgivable. Maybe seeing as they had Doors footage only in 4:3 they made an executive decision to keep a unified look throughout the film? Still, it is no excuse.

Sticking with the technical analysis for a moment, the interview shots were appalling. They were badly composed, and lit. A couple of the people were just on chairs in empty rooms! No thought had gone into the shots at all. The editing was ok, bar a few loose cuts here and there, but it was slow. Too slow. Sometimes the audio is strange, including some of the Doors tracks. Was it done on purpose? Not sure, but it didnít work. Sometimes the music in the background competed with the narration and/or the person being interviewed.
It was billed to have ďthe rarest footage of the band in existence... seldom seen photographs... and news clipsĒ... this clearly isnít the case, unless you are a complete newbie to the Doors scene/story! Quite a letdown in that department, but with 'When Youíre Strange' in production at the same time, who could expect anything different?

With all that said, it was actually quite interesting. It covered the band getting together very briefly and then proceeded to cover and critique all of the Morrison era albums, and what was happening with the band and a little bit of society during those times. Waiting for the Sun and The Soft Parade get better reviews than you would or possibly have come to expect. They are certainly no rave reviews but better than usual. Morrison hotel got perhaps a slightly worse review than usual! The other three all got the usual treatment.
Other Voices and Full Circle even got a mention!!! Thatís a first as far as I know. Their appearance in the film was brief, but I thought deserved a mention. Strangely enough, American Prayer was missing in action!

Despite knowing the Doors story backwards some of the interviews were interesting, even though some seemed to not like the Doors as you might expect. It was fascinating to hear what Billy James and Marc Benno had to say. If you already know the Doors story, I would suggest only watching those interviews.

Doug Sundling speaks with great passion and was a pleasure to watch. You can tell he is a true fan and you find yourself just waiting to hear from him again.

Richard Goldstein (sans cape) was quite interesting to watch as well. He seemed/seems to really care about the Doors.

James Riordan was ok and perhaps under-utilized in the film. I want to read his book now!

Johnny Rogan, other than looking like he is a part of the mafia provides fair and unbiased views.

I didnít really get Dave Dimartinoís contributions, and felt they could have been left out. It probably didnít help that I had to keep rewinding every time he spoke so I could understand him. He sounded like the inner monologue of Darth Vader and Woody Allenís love child!

I sometimes felt like I was watching a look-a-like competition due to some of the people in it, but then again it probably says something about the film failing to keep my attention than anything else. And I am a Doors nut! Robert Christagau looks like he could be Rays brother, and Ritchie Unterberger reminded me of David Cross for some reason. I enjoyed these two as the seemed to have opposite views on things. Both seem to have opposite views to Sundling, which works nicely.

Unterberger seemed to dislike anything that was dark!

Christagau is the only one to remark on the musicians abilities, and that is a shame as it comes across as one sided, and a bit empty. He thinks that Manzarek is only ok, that Krieger is amazing and seems conflicted about how he feels about Densmore.

I guess that only leaves me with one other person... Patricia Kennealy! The first time she appeared on screen I thought... here we go! But what she said was ok, normal actually! Bit of a shock. I do think someone should help her out and replace her 1985 reading glasses for her though, she looks like an owl! But donít worry not long after that she starts speaking of her dislike of Doors fans (she avoids using the term Doorzoids though!) and general ranting etc. It gets a bit much and really turns you off the film.

There is a special featurette with Kennealy but I havenít brought myself to watch it yet and I am not sure if I ever will!

The film is lacking quite a few things, such as interviews with the actual Doors or Bruce B, as well as others. There needed to be a lot more footage and music of the Doors in there as well.
Nothing was mentioned of Jimís true love Pam, which isnít surprising seeing as Kennealy is involved. Even when the briefly cover Jims death they donít mention her.

Not a lot was said about the other members and their lives either, so again it is the Jim Morrison show in a way. Can we blame them though? Jim Morrison is the most interesting one. Not to say the others are boring, far from it, yet he was the one living in excess and causing problems etc.

After sitting through all of the 139 minutes it only got me that much more excited to see When youíre Strange. It feels that this was a doco made specifically for YouTube, and not the DVD I watched it on! I was bored with it for most of the time and was left feeling like I wanted more... but not in a good way.
The Down, Across & Up DVD is now available. It is a multi-region DVD. The DVD and book are available through our website.

www.downacrossup.com

www.purplesheep.co.nz

#2 Encuentro

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 01:26 AM

This is my review of The Doors from the Outside. It isn't a professional review, and isn't written as such. I more just wanted to give you guys an idea of what you're in for if you watch this film. Copyright to me still though!

I watched this with a wary eye and ear considering Patricia Kennealy was involved in it and billed as the Lizard Queen and Jim Morrison’s widow. Although in saying that I decided or at least tried not to judge it until I had seen it.
My first reaction was to yell “what?” very loudly at the screen. Not a good start really is it? What caused this reaction? Was it something Kennealy said? Nope... it was in 4:3 aspect ratio! For a documentary released in 2009 and in a time of widescreen and HD this is unforgivable. Maybe seeing as they had Doors footage only in 4:3 they made an executive decision to keep a unified look throughout the film? Still, it is no excuse.

Sticking with the technical analysis for a moment, the interview shots were appalling. They were badly composed, and lit. A couple of the people were just on chairs in empty rooms! No thought had gone into the shots at all. The editing was ok, bar a few loose cuts here and there, but it was slow. Too slow. Sometimes the audio is strange, including some of the Doors tracks. Was it done on purpose? Not sure, but it didn’t work. Sometimes the music in the background competed with the narration and/or the person being interviewed.
It was billed to have “the rarest footage of the band in existence... seldom seen photographs... and news clips”... this clearly isn’t the case, unless you are a complete newbie to the Doors scene/story! Quite a letdown in that department, but with 'When You’re Strange' in production at the same time, who could expect anything different?

With all that said, it was actually quite interesting. It covered the band getting together very briefly and then proceeded to cover and critique all of the Morrison era albums, and what was happening with the band and a little bit of society during those times. Waiting for the Sun and The Soft Parade get better reviews than you would or possibly have come to expect. They are certainly no rave reviews but better than usual. Morrison hotel got perhaps a slightly worse review than usual! The other three all got the usual treatment.
Other Voices and Full Circle even got a mention!!! That’s a first as far as I know. Their appearance in the film was brief, but I thought deserved a mention. Strangely enough, American Prayer was missing in action!

Despite knowing the Doors story backwards some of the interviews were interesting, even though some seemed to not like the Doors as you might expect. It was fascinating to hear what Billy James and Marc Benno had to say. If you already know the Doors story, I would suggest only watching those interviews.

Doug Sundling speaks with great passion and was a pleasure to watch. You can tell he is a true fan and you find yourself just waiting to hear from him again.

Richard Goldstein (sans cape) was quite interesting to watch as well. He seemed/seems to really care about the Doors.

James Riordan was ok and perhaps under-utilized in the film. I want to read his book now!

Johnny Rogan, other than looking like he is a part of the mafia provides fair and unbiased views.

I didn’t really get Dave Dimartino’s contributions, and felt they could have been left out. It probably didn’t help that I had to keep rewinding every time he spoke so I could understand him. He sounded like the inner monologue of Darth Vader and Woody Allen’s love child!

I sometimes felt like I was watching a look-a-like competition due to some of the people in it, but then again it probably says something about the film failing to keep my attention than anything else. And I am a Doors nut! Robert Christagau looks like he could be Rays brother, and Ritchie Unterberger reminded me of David Cross for some reason. I enjoyed these two as the seemed to have opposite views on things. Both seem to have opposite views to Sundling, which works nicely.

Unterberger seemed to dislike anything that was dark!

Christagau is the only one to remark on the musicians abilities, and that is a shame as it comes across as one sided, and a bit empty. He thinks that Manzarek is only ok, that Krieger is amazing and seems conflicted about how he feels about Densmore.

I guess that only leaves me with one other person... Patricia Kennealy! The first time she appeared on screen I thought... here we go! But what she said was ok, normal actually! Bit of a shock. I do think someone should help her out and replace her 1985 reading glasses for her though, she looks like an owl! But don’t worry not long after that she starts speaking of her dislike of Doors fans (she avoids using the term Doorzoids though!) and general ranting etc. It gets a bit much and really turns you off the film.

There is a special featurette with Kennealy but I haven’t brought myself to watch it yet and I am not sure if I ever will!

The film is lacking quite a few things, such as interviews with the actual Doors or Bruce B, as well as others. There needed to be a lot more footage and music of the Doors in there as well.
Nothing was mentioned of Jim’s true love Pam, which isn’t surprising seeing as Kennealy is involved. Even when the briefly cover Jims death they don’t mention her.

Not a lot was said about the other members and their lives either, so again it is the Jim Morrison show in a way. Can we blame them though? Jim Morrison is the most interesting one. Not to say the others are boring, far from it, yet he was the one living in excess and causing problems etc.

After sitting through all of the 139 minutes it only got me that much more excited to see When you’re Strange. It feels that this was a doco made specifically for YouTube, and not the DVD I watched it on! I was bored with it for most of the time and was left feeling like I wanted more... but not in a good way.

I enjoyed reading your review. It's very well written. I've seen it as well, 3 times actually, and I have some agreements and some disagreements with some of your points. First off, I enjoyed it very much, and I highly recommend it. Regarding you first point about the production quality, I hadn't actually noticed, but then again, I'm not usually one to take notice of such things. I did notice that it didn't seem to have much of a budget, but being that it was an independent, unauthorized film, that was to be expected. I think that they did well with what they had. I honestly don't even know what 4:3 aspect ratio means. I'm more interested in substance than style for the most part.

I hadn't noticed the poor lighting or settings for the interviews, but as I stated, I'm more interested in style than substance. I found the substance of the interviews to be very interesting whether or not I agreed with their points. The fact that I disagreed with some of their points and that they sometimes disagreed with each other made the documentary much more interesting to me. I've seen documentaries about The Doors that sing their praises through the entire film, and although that's fine, and it has its place, I feel like it's been done before. I agree with many of the points you made regarding what the participants had to say. Regarding your desire to read Riordan's book, please do. In my opinion, it's the best Morrison biography. It's thorough and objective.

I disagree with your point that Pam should have been included. One of the things that I enjoyed about this documentary was that it is ALL about the music. It's not about their personal lives. It's a nearly 2 hour and 20 minute analysis of The Doors' 6 Morrison era studio albums. Sure, Pam was the inspiration for some of the songs that Jim penned, but both Jim and Robby had many inspirations for their many songs. As long as the documentary is, they don't have time to analyze every inspiration for every song.

Thanks for sharing your points on this generally overlooked documentary. I wish that more people would watch it.

Edited by Encuentro, 24 April 2010 - 01:28 AM.


#3 Roughie

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 01:38 AM

I enjoyed reading your review. It's very well written. I've seen it as well, 3 times actually, and I have some agreements and some disagreements with some of your points. First off, I enjoyed it very much, and I highly recommend it. Regarding you first point about the production quality, I hadn't actually noticed, but then again, I'm not usually one to take notice of such things. I did notice that it didn't seem to have much of a budget, but being that it was an independent, unauthorized film, that was to be expected. I think that they did well with what they had. I honestly don't even know what 4:3 aspect ratio means. I'm more interested in substance than style for the most part.

I hadn't noticed the poor lighting or settings for the interviews, but as I stated, I'm more interested in style than substance. I found the substance of the interviews to be very interesting whether or not I agreed with their points. The fact that I disagreed with some of their points and that they sometimes disagreed with each other made the documentary much more interesting to me. I've seen documentaries about The Doors that sing their praises through the entire film, and although that's fine, and it has its place, I feel like it's been done before. I agree with many of the points you made regarding what the participants had to say. Regarding your desire to read Riordan's book, please do. In my opinion, it's the best Morrison biography. It's thorough and objective.

I disagree with your point that Pam should have been included. One of the things that I enjoyed about this documentary was that it is ALL about the music. It's not about their personal lives. It's a nearly 2 hour and 20 minute analysis of The Doors' 6 Morrison era studio albums. Sure, Pam was the inspiration for some of the songs that Jim penned, but both Jim and Robby had many inspirations for their many songs. As long as the documentary is, they don't have time to analyze every inspiration for every song.

Thanks for sharing your points on this generally overlooked documentary. I wish that more people would watch it.


Thanks for reading it, and enjoying it. I am glad (as strange as this may sound) that you disagree with some of my points. This was my perspective and others are more than welcome to share theirs. Debate is healthy.

I agree with you that the paricipants diasgreeing with each other or even saying things we don't understand was good. In fact that is probably what made it the most interesting.

I also agree with your point that they couldn't fit everything in, I really do! I was trying to give people on here a good overview of what there was and what there wasn't in it. So if they wanted to see heaps about Pam for instance then they would be wasting their time! If I was writing this professionally I doubt I would have included that! lol

I notice all of the technical things cause I am a film-maker so I couldn't help myself in talking about those things. ;)

Thanks for telling me about Riordans book, I will be sure to track down a copy.

I do think for a newbie to the Doors this film is a good watch, but I would suggest watching it in pieces, not all at once. I think Kennealy's inclusion will put a lot of people off this film and just won't watch it for that one reason!

Thanks again.

Edited by Roughie, 24 April 2010 - 01:49 AM.

The Down, Across & Up DVD is now available. It is a multi-region DVD. The DVD and book are available through our website.

www.downacrossup.com

www.purplesheep.co.nz

#4 Roughie

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 08:33 PM

More reviews

http://www.recordcol...iew-detail/4236 a review from "Record Collector"

http://www.digitally...aypr.php?ID=681 Really just shows the cover and the blurb from the back of the DVD cover.

http://www.pluginmus...-to-be-released pretty much the same as the previous one

http://www.subba-cul...ontentID/16986/ a small review

http://www.lovefilm..../review/817246/ another short one

Edited by Roughie, 24 April 2010 - 08:47 PM.

The Down, Across & Up DVD is now available. It is a multi-region DVD. The DVD and book are available through our website.

www.downacrossup.com

www.purplesheep.co.nz

#5 super8monsters

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 11:35 PM

... I'm more interested in substance than style for the most part.

... but as I stated, I'm more interested in style than substance.

I found the substance of the interviews to be very interesting whether or not I agreed with their points.


Kinda substance happy? :P

#6 Pedro Kazit

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:25 PM

11 minutes of this documentary of 2009 year(talks James Riordan, Billy James-of Columbia Records-, Richard Goldstein-remember your interview in PBS in 1969 with The Doors-, etc.):

#7 StupidGirl

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 04:04 AM

i don't know... you went to college to become the archivist? you went to college to make me fall in love?
*slap*



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