Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including the childhood horror of “Come Play” (in theatres), the haunted house terror of “His House” (Netflix) and the new documentary “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” (In-Cinemas and Virtual Cinemas).
Richard and CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia have a look at the childhood horror of “Come Play” (in theatres), the haunted house terror of “His House” (Netflix) and the new documentary “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” (In-Cinemas and Virtual Cinemas).
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the childhood horror of “Come Play” (in theatres), the haunted house terror of “His House” (Netflix) and the new documentary “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” (In-Cinemas and Virtual Cinemas).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the childhood horror of “Come Play” (in theatres), the haunted house terror of “His House” (Netflix) and the new documentary “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” (In-Cinemas and Virtual Cinemas).
Depending on your age, the name Jimmy Carter can conjure up a variety of images. There’s the elderly man, hammer in hand, leading a construction team for the Habitat for Humanity charity. Older folks may recall him as the president who pardoned all Vietnam War draft evaders on his second day in office or the man who famously admitted, “I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.”
What is lesser known is that, despite his strait-laced image, the peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia who became the 39th president of the United States was also a music fanatic. A new documentary, “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President,” which actually might have more appropriately called “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll, Gospel, Jazz, and Country President,” is now playing in theatres and on-line in virtual cinemas (see list below). It charts the connection between Carter and the likes of Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and the Allman Brothers. “There were some people who didn’t like my being involved with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson and disreputable rock and rollers,” he says in his distinctive drawl, “but I didn’t care because I was doing what I really believed.”
In the film’s opening minutes we see Carter, now in his nineties, at home in Plains. He sits in his comfy chair, a record player at his side. He talks about visitors to the home. Bob Dylan hasn’t been but the Allman Brothers, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash have all stopped by. He lowers the needle on an LP—that’s a long player for you Spotifiers—and grins with joy as the opening notes of “Hey Mr. Tambourine Man” fill the air. The film could have stopped there, as his love of the music is so apparent, but history demands more.
What follows is a collection of newsreel footage, talking head interviews with family and admirers and some incredible music. Archival film of Ray Charles singing “Georgia on My Mind,” Mahalia Jackson performing “Down by the Riverside” and Boomer faves like Dylan and the Allmans are worth the price of admission. Carter reminisces that Bob Dylan’s songs permeated the governor’s mansion. “My sons and I were brought closer together by Bob Dylan’s songs,” he says.
More importantly it’s a portrait of a deeply principled and decent man who rose from a boyhood home with no electricity of plumbing to the highest office in the land. Director Mary Wharton has made an affectionate film about a time when decency reigned; a movie that seems, these days, like ancient history.
It’s a study in soft power, the ability to attract and co-opt, rather than coerce the electorate. Carter’s genuine love of music, and habit of throwing concerts on the White House lawn, helped shape the public’s opinion of him. That love of music put everyone at ease, including Bob Dylan. The singer says that when Carter quoted his song lyrics to him, “it was the first time that I realized my songs reached into the establishment world. I had no experience in that realm. Never seen that side. It made me a little uneasy but he put my mind at ease.”
Alongside the musical memories are the political high and low lights from carter’s term as president. The two sit side-by-side uneasily. The Iran hostage crisis section, for instance, is followed by a performance of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band. In Carter’s case the political and the artistic two sides of the same coin but the mix and match give the film a disjointed feel.
Despite its flaws “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” is a worthy film about a worthy man.
Find the movie in theatres and on virtual cinema here: