Screening: Song Remain The Same

Sat 14th March 2009
South Birmingham College
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Part of Flatpack Festival
Screening of: The Song Remains the Same

Dir. Peter Clifton & Joe Massot
UK/USA 1976, 137 mins
Feat. Robert Plant; Jimmy Page; John Bonham; John Paul Jones

Back in the day when psychedelic concept movies were compulsory for any self-respecting rock band, Led Zeppelin took the plunge with this patchy but often entertaining document of their 1973 Houses of the Holy tour. The meat of the film is a performance at Madison Square Gardens shot over three nights in which the group steam through ‘Stairway’, ‘Black Dog’, ‘Heartbreaker’ and the rest to thunderous effect. Also scattered through the movie are fantasy sequences which Spinal Tap might have cringed at, including Plant rescuing a fair maiden and Page meeting a hermit up a mountain. The simplest and most touching is John Bonham’s, shot on his farm near Droitwich.

The making-of story is an epic in its own right, and today’s special screening will include a talk by Birmingham-born documentary maker and music historian Chris Phipps. Combining personal anecdotes with music fact and urban fiction, Phipps will provide a unique decoding of a band and film which often defy description. As he says, “you may leave with more questions than answers, but that’s Zeppelin.”

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