The Master of Space and Time
Episode 10 – The Load Out:
One of the most often asked questions received by readers of The Uncool is “When will The Union be released on DVD and Blu-ray?” We hear you and want to see it released as well! While attention is now turned to “Untitled Hawaii”, we hope to give The Union its proper due in 2014. We will keep you posted on our progress, so please stay tuned.
Cameron chats about The Union in this video interview. Topics include the origin of the documentary, the magic of capturing Elton John and Leon Russell in the studio and much more. The Union will debut Thursday, February 2nd at 9pm (EST/PST) exclusively on HBO.
Welcome to another edition of Inquire Within… Through your submissions, Cameron will answer your questions in his own words.
Doug Shiloh (Rockford, IL): Two of your major films Vanilla Sky and Jerry Maguire (which are favorites of mine, by the way) delve into redemption for people who were in the kingdom of greatness, one way or another. How do the new documentaries further your look into this territory (Leon Russell’s return seems to be part of this). What is it about the theme that grabs you?
Cameron: I think many of the great heroes in history, from Winston Churchill to Steve Jobs, were cast out of the kingdom of greatness. Their life-defining work sometimes happens upon their rugged return to power. That theme has always grabbed me. It’s very easy to throw in the towel, but sometimes a simple refusal to give up leads to a whole new life. This theme began for me with Brad Hamilton’s story in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The fast food king was able to return with a simple twist of fate… the unexpected help of the person he least expected. Spicoli. When we first saw Fast Times on a big screen with a paying audience, it was that moment that caused people to applaud in the audience. I never forgot that.
And it’s even a theme in Pearl Jam Twenty. When many of their contemporaries were giving up, and giving up on the band itself, they kept going… and found the passionate audience that keeps them alive today. Thanks for the question, Doug.
Welcome to another edition of Inquire Within… Through your submissions, Cameron will answer your questions in his own words. The goal is to have a new question and answer posting every week or two leading up to the releases of Pearl Jam Twenty and We Bought a Zoo this fall and The Union early next year.
James Clark: Like your good-self, I am a huge Elton John fan and cannot wait to see your new documentary The Union. I’m so grateful to you for giving fans like myself an opportunity to see Elton (and Leon) doing ‘their thing’ in the studio. Why was “Mandalay Again” left off the main release? It’s such a beautiful song I actually think it’s one of Elton and Bernie’s best… ever! I’m assuming here that you were privy to the conversations that lead to it being left off the album and was hoping that you may be able to shed some light. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on the song.
Cameron: Like all of us who worked on the film, we loved “Mandalay Again.” LOVED the song. It was a surprise to us when Elton John decided that it didn’t quite fit in the specific tone of The Union. I think his reason was that it was a little too much in the “classic” vein of Bernie and Elton’s later work, and maybe not necessarily representative of the Union sessions as a whole. Glad he decided to release it as part of the deluxe edition of the album. We also loved the demos for many of the “Union” songs, and use “Never Too Old” in demo form quite liberally in the finished film. Nice question. To paraphrase Steely Dan, only a true fan could ask that.
The Union doc debuts on HBO in January.
Please send in your questions for Cameron and maybe yours will be part of a future installment of Inquire Within…