Tag Archives: Leon Russell

The Union: Blu-ray and DVD Update

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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.

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Aug 29, 2013

The Union – HBO Debut Tonight

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The wait is over in North America as HBO will debut Cameron’s documentary, The Union tonight at 9pm (EST/PST). This behind the scenes film follows the reunion and collaboration of Elton John and Leon Russell. Let us know what you think.

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Feb 2, 2012

Cameron On The Union

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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.

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Jan 30, 2012

The Union: HBO Debut Set For February 2nd!

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The Union will make its HBO debut on Thursday, February 2nd . This behind the scenes look at the historical collaboration between Elton John and Leon Russell will run on HBO throughout the month. To celebrate, here’s a few never before seen stills from the film.
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Jan 10, 2012

Inquire Within: Redemption

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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.

Please send in your questions for Cameron and maybe yours will be part of a future installment of Inquire Within…
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Dec 22, 2011

Inquire Within: Missing “Mandalay Again”?

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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…

 

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Jul 25, 2011

The Union – Press Release – HBO Debut January 2012!

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Great news today! Here’s the press release:

HBO Documentary Films Acquires Cameron’s Crowe’s The Union

CHRONICLING THE COLLABORATION BETWEEN MUSICAL GIANTS ELTON JOHN AND LEON RUSSELL

NEW YORK, June 6, 2011 – HBO Documentary films has acquired the domestic TV rights to THE UNION from Vinyl Films, it was announced today.  Directed by Cameron Crowe (“Almost Famous,” “Jerry Maguire”), the film will debut on HBO in Jan. 2012.

THE UNION takes an unprecedented look at the creative life of Elton John and his remarkable collaborative album with his early-career idol, Leon Russell, produced by award-winning music producer T Bone Burnett.  Never before filmed in his composing process, John is captured by Crowe in this candid portrait of one of the world’s most treasured artists and performers.  Begun in Nov. 2009, THE UNION chronicles the entire writing and recording process of the heralded album John recorded with Russell.

“I’m a great fan of HBO and their extraordinary programming, so I’m particularly thrilled that they will be airing THE UNION,” commented Elton John.

The film had its world premiere as the opening night selection at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.  Creative Artists Agency (CAA) represents Crowe and Burnett and negotiated the deal with HBO on behalf of the filmmakers.

THE UNION is directed by Cameron Crowe; produced by Cameron Crowe and Michelle Panek; executive producer, Johnny Barbis; editor, Kevin Long.

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Jun 6, 2011

The Union – Recap

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Elton John and Martin Scorsese

The Union debuted Wednesday night at the 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival. It sounds like the free, outdoor event went off without a hitch and the weather cooperated as well. More than 5,000 people watched the documentary which included opening comments from Elton John, Martin Scorsese and video messages from both Leon Russell and Cameron (along with the rest of the cast, crew and animals on the set of We Bought a Zoo).


Cast & Crew Video Intro

After the screening, Elton performed some of his biggest hits and a few songs from The Union as well. The entire set list was as follows: “Tiny Dancer”, “Rocket Man”, “Gone to Shiloh”, “You’re Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)”, “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues” and “Your Song”. Here’s a video snippet recapping the evening from Euro News:

Lastly, Here’s a few of the relevant quotes from the evening’s festivities. You can also read stories about the event over at the Hollywood Reporter or USA Today,

“For me, movies and music have been inseparable. They always have been and always will be,” said Scorsese. “And I know that the same holds true for Cameron Crowe. I have to say that I’ve always been kind of envious of Cameron’s teenage years. Because about a half a century ago when I was young. People always had a fantasy about running away with the circus or running away with the carnival. This was never seemed that appealing to me because I saw the film version of Nightmare Alley and it really wasn’t really my thing. But Cameron ran away with the band when he was a teenager. And his connection to the music is there in every frame of every film he has ever made. From Say Anything… to Almost Famous to the wonderful picture you are going to see here tonight, The Union – Martin Scorsese

“With Cameron (filming) was very uninvasive. You don’t notice him after awhile. He’s got a knack for appearing behind plants and things like that.” – Elton John

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Apr 22, 2011


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