Tag Archives: Music

#202 – Song for Bibi

(1978, Swe, 97 min) Dir Lasse Hallström. Cast Viveka Vong, Liv Ullmann, Molly Gold.

After the success of ABBA: The Movie and before his ascension to the height of mild-mannered Hollywood prestige, Lasse Hallström was commissioned to make this, the official Eurovision film. Then unknown and now forgotten singer-songwriter Viveka Vong plays herself, a simple country girl whose only dream is to sing her songs of love and peace to as wide a world as she can. Luckily for Vong former Eurovision champions ABBA hear her song when passing through town between gigs and before she can say Boom Bang-a-Bang she’s on national television competing to be that year’s entry. Needless to say she goes through to the main event and I don’t think that I’m spoiling anyone’s fun when I reveal that she ends the film triumphant despite the best efforts of her Irish rival Erin O’Eire (Gold). Song for Bibi was a minor hit in the day but for reasons unknown it’s been mostly forgotten and is all but erased from Eurovision history. This is a shame as it’s as much campy fun as you would expect and production’s pretty high-end too – enough money has been flung at it for Liv Ullmann to have been roped in as Vong’s voice coach, her Bergman collaborator Sven Nykvist hired as cinematographer and the “Swedish Edith Head” Elsa Nöggin employed for the fantastically bonkers costumes.

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Twitter: @MadeUpFilms

#109 – Alan Messing, Side Two

(1967, US, 100 min) Dir D.A. Pennebaker. Cast Alan Messing, Tyrone Faith, James ‘Jimmy’ Josephth.

Documentary following one hit country wonder Alan Messing as he records his follow up to Two Roads to Reno, the LSD soaked epic of tunelessness Ecstasy and Enlightenment. Word is that Messing got Pennebaker himself after Don’t Look Back by phoning the man and declaring: “Well you’ve done Dylan and the Kennedy brothers, why not work with a legend for a change?” Certainly from the evidence on display here this doesn’t seem unlikely as Messing isn’t short of ego, bullying all and sundry with his outlandish demands and constantly referring to himself as ‘The Talent’ (and yes, you can hear the capitalisation there when he says it). A fascinating if toe curling record of total hubris which works especially well with it’s follow up, The Ecstasy and Enlightenment of Alan Messing, which was shot thirty years later with an apparently unrepentant Messing, who has been cosmetic surgeried to an unrecognisable degree.

www.imaginaryfilmguide.com

Twitter: @MadeUpFilms