Lights and shadows of Elvis Presley, the king of rock comes down to earth

Maria Estevez

The Angels



We live in convulsive times, taught by conspiracies and gibberish. Times when thousands of people believe it is possible that Elvis Presley he has not died or that he was abducted by aliens to escape from the prison of his body. The king of rock has been transformed into a semi-divine idol, one with a sanctuary of his own and a pilgrimage to Graceland. And like all myths, he now has a movie, directed by Baz Luhrmanat the height of his epic, at least in color.

The world needs larger than life heroes and Presley seems to fill that need. Perhaps that is why Luhrmann says that his ‘Elvis’ is the ‘Apocalypse Now’ of musicals. The director of ‘Moulin Rouge’ returns behind the camera after almost a decade away, when he reveled in the excesses of ‘The Great Gatsby’.

He does it without Leonardo DiCaprio but with Aston Butler to take the microphone and the guitar, with a tape with a vocation for a ‘biopic’ but with makeup, along the lines of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Rocketman’.

In this case, instead of a song for the title of the film, the name of the singer is enough, a declaration of intent for a film that unstitches the music icon to reinvent it in its own way, with contemporary workmanship. “I’ve seen the movie and it’s wonderful. My mother, my grandmother and I are very happy with the treatment that has been given to our family. I can’t wait for the world to see Butler’s talent and the wonder Luhrmann has shot. My mother came to help him with details of the script, ”says actress Riley Keough, the singer’s granddaughter, to ABC. Luhrmann, for his part, maintains that the film is not the typical biographical film and warns fans. “They are going to see a cultural opera in three acts,” proclaims the 59-year-old filmmaker. Halfway between applause and criticism for its spiky montage, there is consensus, as happened with the Oscar-winning Rami Malek and Taron Edgerton, with the interpretation of Aston Butler, who has received critical applause.

Narrative-wise, the director doesn’t skimp on getting down to the mud, admitting to being less interested in the icon than the man: an evolving artist in a celebrity culture that was also changing. “I’ve tried to explore America in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, and Elvis Presley was at the center of the culture for the good, the bad, and the ugly in a variety of ways,” Luhrmann acknowledges.

Like all legends, he had an agent behind him, Tom Parker, self-styled the Colonel, who in the film plays Tom Hanks, who became his manager after some questionable play. But it worked. Parker capitalized on Elvis Presley’s uninhibited hip movements, the kind that prompted letters of protest and outrage from virtually every television critic at his immorality, while record sales soared. With radio and television at his feet, Colonel Parker’s next logical move was to move on to the movies. After a couple of slip-ups, the bell rang with ‘Prison Rock’: a serious story, a serious leading role, great songs and even some unreleased dance steps, with a sequence for the story set in prison and the song main, considered by many analysts as the ancestor of the video clip.

rise and fall

He survived Frank Sinatra, but in 1968 Presley began to accuse the passage of time. Groups like the Beatles had replaced him in the hearts of young people, until, in a ruse, the Colonel dressed Elvis in black leather singing live versions of his most popular songs, reintroducing his figure to the world. It was the most watched show of the year on NBC. He was the King again.

As Presley sought to recover his career, his family life fell apart and in October 1973 the singer and Priscilla divorced. It was the romance of the time.

Elvis met Priscillia Beaulieu during his time in the Army. His father was a member of the Air Force; she was in ninth grade. She moved to Memphis with her parents’ permission in 1963 and began the couple’s formal courtship, culminating in a wedding in May 1967. According to various accounts, everything went awry after their only daughter, Lisa Marie, was born in 1968 and worsened when the artist returned to performing live in 1969. They separated in February 1972. Despite everything, Priscilla, who never remarried, always spoke well of Elvis, but he accused the breakup, with a melancholy that He accompanied him until his death, due to a heart attack, in August 1977. Although for many he has not died, or the aliens have taken him.

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