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Director: Paul Justman     Starring: Funk Brothers
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Standing in the Shadows of Motown DVD 1 of 1
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Learn more about Standing in the Shadows of Motown:

Format: DVD
Sku: 40219284
UPC: 012236137801
UPC 14: 00012236137801
Rating: Game Rating Code
The best kept secret in the history of pop music.
The joyful story of the band that played on more #1 hits than elvis, the beatles and the rollings stones combined -- and nobody knew their names. They were the funk brothers and they supplied the music for virtually every classic motown hit in the 60s and 70s and this is the celebration of their music.

"It's a blast!  Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"Truly inspiring and mesmerizing.  Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
"It's a glorious groove that leaves you wanting more. Ain't too proud to beg.  Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Editor's Note
Paul Justman's inspiring documentary pays tribute to one of the most influential, yet unrecognized, collection of musicians that has ever been assembled. The Funk Brothers played the background music on the seemingly endless string of Motown classics in the 1960s and 1970s, resulting in a resume that boasts more number one hits than The Beatles, the Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, and Elvis Presley combined. Shot on location in Detroit, STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN reunites the surviving members as they reflect on the groups' storied past. Most celebrated is departed bassist James Jamerson, whose fiery presence and technical prowess was largely responsible for shaping the Funk Brothers' supremely distinct sound. In addition to interviews, as well as reenactments and archival footage, Justman gathers together the musicians for an unforgettable reunion concert. Featuring the vocal support of several contemporary artists, including Joan Osborne, Ben Harper, Chaka Kahn, Gerald Levert, and Bootsy Collins, the Funk Brothers prove that they haven't lost a beat. Based on the book by Allan "Dr. Licks" Slutsky, STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN gives overdue credit to a group of unassuming musicians who quietly created one of popular music's most enduring and spectacular musical legacies.


Video Features DVD, Dolby Digital (5.1), Dolby

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Lions Gate
Video Release Date Release Date: 10/21/2003
Video Play Time Running Time: 110 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2002
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 13780
Video UPC UPC: 00012236137801
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 2

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English, Spanish
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Alan Slutsky - Based On Novel By
Video Cast Info Douglas Milsome - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Lon Stratton - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Paul Justman - Director
Video Cast Info Anne Erikson - Editor
Video Cast Info Richard 'Pistol' Allen - Featuring
Video Cast Info Meshell Ndegeocello - Featuring
Video Cast Info Montell Jordan - Featuring
Video Cast Info Gerald Levert - Featuring
Video Cast Info Jack Ashford - Featuring
Video Cast Info Joan Osborne - Featuring
Video Cast Info Ben Harper - Featuring
Video Cast Info Benny 'Papa Zita' Benjamin - Featuring
Video Cast Info Bootsy Collins - Featuring
Video Cast Info Chaka Khan - Featuring
Video Cast Info Ntozake Shange - Narrated By
Video Cast Info Walter Dallas - Narrated By
Video Cast Info Alan Slutsky - Original Music
Video Cast Info Sandford Passman - Producer
Video Cast Info Paul Justman - Producer
Video Cast Info Alan Slutsky - Producer


Grammy (2003)
Video Award Name , Winner, Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media

Professional Reviews

Rolling Stone
"...This beauty of a documentary pays long-overdue tribute to the Funk Brothers....It's a glorious groove that leaves you wanting more..." 11/28/2002 p.97

Film Comment
"...[A] long overdue secret history of American music....Crucial viewing for those in search of the origins of funk..." 11/01/2002 p.77

USA Today
"...The film makes you feel like a winner as you bounce happily out of the theater..." 11/15/2002 p.6E

Entertainment Weekly
"...STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN opens your ears in a way that few musical documentaries have attempted..." 11/22/2002 p.53

Los Angeles Times
"...STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN gives the Funk Brothers their due and more, mostly through wonderfully juicy anecdotes..." 11/15/2002 p.C6

Sight and Sound
"...[An] affectionate portrait..." 08/01/2003 p.58-9

Total Film
"[T]he final reunion concert is a blast..." 02/01/2004 p.108

San Francisco Examiner 8 of 10
Chief among the highlights are concert sequences that reunite surviving members of the Funk ensemble at Detroit's Royal Oaks Music Theatre. The Funksters most assuredly still have what it takes, and they give it all they've got in performances of Motown classics with such contemporary artists as Joan Osborne (whose version of "Heat Wave" truly is scorching) and Meshell Ndegeocello. Also on hand: Bootsy Collins, Mr. Parliament-Funkadelic himself, customarily resplendent in shrieking-loud purple attire, offering sassy, high-stepping versions of "Cool Jerk" and "Do You Love Me?" - Joe Leydon

San Francisco Chronicle 9 of 10
The songs are all so familiar and the instrumental performances such a huge part of their appeal that the playing quickly moves to the foreground, which is the point anyway.

But when the old guys sit around and tell their stories, Standing in the Shadows of Motown catches magic on the screen--a behind-the-curtain peek at some of the world's best-loved music, straight from the cats who made it happen. - Joel Selvin

Chicago Sun-Times 8 of 10
What's interesting about these performances is that the singers make no attempt to imitate the original artists, and yet the Funks turn the songs into soundalikes anyway. Is it possible those great Motown stars were more or less created by these unsung musicians? The Funks think that is a distinct possibility. Of course, the backup singers had a lot to do with it, too, and this movie never gets around to them. They're in the shadows of the shadows. - Roger Ebert

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Funk Brothers
Product attributeLabel:   Artisan Entertainment
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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