Reflections on the personality of the artist
During rehearsals for the filming of the film "That's the way it is" we have been able to learn more about the man, his smiling personality, his optimism, his camaraderie, his closeness... His attitude towards the reality of the moment in his music, it is lived with intensity at certain moments, with the heart... the voice and the body were impregnated with his passionate experience in some songs. And in others, his absurd joke, his restlessness, his insecurity, his forgetfulness... and of course also their rapport, his strength.
Elvis Presley, above all, was looking for an intention in his music and the interesting thing about seeing these rehearsals is what sometimes we can't hear only on the recording. His body says it all, his look too... and of course his voice is the command and direct reflection of everything he carries inside him.
His way of dragging the rest of the musicians, even with a director behind him, who is finally going to follow him as he said "as if it were a marble" managing the music product of his musical intention... With improvisation, with changes, with freshness or with an energetic interpretation. And finally we are going to witness all this on stage and before his loyal audience.
This film takes us further, since not all of us could have been lucky enough to witness these moments. And he remains as a witness to all his greatness. It is from 1970 onwards that his moment... In Las Vegas and during his performances at the International Hotel he will transport us to his inner self. Dragging us with his interpretation into his interior and making us live his music even more intensely. Because we can see all that strength, that heartbreaking intensity in his voice, in his body...
This film "That's the way it is" is one of the best documentaries about an artist that we are going to be able to see. And without a doubt the most interesting during Elvis Presley's career because we can get to know his project as a whole, his rehearsal, embodied in the actual performance and stage experience. It would have been wonderful to have been able to witness the glorious moments at Sun Records when he first started recording or on RCA, or at his unparalleled time on stage during his youth. But his moment in 1970 would be great and also unparalleled. .
His maturation had turned him into another unrivaled artist and Elvis was once again the King... but from now on his legend is going to walk through the door with a different image. The staged white silhouette of him would charge another drawing in the artist's memory over time.
"Following the Path of the King..."
FROM TUPELO TO MEMPHISThat´s the way it is" Heading to Vegas
It is very possible that if we observe the attitude of Elvis Presley in the rehearsals carried out before the cameras in July 1970, we could get the wrong impression of what a serious and professional artist is before his artistic work. But the truth about Elvis is that he was very professional, what would happen in these rehearsals has a lot to do with his intimacy and his way of being. The reason was that he really did not feel comfortable with the presence of the cameras, they followed him at all times following his footsteps and following his work. With his usual humor, the first thing Elvis does is throw a shot at the Chamber as a joking welcome... his way of being gave a laughing and joking touch to these early days. Ironically for an actor and singer it would be the most natural thing, but Denis Sanders the director of the documentary film "That's the way it is" wanted to show the inside of the studio, the rehearsals... and the live performances.
For Elvis Presley, who of course tried to collaborate at all times in the filming, was in some way an intrusion into his interior, his musical self. His sensitivity and his intimacy were exposed at all times and his most sincere way of repressing this feeling was to joke around and laugh at everything. But even with laughter, with jokes, with changes of lyrics with mistakes ... his professionalism as the days progressed was growing and finding his place to be able to face the orchestra, with the choirs and finally with the public. Almost all the work would be ready in the last days of rehearsal and his third return to the scene in August 1970 would be a success that we would witness in this film.
Denis Sanders was the director of this film "That's the way it is" and he believed in Elvis. Although he was not one of his favorite artists, when he met him he always said that when he met him he fell in love with him, that is to say that the impression as a person and as an artist for Denis Sanders was so great that he became an unconditional fan. He understood that for Elvis everything that was happening was very important, his intimacy was very important, this was not a normal movie but something much bigger, more improvised and special and naturalness was the key to the work of the. Denis Sanders as a director came to be Oscar-winning and award-winning for his documentaries.
The natural key to this TTWII film was improvisation and the making of a film as a promotion towards Elvis concerts. But for the followers and fans of Elvis it would become something exceptional in his work. Because we have all been able to understand a little more about his way of acting, his ability to improvise and his impressive personality on stage and above all his point of humor and his laughter. An artist who, with his gift, knew and wanted to put on a show that was different from the others.
FROM TUPELO TO MEMPHIS
"Following the Path of the King..."
"The Magic of the Show"
1970. The rehearsals prior to the scene, the recordings that Elvis is going to make in the studio. Everything Elvis Presley is going to do from now on to culminate his success with the public. Elvis achieved on stage what many singers had wanted to convey to the public from him. Seeing him act was quite a spectacle, but seeing him rehearse was a master class in directing and musical nuances. With his voice he caressed the senses but with his movements of body, arms, hands, all of him showed the true intention and interpretation so that the musicians followed his orders in interpreting the score. Leaving no doubt about the air, a nuance, an accentuation..., crescendo, diminishing, forte, piano..., he was the ink printed on the score... With a single finger he could convey his intentions. It was something innate in Elvis Presley, his particular rhythm, his energy, his skin-deep feeling... All this, canned for years, would unleash from this moment on him. And this is what he will be able to discover before the musicians and before the public.
Any self-respecting conductor should bring all this to the orchestra and Elvis transmitted it to us at his concerts. Until then, although he was always the owner of his feelings and controlled his musical mission in the studio, in some way he could be a little restricted by the musical director or the producer who gave the direction to follow. But as of 1970 Elvis takes the reins of his career and he is not going to let anyone tell him on stage what he wants to do. And anyone who doesn't understand this is going to be out of the way of him. He is only going to want professionals, the best, those who can follow him in his interpretation and his sensitivity. And this is going to make his show something magical and special. Giving it that particularity that no one will have in Concert...
In July 1970, Elvis resumed his work as an artist, this time at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayers MGM studios in Hollywood in the City of Culver City, Los Angeles County, and later again at the International Hotel in Las Vegas to film the new movie. that is going to be shown to its public on the occasion of the future performances that it is going to carry out.
During the filming of the film we will be able to enjoy The Magic of the Artist, the vision of the music inside him, through the score, the rehearsal, the rapport with the musicians. The interpretation, the mirror of the soul in the voice of the artist that captures his feeling through his voice.
The fun the enjoyment in the moment sharing with the musicians who accompany you. In July 1970 Elvis Presley again with projects and with enthusiasm for his performances that he is going to present at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.
His return to the stage, this time controlling everything that is going to happen, the rehearsals that are going to be recorded for the new Elvis documentary film "That's the way it is" on the occasion of his return in his performance with the public.
On the one hand, Elvis liked this new attempt to connect with his audience, sharing his moments of experimentation and rehearsal in the studios.
But on the other hand, it must be taken into account that all this was absolutely intimate for him and although several rehearsals were held, Elvis finally asked that not everything be filmed these days.
Although there are many recordings that would later come out on the market and that we could enjoy, what is going to be filmed will remain as proof of these rehearsal days prior to the performances in the concerts performed in front of the public. Elvis Presley was at his best and this is going to be reflected in this film.
With joy and enthusiasm Elvis is going to choose the songs that he will later sing in front of his audience. The idea was not yet clear, hence the number of songs in rehearsal was much higher than the one finally chosen for the performances. Really The realization in this documentary film presented several aspects in particular of the rehearsals, scenes and acting and on the other hand interviews that were included from employees of the International Hotel and also from an Elvis fan club.
Although it could be interesting, it really doesn't have much interest compared to what the viewer is really learning.
FROM TUPELO TO MEMPHIS 49 TTWII "The Rehearsal" "Following the Path of the King..."
From Tupelo to Memphis 53. On StageOne of the best-known anecdotes during the filming of the film at the International Hotel in Las Vegas for the film "That's the way it is" was seeing Elvis come down from the stage to greet his fans.
The audience delighted with Elvis during the concert, he did not stop shouting and applauding and, suddenly without warning, without knowing very well, like something sudden in his thoughts and skipping all artistic protocol, he went down to the audience room. No one expected this... it was not a studied moment and of course the security had not been warned that Elvis could mix with the people.
The musicians continued to play, the audience standing at the foot of the stage. But Elvis is already in his audience waving, Joe Esposito and George Klein heading towards him with Richard Davis, strategically positioned behind Elvis, and Colonel Parker, also running very cautiously behind. Elvis said at one point that he was It happened to go down in the audience. He comments on stage that those behind are very far away and immediately afterwards it was something spontaneous, one of those fresh and normal moments in his personality that invited him to do sudden things because he He felt that way.
The fear or the feeling of not being sure was such that he thought he would never do it again... He confessed this to one of the musicians. But obviously it wasn't like that. A show like the one Elvis Presley did required a lot of effort, because during it, he wouldn't stop talking and singing.
Normally every artist should have a moment, a song performed only by the orchestra or by the choir, so that he could rest his voice and change his mood on stage. But it wasn't like that, really his show was a sequence of songs performed by Elvis, with all his strength and, obviously, only Elvis himself would know the reason, who ordered his own repertoire and did not demand any other performance during it.
This would be a mistake that would happen over time bill... since the artist would be abusing his own means without any rest. Elvis also spoke between songs, told anecdotes, remembered other times, joked and greeted the public.
He needed to free his voice for a while, and surely for this reason he would improvise and get off the stage to say hello. rest of security that went to cover their way between the tables of the International Hotel.
One of the reasons could be the momentary rest during their show and another, of course, had to do with their need to be able to have that real closeness with the people who they admired him and their gratitude after so many years away from him. But what he didn't expect was to feel the sensation of being imprisoned among his fans and it would be a bit scary.
The strange feeling of not being able to continue down the aisle without someone stopping you, kissing you, grabbing you, hugging you or loving you so much that you don't let them go your way... Elvis improvised as he went and greeted the audience, bending down to kiss women and shake hands with gentlemen... The first time he did it was during the Dinner Show, on August 12 during the performance of the song Love Me Tender, the musicians of the orchestra also followed in surprise with improvisation playing.
This time it could have been for thanks and to greet the public closer ... but the second time he would do it, it would be at the Midnight show. It is clear that he did also do it to free his performance from fatigue.
It would be after singing "Polk salad Annie" sweating, after a song that completely absorbed him, exhausted... he crouches before the audience and they give him a drink to cool off... Elvis takes advantage of a few minutes and finally after greeting He goes to the stairs and goes back down into the audience. In the film we can see these moments and in one of the special editions, this second time even more clearly how tired he was.
And when trying to get to the other side of the stage as his fans imprison him, one jumps towards him and Elvis he has to rise among the people to finally free himself and run to the stage.
But it is an incredible moment that deserves to be remembered.
"Following the Path of the King..."
Here are the two examples of these moments:
Elvis in the audience
The reaction to your idol can sometimes bring unexpected consequences. Elvis Presley was adored by his fans and in this movie we can see the reaction they have when he comes down from the stage to say hello.
The concentration of the artist. "That´s the way it is"Of all the moments in which an artist is going to get nervous in front of the public for one reason or another... the intro, the wait on stage, the moment in which he prepares and prepares to go on stage, he always surpasses with you grow the rest. For two fundamental reasons: the uncertainty of the reception of the public and the inner nerve... the fear that the artist may or may not have... It is true that many performers have the so-called stage fright, which blocks the body when jumping to the footlights and stops any performance, succumbing to panic and blocking the senses. Elvis Presley like everyone could have that initial feeling but when he had crossed the door to the stage he managed to cross that dark side and enter the scenic magic. But before moving on to this other On the other hand, there are a few moments, a few minutes of waiting in which every artist requires inner peace to be able to focus on what they are going to do next. Concentration is maximum when entering the stage and possibly for an artist so surrounded by people as Elvis ... it would be very difficult to reach this essential state to finally perform before his audience. It was very important and absolutely necessary to be in a situation, to be able to get carried away by acting and for Elvis Presley it would be the most important thing in those moments. And this is the first thing we can see in the movie "That's the way it is", when Elvis arrives with his entourage at the concert hall at the International Hotel. What is called in show business being between the boxes, behind the stage, where you can hear the audience, the orchestra, the presenter and glimpse the audience a few minutes before going out to perform. Despite the jokes, the comments ... his face is seriously worried, difficult to concentrate, his nerves, his thoughts..., Elvis was surrounded by all the musicians, choirs, etc. His entire technical team was also there, his companions from the Mafia, his producer and to top it off... the cameras filming all of this. Elvis tries to hide his nerve, but it shows easily on his face. For an artist like him, this moment was difficult before entering... Once he steps on stage, the heat of the public, the shouts, the spotlights and the music they do the rest... now he can sing... As we could see in the rehearsals, his way of directing leads the whole group of musicians who will follow him in his movements, in his expression, in his strength... until the end. All that he has practiced and his previous directions bore fruit for him... The music is finally the sample of his work and the desired success arrives. It is the magic of the show.
"Following the Path of the King..." In the following video you can see the arrival on stage, between boxes with the members of the choir, the musicians, etc and part of the show
DE TUPELO TO MEMPHIS 53 TTWII
On StageThe last program about the movie "That´s the way it is"
August 1970 Opening Show at the International Hotel in Las Vegas