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Nina Simone - Live at Ronnie Scott's
Nina Simone - Live at Ronnie Scott's
Actors: Paul Robinson, Nina Simone
Directors: Steve Cleary, Rob Lemkin
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2003     0hr 57min

This DVD features Nina Simone (vocals, piano) delivering an intense emotional performance at the legendary Ronnie Scott's in Soho, London on November 17, 1985. Simone is considered to be one of the most diverse singers of...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Paul Robinson, Nina Simone
Directors: Steve Cleary, Rob Lemkin
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Jazz
Studio: Quantum Leap
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/20/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1985
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1985
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 0hr 57min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Intimate, beautiful and an absolute joy to watch
epicureanist | Sydney, NSW Australia | 07/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There was a moment at the beginning of this dvd when I thought, "Oh no, this might [be bad]." Having been a huge Nina Simone fan for so long I've been waiting for this dvd for a long time, so you can imagine my excitement when I finally sat down to watch it. The picture and sound quality of the dvd were so bad though I had my doubts, but, when Nina started singing I knew that it would all be alright. In fact, after a while I didn't even mind the way it looked because I allowed myself to imagine that I was actually there at Ronnie Scott's that night watching and listening to this amazing woman perform. Of course I was way too young back then to appreciate or even be allowed there but that's beside the point, this is my review and I'm allowed to be anachronistic if I choose :) There is a lot to love about this dvd. Nina's performance is one of if not the most intimate performance I have ever watched and I know it's hard to understand that if you're not there in person but somehow she managed to transcend even the barriers of a television set. Listen to the way she beautifully performs her "two love songs" as she calls them, "If You Knew" and "Mr. Smith" and then effortlessly move from playing the harpsicord (on a keyboard) to the piano on "Fodder In Her Wings". Other standouts include her wonderful rendition of "I Loves You Porgy" and "The Other Woman". Both showing such vulnerability and sadness you wonder how anyone cannot possibly love her??? Her two signature songs, "Mississippi Goddam" and "My Baby Just Cares For Me" are absolutely wonderful as is the entire concert. "Mississippi Goddam" this time blended with "Alabama Song" from Brecht's "Mahagonny". Brilliant! My absolute favourite though is "For A While". I have never and I doubt I will ever hear a song perform with such aching tenderness, truth and sadness. What she does towards the end of this song is evidence of her amazing knowledge of musical performance and also one of the most moving moment I have ever witnessed. It's worth buying the dvd for this one performance alone. I am always reminded of experiencing an amazingly emotional yet cathartic show everytime I watch this. OK, is it not evident that I am a fan? But that aside, I truly do believe this is worth the price if you're a fan, have just discovered her or somehow magically stumbled here but enjoy quality music and a performer who really knows how to get inside your heart and soul.Interview clips throughout the concert, inserted between songs give insights into this remarkable woman but is not really necessary. Her music speaks for itself."
Can you say Diva?
Clarissa Bolding | Austin, TX USA | 06/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I didn't know that much about Nina Simone. Only knew she was an acclaimed singer. Just never took the time to sit down with her music and really "listen". Then finally I sat down with Pastel Blues/Let it all Out. Honestly the first thing I thought was, "IS THIS A MAN OR A WOMAN SINGING?". Her voice threw me. Hard. I put the cd away. Sadly, it wasn't until her passing this year that I started to read more about her and start listening again. She was truly gifted as a pianist, lyricist and her vocal approach is unique to all the world. And that voice. Its quite haunting. This live performance displays her rawness, realness and the intensity of her delivery in the timeless and prolific lyrics/messages of her music. "Mississippi Goddamn" is a powerful testament to a universal truth in its ugliest state. Via the snippets of interviews spliced between numbers, Nina expounds on music and personal experiences. The woman was tough and it showed in her words, body language and again, the live performance. When she snaps about it being HOT in the club (she is practically drenched with perspiration), you feel it with her. I especially enjoyed the rhythmic breakdown in "Be My Husband" and the interplay with her drummer adds to the energy of the set. Her audience provides the chorus on "See-Line Woman" and its fun to watch.Quality of visual is low, with dim lighting and the shots a bit fuzzy, but as mentioned earlier, this is a VINTAGE performance. I recommend Live at Ronnie Scott's to anyone interested in learning about this strong woman who made an unforgettable and incomparable mark in the music world. CLB."
Get to know the real Nina Simone
Robin Goh | Singapore, Singapore Singapore | 07/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When I saw this DVD in the store, I bought it immediately. This video of Nina Simone's gig at Ronnie Scott's was my introduction to her. When I first saw her on TV, sitting at the piano with her shoulders bare, I thought she was a man! Her sound didn't really help to clarify things. This performance was certainly anything but slick, and newcomers to the mystique of the High Priestess of Soul will find it hard to relate at first viewing. Luckily, I had taped the performance and was able to watch it over and over again. It grew on me, and I heard and saw something new with each viewing. The heartbreaking tenderness of the ballads, which she transformed into something intensely personal with something as simple but as heartfelt as a sigh. The drive and fury of the protest songs, many of which come from Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht and their collaboration in Mahoganny. Her phrasing can be a bit off-center but her musicianship is redoubtable. I'm glad I'll be able to watch this performance on DVD( and it is a slight improvement over videotape, both in sound and visuals), over and over and over....."
WORTHWHILE
TJ Johnston | Boston, MA | 12/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Though the technical quality is less than state-of-the-art, both in terms of audio and visual, "For A While" and especially "If You Knew" are remarkable artifacts of a sometimes petulant, often maddening and always hugely affecting artiste.

In my mind the two performances, I singled out are 'five star' -- I've yet to find a more emotional performance of "If You Knew" -- cathartic, emotional...
PERFECT."