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Wild Combination: a Portrait of Arthur Russell
Wild Combination a Portrait of Arthur Russell
Actor: Arthur Russell
Director: Matt Wolf
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
NR     2008     1hr 11min

This is director Matt Wolf's portrait of the seminal avant-garde composer, singer-songwriter, cellist, and disco producer Arthur Russell. Before his untimely death from AIDS in 1992, Arthur prolifically created music that ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Arthur Russell
Director: Matt Wolf
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Studio: Plexifilm
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 11/18/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 11min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

Movie Reviews

An Incredible Documentary
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 11/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell"

An Incredible Documentary

Amos Lassen

Beginning in Oskaloosa, Iowa, "Wild Combination" tells the story of Arthur Russell, a composer of rich music that was emotionally direct. In the 1960's when he was a teen, he was obsessed with Timothy Leary, John Cage and the Beat poets. This was in direct contrast with his parents' Midwestern conventionalism. His imagination was inspired by the counter-revolutionaries and he ran away to San Francisco where he joined a Buddhist commune and met Allen Ginsberg who became his mentor and collaborator.
Arthur began to work with Phillip Glass and other composers of avant garde music at a place called The Kitchen and he became musical director in 1974. He soon discovered the underground discos and he began to produce disco recordings that became hits.
Arthur paid no mind to the established music genres and his disco music often merged with Buddhist themes. Arthur was in love with his boyfriend Tom Lee and they lived in an apartment next to Ginsberg in New York. He let his work lapse and because of this his significance was overlooked. Eventually his life was cut short by AIDS and when he died, few paid attention. Some said that "he simply vanished into his music".
His music is now being discovered and a new generation his found him. "Wild Combination" is the story of the man and his music and the film takes a serious look at the music he composed and presents a cultural history of New York in the 1970s and 80s and shows what it was to be gay and facing the worst epidemic of our history. There are rare archival footage and interviews with Russell's family and his collaborators and his music is brought to life,
The cinematography and the sound are wonderful and here is a great introduction to Arthur Russell as well of those he knew.