Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Some Yoyo Stuff|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART is no more - he came home in 1982, hung up his microphone and grabbed his paint brush. He then dusted off his real name, DON VAN VLIET, and has been doing very well since, thank you. Anton Corbijn's sho... more »
A rare look at what Van Vliet is up to now...
ewomack | MN USA | 02/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don Van Vliet permanently hung up his well-known-Zappa-given moniker "Captain Beefheart" forever in 1982 with his final album "Ice Cream for Crow". What a way to go out! He then basically traded his microphone for a paintbrush, and began a very successful career as an abstract painter. Here's how successful it has been: If you want to get an original Van Vliet painting to hang on your wall, be prepared to shell out at least 5 figures. It's possible that Van Vliet may be making more money as a painter than he ever did as "Captain Beefheart". Sadly, though his painting career is going extremely well, he also has been suffering from multiple sclerosis."Some YoYo Stuff" is a great tribute to the man who was "Captain Beefheart" and who is still very much Don Van Vliet. The movie is not about Captain Beefheart (even though a huge sticker on the box yells "A MOVIE STARRING CAPTAIN BEEFHEART") but about Don Van Vliet, and almost exclusively about Don Van Vliet the painter. Some incredible piano pieces of Van Vliet's provide accompaniment to some amazing filmed images (my favorite is the fish over the desert), and David Lynch admits his favorite piece is "The Dust Blows Forward and The Dust Blows Back", but that's the closest this movie comes to the Captain.The film is a series of images with Van Vliet speaking. You see Don Van Vliet (yes, it's really him) in front of what looks like a screen. The screen projects questions that are never vocally asked, but are answered by Van Vliet, but not by the Van Vliet on the screen. The Van Vliet on the screen never talks, but he does smoke a cigar and gesture. The topics range from favorite paintings to Frank Zappa to Van Vliet's "message to the people watching" (worth the price of admission alone). Van Vliet's voice is obviously burdened and weary, but the content is amazing, funny, and poignant (listen for his comments on how he hopes that animals are smart enough to stay away from people).Much of Van Vliet's dialogue echoes a radio/phone interview that Van Vliet gave in 1993 to a Dutch radio station (clips of this are available on the internet). This is, I believe, one of the last audio interviews with Van Vliet known of (I could be completely wrong, and if I am, please send me a link). Assuming that his condition has worsened since this film and the interview (both dated 1993), Van Vliet may no longer be capable of granting interviews. Let's hope that's not the case.If you're interested at all in what Don Van Vliet is up to these days, this film is one of the few audio/visual sources of information. It is also a great tribute to an underrated and underappreciated artist and his work."
Maybe I'm in the zoo...
Patrik Lemberg | Tammisaari Finland | 09/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Directed by film maker Anton Corbijn, this 13 minute black and white short (made originally for television) is a Richard Bell production from 1993. Its tagline "an observation of the observations of Don Van Vliet" is right on the money.
Unless you are a true fan of Don Van Vliet/Captain Beefheart you might be disappointed having spent money on this disc, as this is not a documentary about his musical past; out of respect from the film maker there are no questions asked about it, and Don doesn't discuss it. No topics are discussed in much depth, but he does provide a few comments on Miles Davis, Roland Kirk, Frank Zappa, Piet Mondrian and Vincent Van Gogh, and quickly compares the art of painting with music. He talks about animals, which obviously is a big inspiration for his paintings, and his isolation from the outside world which he feels "touches too hard."
The only musical installments we get are two short home recorded demos - one from approximately 1982 of him singing "what are we gonna do with you" a cappella and one of him playing "Evening Bell" on piano (recorded 1969) with beautiful desert images in the background of various animals on display.
Making brief appearances are Anton Corbijn (introducing his short film,) Don's mother, Sue Vliet (introducing her son and planting the "Ice Cream for Crow" picture of him on the desert ground,) and David Lynch (asking Don a couple of questions.)
This DVD has no extras, so aside from the newly released Magic Band reunion concert and "Crow's Milk" documentary DVD (available through subdiva,) these 13 minutes are all that is available on DVD displaying Don Van Vliet at the moment. For that reason, and for the fact that the directing of this film is highly impressive, it should be treasured by true fans of his genius.
Hopefully there is more Captain Beefheart (and The Magic Band) material to be released on DVD soon, because there are lots of made for TV documentaries, concerts and interviews (and the "Ice Cream for Crow" video) on tapes collecting dust in various parts of the world at the moment. It's only a matter of budget, because obviously there is interest, and this is a nice ap?ritif."
Beautiful And Simple
Wade Hunter | Chicago | 12/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A gorgeous (and often very funny) little film by photographer/video director Corbijn. This is not a documentary by any means, just a small tribute to Don Van Vliet by a fan and a friend. Also appearing is David Lynch, also a fan and friend of 'Captain Beefheart'. The previous reviewer seems to be unaware of Van Vliet's highly successful career as a painter after releasing his final album Ice Cream For Crow. His also are unaware that the man has been very ill for years now, suffering from multiple sclerosis. For fans of his work, it is heartbreaking to see his condition, but his spirit in every way still resembles the 'old Captain'."
Not for the Faint of Heart
x | USA | 12/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The short film on this DVD presents to the viewer an intimate portrait of a sadly deteriorated Don Van Vliet. I can only imagine how much his condition has likely worsened in the 10+ years since the making of this film. This film is very depressing to watch, but it is a curious document, if only because it is one of the few visual documents of Mr. Van Vliet since '82. The DVD is cheap enough to be a worthwhile purchase, but it is difficult to watch. I cannot believe that the man who once sang with such a deep, powerful, booming voice is now so physically and mentally compromised. Life is absolutely brutally cruel. I sincerely hope that the great captain is finding peace and solace these days.