Memories and more
K. Mattern | Berkeley, CA USA | 01/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i loved this dvd! it brought back great memories of growing up in philly and going with one or both of my parents to see the Mummer's Day Parade every January 1st, no matter the weather. The colder the better - the music just rang out! I realize now that I live far away tjat this was a unique way to begin every New Year - ENERGY, MUSIC, COLOR, DANCE, HUMOR, FANTASY - WOW! What a dynamic, imaginative beginning to the New Year. Thank you Philadelphia Mummers, and thank you MaxLRaab and Robt Downey Sr for creating a film that captures so many aspects of the Mummer's culture and annual parade. You included so many of the elements that I recall from the spiffy, highly costumed string-bands to the somewhat drunk-and-disorderly roaming bands of men in flaxen wigs or hobo getups. You had the African-American musicians, (although I might have liked to have seen more of the African-American bands and representatives of other neighborhoods besides South Philly, although I know the nucleus of the parade is centered there), the comics, the Elvis-impersonators (Philly has always been a big music city, was the original site of American Bandstand, etc), great footage of the 2000 parade, archival footage, interviews with club captains and some focus on individual performers, and the raucous 'mob scenes', and some lovely touches too - the photo montages, and also in one scene a man in a wheelchair, just off to the side, is greeted by a Mummer who gives him a kiss and a hug. Just great stuff. You captured the love that goes into this parade and that creates community in philly. of course, it's also fun to see real he-men, as they used to be called, who enjoy dressing up in women's garb, makeup, fantastic costumery, and who can play the saxophone, banjo or xylophone at the same time. (Hey, more xylophones next time!) It was totally a great viewing experience, and I will be watching it every New Year's from here on out."