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Big Time 1988
Description: Bringing his special sense of humor to this bizarre and original piece of moviemaking, Tom Waits takes the audience through a musical adventure with his jazzy, quirky, bluesy tunes presented as you would never, ever, ever expect.
Released: 20 Oct 1988 Director: Chris Blum Writers: Kathleen Brennan, Tom Waits Actors: Tom Waits, Michael L. Blair, Ralph Carney, Greg Cohen Genres: Documentary, Music
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Big Time Reviews:

I am an avid fanatic of Tom, and have seen this movie twice on pay cable, and the thing that struck me the most was how well Tom reproduced the moods of his songs on-stage. His band is great, some of the songs are as well, and some others he chose slow the proceedings down too much. But Tom is definitely the lord of sad-drunken-white-trash blues, and I'm sure he will remain that method for some time. If you're not a fanatic of this musician, then see BIG TIME, and then, just for prosperity, see it again. The experience is rewarding, bewildering, and delightful.


This film is excellent for those who have an appreciation of the artistry of Tom Waits, or who can tell with some degree of honesty that they watch and play films on the IFC channel. I would not suggest this film however to those who are unfamiliar with his work. The combination of his visual imagery and special sound is likely to be too much for the uninitiated. You could be comfortable with his melody before watching Large Time. This warning of course does not contain IFC watchers who can handle just about any degree of weirdness. The film itself is a series of vignettes very loosely tied together, with Tom as the central character. Every contains or at least introduces one or two songs and a monologue. The vignettes contain portions of concert shows but all are set within the environs of a rather seedy theatre, including such territories as the loge, the bathroom and the ticket booth. It is a nice treat to see Tom Waits performing live. If you are familiar with and play his melody you will surely play this movie. Turn the sound down and you will quickly realize that the visual aspect of the performance is structured much as his melody is. The effect is a wild agglomeration of disparate elements that cuts to the fast but delivers a soul satisfying experience.


Nice footage of Waits and his band. Carney on reeds and Ribot on guitars are well worth the listening, if you can search the video. Waits outrageous on stage.Ribot stayed with Waits throughout the '90s, as well as recording on his own and with others; Carney one of the hot jazzers of the late '90s with his group Oranj Symphonette.Songs are from the Swordfishtrombones/Frank's Wild Years/Rain Dogs era. You'll never hear them the same method after seeing the film.



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