Elvis: That’s the Way It Is review – feisty time capsule of the King’s Vegas stint | The Guardian

The off-hand moments from this 1970 documentary following Elvis Presley as he sets up shop in Las Vegas are the most illuminatingThis 1970 documentary, directed by Denis Sanders, captures singer Elvis Presley in his late-baroque, macramé hip-belt stage as he first rehearses and then performs live in Las Vegas, a limited residency in the desert town that became the stuff of legend. The material, released before in slightly different versions, has been dusted off and digitally gussied up for a one-night-only engagement in cinemas nationwide.This is the 2001 cut, which has more performance footage and less cutaways to fans rhapsodising about the King and shots of him just hanging out with his entourage post-gig. No doubt that will make it a more attractive package for feisty public viewings, a more “event cinema” edition. But that means sacrificing some of endearing original documentary elements that make this such a time capsule, especially the full range of super-groovy, late 1960s/early 70s textiles in all their op-art, polyester glory. Some digital designer should work out a way to forensically recreate some of the shirt prints on display here, especially Elvis’s psychedelic purple, orange and chocolate-brown crushed velvet number that he wears for a rehearsal of That’s All Right Mama, accessorised with a white towel draped round his neck to soak up the sweat. Continue reading…

The off-hand moments from this 1970 documentary following Elvis Presley as he sets up shop in Las Vegas are the most illuminating

This 1970 documentary, directed by Denis Sanders, captures singer Elvis Presley in his late-baroque, macramé hip-belt stage as he first rehearses and then performs live in Las Vegas, a limited residency in the desert town that became the stuff of legend. The material, released before in slightly different versions, has been dusted off and digitally gussied up for a one-night-only engagement in cinemas nationwide.

This is the 2001 cut, which has more performance footage and less cutaways to fans rhapsodising about the King and shots of him just hanging out with his entourage post-gig. No doubt that will make it a more attractive package for feisty public viewings, a more “event cinema” edition. But that means sacrificing some of endearing original documentary elements that make this such a time capsule, especially the full range of super-groovy, late 1960s/early 70s textiles in all their op-art, polyester glory. Some digital designer should work out a way to forensically recreate some of the shirt prints on display here, especially Elvis’s psychedelic purple, orange and chocolate-brown crushed velvet number that he wears for a rehearsal of That’s All Right Mama, accessorised with a white towel draped round his neck to soak up the sweat.

Continue reading…


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