I never cry at movies. Many times my wife has looked over at me during a trip to the cinema, tears streaming down her face with a quizzical look at my stoney face wondering how on earth I couldn’t be moved by what we’d just seen.
So it was a shock to my wife, even more so for me, when during the final extended scene of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ I suddenly felt water running down my face. Something wrong with the air con? Leak in the roof surely? Alas, no. For the first time, a movie has got to me.
That was on the day of release in the cinema, I’ve since seen the whole thing again, and watched the final scene countless times. I’ve wondered for months why this film (or scene) moved me so much. I think I’ve finally worked out why.
I’m not completely cold hearted. Music moves me, inspires me and I’ve come to realise that perhaps a movie recreation of a seminal moment in my life can do the same. I’ve seen true movies of events that have happened in my life, but this was something different. Live Aid, in all it’s glory, lovingly recreated to the minutest of detail. I think it may not have only got to me personally and musically but also in it’s production.
The film has had its critics. I understand why. Yes, it’s not historically accurate. I’m sure Freddie kept his illness secret for a long time after he did in the movie, I don’t think ‘We Will Rock You’ was written and recorded during the ‘short hair and moustache’ period of Freddie’s life either, and I know that ‘that piece of musical equipment wasn’t available when they recorded that’, ‘they would never have used that type of cymbal’, and ‘Brian May certainly wasn’t wearing that colour of sock during the recording of Bohemian Rhapsody.’ Queen aficionados will be tearing their hair out, but I’ve never seen a ‘true to history’ biopic, especially a musical one, time simply constrains the telling of the story in it’s true form.
Aside from the narrative I just can’t get enough of the Live Aid scene. Search out how they created it on YouTube, it’s amazing. From the crumbling Wembley Stadium, the hours of painstaking editing of the crowd, the right amount of Pepsi/beer cups on the piano, all the moves of the band (dancing with the camera man, slightly altering the volume of the piano at the start).
I was 14 at the time of Live Aid, I watched it all, I videoed it all, I watch it all again. And again. And again. Now I have the whole thing on DVD and know all the intricacies of the Queen set so to see it re-produced in this way has blown my mind. As a video producer myself I just sat in awe of it.
It has deserved it’s accolades. Especially Oscars for editing, I feel for the Live Aid scene alone.