tony palmer


  tony palmer's film of frank zappa's 200 motels
    (2010, dvd, uk, tony palmer)



random notes

AKA: Anthony Palmer

     From: Tony Palmer, The True Story of 200 Motels
"Well, um essentially what we do is to record the whole operation on color videotape.  Uh, the color videotape has three priamry colors: red, green, and blue.  And the old technicolor process had also three primary colors, red, green, and blue.  So we put two pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together and said "a-ha".  Well, if the two are the same in this way, it must be possible to transfer color tape to color film using the three primary colors red, green and blue.  So we began to experiment with transferring color tape in the way.  The initial problem was that the poor quality of the television picture didn't stand up to examination when you showed it on an enormous cinema screen.  You saw, for example, you saw lines, and distortions.  But now we've found a way around that, and in fact the color that we are able to make with color television is rather better, we think, than the equivalent of 35mm film."

"Well, I think Frank has had this dream for so long now, that I think that even he has become unsure as to what exactly the dream constitutes.  It's a kind of mixture of childhood fantasies, adolescent fantasies, and now grown-up fantasies, all somehow strung together to make some sort of enormous nightmare that he may or may not have had at some point in his life.  And one's problem as a director is trying to unfathom that dream and make some kind of coherent sense of it. "

     From: Patrick Neve (
While the above on-camera interview is taking place, the following text is superimposed over Tony Palmer's image: 

   At one point during
   production, Mr. Palmer
   demanded that his name
   be removed from the
   credits of "200 MOTELS"
   out of concern for his career

   Toward the end of
   principal photography,
   Mr. Palmer, in a fit of
   peek, threatened to
   erase all of the master
   video tapes of the movie.

     From: Lewis Saul (
Aspects of Stravinsky
I just got this 2-tape VHS set on KULTUR 1157 -- directed by 200 Motels Co-Director Tony Palmer.  There is no mention of this in the IMDb -- I was wondering if anyone had any more information on this? [I haven't watched it yet -- just got it a few minutes ago...]

     From: R. Kane (
Once, at a Border - Aspects of Stravinsky
Musical & Performing Arts, English, 1987, B&W and Color, 166 min. NTSC, Rating: Not Rated

A film biography of the famed 20th century composer, Igor Stravinsky. 
Includes commentary by Robert Craft, Marie Rambert, George Balanchine, Nadia Boulanger and others, plus footage of Stravinsky on stage at the Champs-Elysees Theatre in Paris. The original version of 'Les Noces,' is also presented on film.








110 Min.

Features a biography of the legendary composer Igor Stravinsky.  Uses interviews with the composer, friends, family, musical contemporaries, and footage of Stravinsky and others performing his music.  Includes performances of LES NOCES and PETROUCHKA. STRAVINSKY, IGOR; MUSIC; BIOGRAPHY





55 Min.

Continues Igor Stravinsky's biography beginning in 1939 and focusing on his life in America.  Uses interviews with Stravinsky, friends, family, musical contemporaries and footage of the composer and others performing his music.



Aspects of Strvinsky: Once, at a Border Pt. 1

VHS Color 60 mins 1989

The premiere of the Rite of Spring in May, 1913 was an event in musical history which changed the course of Western art forever, but it was not the most important, not even the most interesting aspect of Stravinsky's life. Throughout the many styles and influences which permeate his music-from jazz to Twelve Tone, From Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century-one beacon shines with unnerving consistency: Stravinsky was Russian. Apart from anything else, he is the foremost Russian composer of our time, a family man with an acute sense of tradition and rigorously, religiously orthodox. Stravinsky's long musical journey is the subject of this program. 

Aspects of Stravinsky: Once, at a Border Pt. 2

VHS Color 60 mins 1989

Part 2 of Aspects of Stravinsky






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