The only live rock’n’roll feature film ever made in the 1950s will be screening for one session only here at the Capri.
Miraculously retrieved from a certain journey to the local tip, Melbourne resident Mark Iaria discovered the film while visiting a yard sale clear out in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
The brainchild of American Lee Gordon, whose entertainment company blossomed in Australia during the 1950s and early 60s, Rock’n’Roll sat on the top of the NFSAs most wanted list for decades, after the only copy thought to have survived was accidentally taken to the local tip in the early 1970s by a removalist working for the director of the film, Lee Robinson.
Widely regarded as one of the most important cultural artefacts to be retrieved in the post-war period, ‘Rock’n’Roll’ catalogues a short lived but crucial phase in the genesis of the Rock’n’Roll genre prior to the ‘Merseybeat’ invasion headed by The Beatles in the early 1960s.
Showcasing the cream of Australian rock’n’roll performers of the era, the film features Johnny O’Keefe, Col Joye, Johnny Devlin, The Delltones, Johnny Rebb, Lonnie Lee, The Graduates, The Crescents and Warren Williams, in 80 minutes of raw, cultural defining moments, while performing at the iconic Sydney Stadium for one of Gordon’s 1959 ‘Big Shows’, in front of thousands of fans.
As Australian youths clamoured to join in the wave of American pop culture that began to pour into the country in the 1950s, via film, radio and television, Rock’n’Roll captures a critical flashpoint in outstanding audio & visual quality. Lee Robinson’s film company, Southern International Films, utilized 7 state of the art 35mm cinematograph cameras and a unique audio recording set up to film the event. The results were years ahead of their time.
Rock’n’Roll is a must see for anyone connected or appreciative of the early days of Rock’n’Roll and beyond.
This screening will be the remastered digital format.