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Santa Cruz Sentinel from Santa Cruz, California • Page 70

Santa Cruz Sentinel from Santa Cruz, California • Page 70

Santa Cruz, California
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Sunday, Mar. 1980 Santa Cruz Sentinel-! INrte Tommy Lee Jones and Sissy Spacek. Natural Melodrama Of Coal Miner's Daughter7 iff ti i i ii i fM Ji (Sentinel Photot by Den Coyro) 'as if Harris, Hot Band Pack Catalyst For Two Nights By RICK CHATENEVER Sentinel Staff Writer A smattering of applause broke out at the premiere showing of f'Coal Miner's Daughter" at the 41st Avenue Playhouse Friday, when the name of scriptwriter.Tom Rickman came on the screen in the opening credits. The applause recognized that Rickman makes his home right here in Santa Cruz which provides an extra hometown link to all the rest of the down home touches in this film biography of country and western queen Loretta Lynn. Film Review Like one of Loretta's songs, the film has "hit" written all over it, beginning with Sissy Spacek's performance in the title role.

There wasn't an empty seat in the house for this glossy account of the life thus far of the girl from Butcher Hollow, who discovered her talent for mothering long before her husband Doolittle "Mooney" Lynn (Tommy Lee Jones) bought her a second-hand guitar because he liked the sound of her "sangin'." Loretta's life was one of those stranger than fiction' rags to riches numbers, and the fact that it really happened something like you're watching it on the screen adds to the immediacy of the story and to the audience's appreciation of Loretta's talents (and Sissy's as well, doing all her own singing.) Consider the plot: young Loretta is married at 13 to the brash Mooney Lynn, whose own talents run in the direction of drivin' his jeep through the hollers and making good on his outrageous claims. She becomes the mother of four while still in her teens. Although she has always song, she has to be prodded and coaxed by husband Mooney to do it in front of the audience at the Grange Hall, and even after that, he seems to be the one with the vision of the that her talent is going to win like everything else in her life, too, too fast. Director Michael Apted reveals a respectful if slightly slick feel for Loretta's roots, filling the screen with smokey Appalachian woods, the grime of the coal mine and the weathered storefronts and railroad track-marked Main Street that set the limits for kith and kin. Levon Helm, known for a decade as the drummer in The Band, makes his leap from music to movies in fine form, bringing a very real feel to the part of Loretta's father, a sad, simple, loving man, carrying the lethal wages of his occupation in the black dust coating his lungs.

Mooney and Loretta move to the state of Washington, but bring along their back porch screen door drawls. Indeed, after Loretta cuts her first do-it-yourself record and hits the road to promote it on the funky radio station circuit, she gets identified as a "dumb hillbilly act," only to have Doo respond that it no act. The fame and fortune that come her way even though she realizes she "ain't paid her dues yet" are largely the result of Mooney's resourcefulness, persistence and fast-talking bluffs. Of course, they also stem from the fact that that thar' little girl knows her way around a song, something that should be evident, even to those who don't fancy as themselves country and western fans. The road she's on inevitably leads to Nashville, where her first sight of the Grand Ole Opry is treated along the lines of a religious vision.

But with Ernest Tubb along to show interest, her debut on the Opry becomes an auspicious sign of things to come. In Nashville she also becomes a daughtersister protege to reigning Nashville queen Patsy Cline, wonderfully played by Beverly D'Angelo. Cline compassionate and worldly in her gold lame is both inspiration and teacher to Loretta. who's still in her cowgirl phase. But the older woman's tragic death in a plane crash seems a foregone inevitablity from the first time she appears on screen, her eyes blackened from a recent car wreck.

By herself, Loretta Lynn seems both an improbable and wonderful heroine in this offbeat success story. As the film makes clear, though, she wasn't by herself at any point, but was very much a wife and mother before she was anything else. Indeed, her marriage to a man who retains his affinity for jeeps and horses and never can adjust to being a silk-shirted tax write-off as his little ol' wife becomes a superstar fills the screen with images that refute a whole slough of stereotypes both sexual and regional. It is Mooney who minds the kids and takes care of the home when Loretta goes on the road in a bus bearing her name. When Loretta has twins, he is the one cradling them in his arms.

"Coal Miner's Daughter" is a natural melodrama, compelling because of its reality. While it comes to the screen intact, the film seems to fall a little short of its potential, skimming surfaces but leaving deeper issues untouched. The fact director Apted goes for such well-worn devices as snowing trees losing their leaves to suggest time passing also doesn't help very much. And when Loretta has her own on-stage breakdown, the notion that it may have really happened that way can't compete with a similar scene, captured with dramatic intensity in Altman's "Nashville." Still, the subject matter and Spacek's portrayal make this little outing into Hollywood's version of Kentucky, Nashville and points between a visit that you'll remember for a while. In an impressive display of drawing power and honky-tonk expertise, Emmylou Harris and her Hot Hand packed the Catalyst to sold-out proportions Friday and Saturday night.

Nightlife Review Harris and her band were an exercise in versatility, moving briskly through musical offerings ranging from soft country ballads to rousing blues rockers. Good vibes, cowboy hats, whiskey and beer were the order of the evening. The show marked the Hot Band's return to Santa Cruz after a few moon's absence, and Emmylou's back-up group received a hero's welcome. Emmylou played the Catalyst just six short months ago, laboring through a sensitive acoustic set while nearly pregnant as a pup. "I was quite pregnant, actually," Emmylou told the jam-packed audience.

"After the show, we're going to show baby slides," Harris joked. The ever-changing Hot Band included the multi-talented Kicky Scaggs on fiddle, guitar and vocals, adding an all-star quality to the already notoriously feverish Hot Band. Emmylou, dressed in a dainty black blouse and country designer jeans, put the band through its paces with material from such Warner Brothers releases as "Blue Kentucky Girl" and "Luxury Liner." GREG BEEBE Country queen Emmylou Harris was in good spirits Friday. Songwriter's Workshop Set Today Songwriters Resources and Services will conduct a song evaulation workshop Sunday at 2 p.m. at Kuumbwa Jazz Center.

Facilitators Pat and Pete Luboff will coordinate the workshop, which is open to all songwriters who bring songs, source Services is a non-profit, nationwide organization dedicated to the protection and education of songwriters and the expansion of social awareness through music. Additional information regarding Sunday's workshop may be obtained from Hay Ankrom at 688-7852. tapes, guitars and 10 copies of each lyrical composition. Criticism will be ottered on such points as song placement, collaboration, production of demo tapes and song protection. Presently in its sixth year of operation, Songwriters He- 1 1 liit WITH THIS COUPON una fe2I 95 Brunch.

With Eggs Benedict Seafood Cannelloni, Crab Mornay Crepe, Quiche Lorraine and more. Like a complimentary Bloody Mary, Ramos Fizz or Champagne. And that great 2525 atmosphere, in our dining room, terrace, or on our outside patio. It's always grand CHEESE TOAST GOLDEN SPUD SALAD from our Salad Bar ONE COUPON GOOD FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY (cS Single Dinner $4 48 Take Outs at Reg. Price Coupon good thro March 31 THE x4 I 1970 Freedom Blvd.

Freedom LUNCH DINNER BRUNCH COCKTAILS 2525 MAIN STRUT RESTAURANT-SOOUEL FOR RESERVATIONS 462-2525. sc aillillllllliltlGarllllililllllimllUi.

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