Suite: Ol’ Blue Eyes

Upstate Films screens On the Bowery this weekend, CSN & Sinatra docs next weekend in Woodstock & Rhinebeck

by Paul Smart
March 17, 2011 12:08 PM | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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still from On the Bowery
Hooked on YouTube’s seemingly endless supply of vintage rock ‘n’ roll footage? Or even better, its hidden troves of raw documentary footage that can give us all untold glimpses into that history that we were able to record on film? You’re in for a live treat in the coming weeks, care of Upstate Films in both Rhinebeck and Woodstock, where two programs will delve into our collective pasts in a lively and revealing way.

This weekend, March 19 through 21, there will be select screenings of Lionel Rogosin’s little-seen but hugely rich black-and-white masterpiece On the Bowery, a glimpse into lost New York – and a time when unions and the idea of working-class pride were still key American attributes – that sets a narrative into a documentary setting with the texture of a Joseph Mitchell story, or the eternal immediacy of a Weegee photograph. Then, on Saturday, March 26 in Woodstock and Sunday, March 27 in Rhinebeck, archivist/musician/filmmaker Bill Shelley will be at Upstate Films to introduce, unspool and discuss two wildly different but equally alluring selections of clips: from the early days of Crosby, Stills & Nash in Woodstock, and from Ol’ Blue Eyes a/k/a the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra, in Rhinebeck.

Shelley started off shooting music videos for the likes of the Stray Cats, Twisted Sister and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts back in the late 1970s and moved on to work with the rap group that would become Public Enemy in the 1980s. He eventually built up one of the great archives of pop-culture video and film, which has received Emmies and contributed clips to major film and television projects in the years since. Today, Shelley’s company has more than 100,000 reels of original 35mm and 16mm films in its archives and over 10,000 hours of rare concerts, television shows, promos, interviews, outtakes and home movies from a wide-ranging variety of subjects.

The CSN clips show in Woodstock will start at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26 and include 90 minutes of rare early concert footage, television appearances, rehearsals and promotional films. The Sinatra program, starting at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 27, includes material from live concert venues, television and motion pictures appearances, including duets and repartee with the likes of Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Harry James and His Orchestra and even Elvis Presley. This program is also 90 minutes in length.

For more about Upstate Films, located on Tinker Street in Woodstock and Montgomery Street in Rhinebeck, call (845) 876-2515 or (845) 679-6608 or visit

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