Throughout its long history, Arena has attracted the world’s greatest musical stars, from The Sex Pistols to Sonny Rollins, Tammy Wynette to Van Morrison, Amy Winehouse to John Lee Hooker.
As part of our tribute to Arena and Anthony Wall, Dingle International Film Festival is dedicating the screen in McCarthy’s Bar, our Festival Hub & Club, to twelve hours of classic performance captured by Arena’s cameras and recorders over the last 40 years.
Anthony Wall has curated this incredible programme of music in film from the Arena archives especially for our festival. We are deeply honoured to present this 12 hours of footage which will run over 3 nights in our Festival Club situated in McCarthy’s Bar, one of Ireland’s most loved gig spaces. We have welcomed Anthony to Dingle pretty much from the start and he has been here with us just about every year, presenting such wonderful works as: Dylan in The Madhouse, Bob Dylan: The Other Side Side of The Mirror, The Hunt For Moby-Dick, The Peter Sellers Story – As He Filmed It, The Agony & The Ecstasy of Phil Spector, Harold Pinter: A Celebration, Arena: Produced By George Martin, Amy Winehouse: The Day She Came To Dingle, Magical Mystery Tour Revisited; Arena: Whatever Happened to Spitting Image, Arena: Nic Roeg: It’s About Time, Arena: Night and Day and Bob Dylan’s Trouble No More. We are thrilled to welcome yet again our true friend, the maker of cutting edge films, 3 time BAFTA winner, Anthony Wall to the Festival.
The first presentation will run from 9.30pm to 12.30am on Thursday 21st March. It begins with World Beat Classics, a 75 minute collection of the very best in world music from Arena and its spin off series, Rhythms of the World.
The film features Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa, on the stage of Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theatre; Pakistan’s Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the Pavarotti of Qwaali at an all Asian festival in Birmingham; Salif Keita from Mali and Bob Marley.
90 minutes of rock and soul follows, stars include Chrissie Hynde, Jerry Lee Lewis and Shane MacGowan with Pete Doherty.
Part Three will be common to all three nights, a chilled session with Paul McCartney, Van Morrison with Bob Dylan and John Lee Hooker among many others.
The second night, Friday 22nd March, begins with Arena’s multi award winning American Epic Sessions, Part One. The film recreates the conditions of the earliest recording of American roots music. Under the supervision of Jack White and T Bone Burnette, today’s stars queued up to test their mettle against the unforgiving discipline of the Western Electric Lathe.
Reconstructed for the film, the original recording machine built in the 1920’s allows for one take only, no more than three and a half minutes, no edits, no retakes – just one take cut on a side of wax and that’s it.
Performers include Jack White and his band, hip hop superstar, Nas; contemporary rockabilly giants, Alabama Shakes; country chanteuse, Ashley Monroe and Elton John who writes a song with Bernie Taupin especially for the session.
More rock and soul follows, stars include Marvin Gaye, The Specials and the high priest of Hip Hop – Afrika Bambaata.
The third night, Saturday 23rd, begins with American Epic Sessions Part Two featuring Beck, Steve Martin and Edie Brickel and top of the bill, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, who, like Elton, write a song for the film, He’s The Only Man Wilder Than Me. They sing it to each other.
Rock and soul features James Brown, The Rolling Stones, Ike and Tina Turner and the great names of New Orleans R & B.