or


[01/19/12 - 09:42 AM]
Cameron Crowe Documentary "The Union," About Elton John and Leon Russell, Debuts Feb. 2 on HBO
The film is filled with concert footage of John and Russell throughout their careers, including John's first U.S. appearance at The Troubadour in Los Angeles.

[via press release from HBO]

DIRECTOR CAMERON CROWE CAPTURES MUSICAL LEGENDS ELTON JOHN AND LEON RUSSELL AS THEY COLLABORATE ON THE UNION, DEBUTING FEB. 2, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO

After 38 years of not seeing or speaking to Leon Russell, Elton John listens to Russell's greatest-hits album while on safari in Africa with his partner David Furnish. He is moved to tears. Distraught at the thought that Russell - whom John considers one of his greatest musical influences - has seemingly fallen into obscurity, he vows to contact his idol and propose that they collaborate on an album together.

So begins THE UNION, an unprecedented personal look into the making of John and Russell's acclaimed album of the same name. Stepping into The Village studio in Los Angeles, director Cameron Crowe captures a myriad of intimate moments involving the two artists, including the first-ever filming of John composing music to lyrics written by Bernie Taupin, his longtime collaborator. Underscoring John's desire that the new album sound like one of Russell's classics, the film is filled with concert footage of John and Russell throughout their careers, including John's first U.S. appearance at The Troubadour in Los Angeles, a show attended by Russell.

THE UNION debuts THURSDAY, FEB. 2 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Other HBO playdates: Feb. 2 (5:00 a.m.), 5 (2:30 p.m.), 7 (8:00 a.m.), 10 (1:30 p.m.), 15 (12:30 a.m.), 17 (4:00 p.m.) and 20 (noon)

HBO2 playdates: Feb. 8 (8:00 p.m.) and 26 (2:30 p.m.)

This candid portrait of two remarkable talents documents an extraordinary journey of the heart, as John and Russell create many of "The Union"'s signature songs. Following an initial feeling-out phase, the ice is broken when they watch a video of Mahalia Jackson singing "Didn't It Rain" at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. The two head to their respective pianos and start jamming, eventually coming up with the foundation for the song "Monkey Suit." They work on nine songs in three days - and John's dream is well on its way to becoming reality.

With celebrated producer T Bone Burnett on board to produce, Crowe observes as the two musicians develop, rehearse and record such heralded tracks as "If It Wasn't For Bad" (which received a 2011 Grammy nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals), "Gone to Shiloh," "Monkey Suit" and "In the Hands of Angels." Taupin, icons Neil Young and Brian Wilson, legendary organist Booker T. Jones, steel guitarist Robert Randolph and a ten-piece gospel choir are seen contributing to the album. Appearances by Stevie Nicks and Don Was also color the documentary, a chronicle not just of music-making, but of the reinvigoration of Russell's career.

As the start of recording, Russell undergoes a five-hour emergency operation to remove brain fluid, but he eventually returns to the studio and completes the ambitious 14-song album. John makes sure that it is a true collaborative effort, sharing vocals as well as writing and performing credits with Russell. As the album is mixed, the pair makes plans to promote it via TV, radio and print interviews, as well as in a special live performance at the Beacon Theatre in New York. On Oct. 19, 2010, in conjunction with the release of "The Union" - which went to #1 on Amazon, entered the Billboard 200 at #3 and was named #3 on Rolling Stone's Greatest 30 Albums of 2010 - Russell and John take the stage at the Beacon for a memorable joint concert.

THE UNION also shows how John has evolved, as an artist and a man. Reflecting on his rise to fame in the "glorious blur" of the '70s, marked by over-the-top costumes and hyperactive performances, he says, "I spent a lot of time in my life feeling insecure offstage, rather than being secure on it. I'm not that way anymore - I want to help people, I want to give back. I love young artists. And if I met the younger me today, I'd probably want to help him, too."

THE UNION, which had its world premiere as the opening-night selection at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, is the latest installment in Cameron Crowe's already lustrous filmography. His previous films include "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous." Crowe recently directed another music documentary, "Pearl Jam Twenty," as well as "We Bought a Zoo," starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. He has also been an influential force in music journalism since early in his career, having been Rolling Stone magazine's youngest contributor.

Leon Russell holds an important place in the history of rock as a pianist, vocalist, composer, arranger and band leader. Beginning as a session player, including serving as part of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, Russell subsequently worked with such superstars as Joe Cocker, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Bob Dylan and George Harrison, and enjoyed a successful solo career with songs like "Delta Lady" (also a big hit for Cocker), "A Song for You," "Tightrope" and "This Masquerade" (covered by George Benson and others). Russell joined John (elected in 1994) in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

One of the most successful musical artists of all time, Elton John has sold more than 250 million records, with 50 Top 40 hits, seven consecutive #1 U.S. albums, six Grammy Awards, an Oscar´┐Ż and a Tony to his credit. John was profiled in the 1997 CINEMAX documentary "Elton John: Tantrums & Tiaras," which was directed by his partner, David Furnish.

THE UNION is directed by Cameron Crowe; produced by Cameron Crowe and Michelle Panek; executive producer, Johnny Barbis; edited by Kevin Long.





  [january 2012]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)





[03/26/17 - 08:41 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Demos on Low Key Night
The latest installment of "SNL Vintage" leads the night among adults 18-49.

[03/25/17 - 08:29 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: NCAA Coverage Puts CBS on Top
The Eye easily wins the evening in total viewers and adults 18-49.

[03/24/17 - 11:53 PM]
Development Update: Friday, March 24
Updates include: Dave Erickson to exit AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead"; Sharon Lawrence cast in "Me, Myself & I" at CBS; and Cher bows out of Lifetime's "Flint" docudrama.

[03/24/17 - 02:58 PM]
TV One Premieres "The Lost Souls Cafe" on Easter Sunday, April 16 at 6 pm ET
Loretta Devine, Christian Keyes, Kiki Haynes and Ernest L. Thomas star in the film adaptation of Donald Welch's popular inspirational stage play.

[03/24/17 - 01:20 PM]
"Into the Badlands" Is 2017's #1 Returning Cable Series
AMC further spins the numbers for Sunday, March 19.

[03/24/17 - 10:51 AM]
Univision Network Casts Marco de la O as Star of New Boundary-Breaking Original Series "El Chapo"
The new ripped-from-the-headlines drama explores the life story of one of the world's most notorious criminals over a span of three decades - from 1985, when he was a low level member of the Guadalajara Cartel, his rise to power and his ultimate downfall.

[03/24/17 - 10:38 AM]
John Leguizamo Joins the Cast of "Waco" - Premieres on Paramount Network in 2018
Leguizamo joins the cast as ATF agent Robert Rodriguez, who was was sent into Koresh's Mount Carmel to gather evidence and build a federal case against the Branch Davidians but forged a bond with the people inside.

[03/24/17 - 10:05 AM]
Discovery Channel Revs Up Motor Line-Up with New Series "House of Cars" (W/T)
The series, produced by Coolfire Studios, is an original unscripted series that proves building cars isn't just for the pros - it's for anyone who thinks they have what it takes to test their chops on a big build.

[03/24/17 - 10:00 AM]
Leah Remini and Kevin James Reunite on the Two-Part Season Finale of the #1 New Comedy "Kevin Can Wait"
In the two-part finale, Kevin agrees to come out of retirement briefly to reprise his undercover assignment in an ongoing police investigation where he and fellow cop Vanessa Cellucci (Remini) will, once again, pose as husband and wife.

[03/24/17 - 09:30 AM]
AMC to Air Special Edition of "Talking" After Show Following the "Better Call Saul" Season Three Premiere and Finale Episodes
Hosted by Chris Hardwick, the hour-long talk show will feature series cast, producers and celebrity fans discussing the Emmy(R) nominated series' third season.

[03/24/17 - 08:41 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Pulls in Front with NCAA Coverage
The Eye wins the night among total viewers and adults 18-49.

[03/24/17 - 08:02 AM]
"J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only, A Dreamville Film," The Grammy-Nominated Music Star's Second HBO Special, Debuts April 15
In the spirit of his previous outing, this exclusive presentation is a multi-narrative show that combines music performances with intimate interviews documented through Cole's lens.

[03/24/17 - 08:00 AM]
"Charlie Hustle" & "The Big Hurt" Reunite as MLB Analysts for FOX Sports' 2017 Season
"Charlie Hustle" and "The Big Hurt" add to an already impressive baseball cast for FOX Sports, which also includes World Series Champions Alex Rodriguez, and Nick Swisher.

[03/24/17 - 07:26 AM]
Giada De Laurentiis Returns to Her Family's Homeland and Showcases the Food and Culture of Florence in New Season of "Giada in Italy," Premiering Sunday, April 9th at 12PM ET/PT
The series shares Giada's passion for all things Italy - especially the food.

[03/24/17 - 02:52 AM]
Academy Award Winner Adrien Brody Joins "Peaky Blinders" for Series Four
Tom Hardy returns as Jewish gang leader Alfie Solomons, alongside series regulars Natasha O'Keefe and Packy Lee.