How They Got Over

  • 87'
  • USA
  • 2017

Legendary musicians like James Brown got their ideas from the impressive, dramatic performances of Afro-American gospel quartets that played in churches, on local radio stations and, later, at concert halls starting in the 1930s. The music documentary How They Got Over about the evolution of these quartets illustrates how this often originally religious harmony singing developed into more secular songs with instruments, multiple vocalists, passion and sold-out shows. These singing men and women were musical precursors to famous genres such as doo-wop, rhythm and blues, soul, Motown and rock 'n' roll.

A number of octogenarian singers regale us with tales of their road trips across the South of the United States when they played for peanuts to make their names. Their stories and those of other genre lovers are augmented by seldom-seen archival footage of concerts by the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and many others.

Part of Scopitone Cafe, an eclectic mix of documentaries about music and how it is experienced. With Q&A and a performance by BlackGospel Experience with a.o. Joany Muskiet. The bar is open! Free admission.

Director
Robert Clem
Premiere
European premiere
Country of production
USA
Production Year
2017
Festival Edition
IFFR 2018
Length
87'
Medium
File
Language
English
Producers
Robert Clem, Mike Tannen
Production Companies
One State Films, Tannen Media Ventures
Sales
One State Films
Cinematography
Robert Clem, Alan Hostetter, Tommy Wier
Editor
Robert Clem
Website
http://howtheygotover.com

Programme

Scopitone

Rotterdam goes hardcore genre with an eclectic mix of films that brashly bend, blend or respect conventions each in their own distinctive way.

Read more about this programme