Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 7:30pm
The T.A.M.I. Show

The T.A.M.I. Show (Steve Binder, 1964)
Introduced by Melissa Anderson

Often called one of the greatest rock movies ever made, The T.A.M.I. Show features a cavalcade of live performances from the most iconic acts of 1964: The Supremes, Lesley Gore, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson, Chuck Berry, Marvin Gaye, Jan and Dean, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Merseybeat chart-topper Billy J. Kramer, garage rockers The Barbarians, and a notorious set by James Brown and his Famous Flames. Television director Steve Binder (later responsible for Elvis’s 1968 Comeback Special and the music show Hullabaloo) teamed up with Hollywood producer Bill Sargent to stage a two-day Teen-Age Music International Show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, packing the venue by giving away free tickets to 5,000 local high school students, and filling the stage with gyrating go-go girls (among them young Teri Garr and Toni Basil). Binder shot the event on TV cameras in “Electronovision”—an early higher-definition video system—then transferred it via kinescope to 35mm film for distribution by Roger Corman’s American International Pictures. Binder later remarked that “I wanted the audience to be there, see the talent on the stage, the sweat on their faces, the guts of it,” and his up-close approach forever influenced the way music shows and concert documentaries were shot. Despite its seminal status and legendary reputation (James Brown said his set was one of the best he ever recorded), The T.A.M.I. Show has never been released on video or DVD, making it one of music history’s most sought-after holy grails. This rare screening presents one of the few prints available: don’t miss the chance to see what its distributors dubbed “the excitement, entertainment and music of teenage America!”

“Pure pop heaven, from Lesley Gore’s Aqua-Netted flips to James Brown’s mile-high pompadour. Few concert films have ever matched The T.A.M.I. Show’s exuberance and energy, both on and off the stage—captured in the impeccably dressed performers, the hip-shaking go-go dancers, and the gaga fans.” — Melissa Anderson

Melissa Anderson is a frequent contributor to the Village Voice, Film Comment, and Artforum.com. She is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the New York Film Festival selection committee. From late 2005 to early 2009, she was the film editor of Time Out New York.

Print courtesy of Northwest Film Forum and Search and Rescue.

Tickets - $7, available at door.