Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Joepie, 1977: ABBA – The Movie, more than a movie, an event!

At the end of December , the first ABBA movie will have its world premiere in Belgium and The Netherlands, along with Australia and Sweden. We were one of the first to go and see the ABBA quartet in their movie debut and the result is simply marvellous. This is more than a documentary or a movie. It’s an event!

The idea to make a movie about ABBA isn’t new. When Benny was still a member of the Hep Stars and the money was pouring in, he and his friends decided to make a movie. This happened in the second half of the sixties. A crew of half a dozen technicians traveled to Argentina for the filming, after which they worked in the studio for fourteen additional days and all of this resulted in five hours of tape. But then it turned out that there weren’t any financial means to edit the whole thing and the entire project ended up in the waste-paper basket. Therefore, Benny wasn’t very thrilled when he was told that a Swedish-Australian crew would use their tour in Australia as the ‘backdrop’ for a new feature film. To make things as spontaneous as possible, the ABBA members weren’t informed about what was in store for them. For the first time, a pop music movie was filmed in Panavision (wide screen), a treat for the eye and the ear!

The Australian DJ Ashley (splendidly played by the sympathetic Robert Hughes) gets the assignment from his boss in Sydney to land an exclusive interview with ABBA for a special radio broadcast. ABBA has just arrived in Australia and they are getting ready for their first concert in Sydney. But the DJ Ashley forgot to bring his press card and doesn’t manage to get inside the sports stadium where ABBA is performing in front of ten thousands of fans. Somewhat disappointed he gets back to his hotel room and collects as much material about ABBA as possible. The next day, ABBA is traveling to Melbourne already and the DJ has to tag along with them, hoping he will be able to catch them there. But he is lost without his press card and he barely manages to even get close to ABBA. Because their bodyguards won’t be fooled by a sympathetic flatterer. Once again, he misses the chance of a lifetime and he is forced to travel along with them to Adelaide, but he can barely get close to them there either. He can only dream about Anni-Frid and Agnetha! But the end of the tour is drawing near and ABBA is preparing for their last concert in Perth. At the last minute, Ashley succeeds in getting his interview with ABBA and just before they leave Australia, the programme is ready.

ABBA – The Movie is a magnificent spectacle, wherein the ABBA fans get the opportunity to see what’s happening with their idols behind the scenes. The DJ Robert Hughes is a handsome, sympathetic personality and even ABBA’s manager – the tough Stig Anderson, also known as the fifth ABBA – comes across very likable. And then there’s of course the ABBA sound and their hits, from ‘Waterloo’ to ‘The Name Of The Game’. The movie also contains songs from their new – yet to be released – album. Several strong tracks are included, definitely future hits such as ‘Thank You For The Music’, ‘I Wonder’, ‘I’m A Marionette’ and ‘Get On The Carousel’.

1 comment:

sam heurry said...

To gain access in various events you have to get a press card. The International Association of Press Photographers is authorized to issue a internationally accepted Press Passes to all members of the IAPP, whether full and part-time journalists.