Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell Reviews

  • Sep 10, 2013

    I'm always wary of these congratulatory documentaries on eccentric figures, but Wild Combination contains 80 minutes of the most finely paced and beautifully put together material I've ever seen in a music documentary. The filmmakers managed to make a film with the same enigmatic and mysterious qualities of its subject. By splicing in bootleg videos of Russell performances, the film shows us how out of place and special Russell was in this world.

    I'm always wary of these congratulatory documentaries on eccentric figures, but Wild Combination contains 80 minutes of the most finely paced and beautifully put together material I've ever seen in a music documentary. The filmmakers managed to make a film with the same enigmatic and mysterious qualities of its subject. By splicing in bootleg videos of Russell performances, the film shows us how out of place and special Russell was in this world.

  • Apr 07, 2013

    Straightforward biodoc.

    Straightforward biodoc.

  • Jan 21, 2012

    this guy makes some of the most contemporary music. one of the many musicians I hold the highest regard for.

    this guy makes some of the most contemporary music. one of the many musicians I hold the highest regard for.

  • Nov 05, 2010

    A not bad Doco about a Intriguing Genius of a person. Doesnt outstay its welcome like alot of docos. Leaves you wanting to have Arthur as your soundtrack.

    A not bad Doco about a Intriguing Genius of a person. Doesnt outstay its welcome like alot of docos. Leaves you wanting to have Arthur as your soundtrack.

  • Sep 12, 2010

    I really appreciate that someone like Matt Wolf did went on and made a documentary of Russell. Loved every bit of it and it got me to know Russell's avantgarde music even more. I am always in search of the dance culture in the early New York and Chicago. This was just another great indepth of a part of that time.

    I really appreciate that someone like Matt Wolf did went on and made a documentary of Russell. Loved every bit of it and it got me to know Russell's avantgarde music even more. I am always in search of the dance culture in the early New York and Chicago. This was just another great indepth of a part of that time.

  • Apr 29, 2010

    A humbling portrait of a brilliant artist that continues to inspire both musicians and fans.

    A humbling portrait of a brilliant artist that continues to inspire both musicians and fans.

  • Dec 06, 2009

    It doesn't really tell you anything that you can't find in a cursory read of any of his biographies available online, and in that sense it's not really much more than a really well-produced episode of vh1's behind the music, but at the same time it's buoyed up by the sheer genius of arthur's music and with some great imagery to go along with it. If you don't know anything about him, this is a great place to start... as for me, I was among the untold throngs of curious record store clerks who were initiated into the world of his genius when that comp on soul jazz records came out back in 2004. after looking up his story that year, it was very clear to see how his art was impacted by a life of isolation, eccentricity, perfectionism, paranoia, disease, tragedy, and fear of success balanced by an obsession with mainstream pop music forms. I think that listening to him for all those years with that in mind made him pop out as even more vulnerable, even more human. Watching this movie was like a refresher course on why I find his recordings so beautiful too bad it doesn't feature any performances of what is, in my humble opinion, his best song: "lucky star".

    It doesn't really tell you anything that you can't find in a cursory read of any of his biographies available online, and in that sense it's not really much more than a really well-produced episode of vh1's behind the music, but at the same time it's buoyed up by the sheer genius of arthur's music and with some great imagery to go along with it. If you don't know anything about him, this is a great place to start... as for me, I was among the untold throngs of curious record store clerks who were initiated into the world of his genius when that comp on soul jazz records came out back in 2004. after looking up his story that year, it was very clear to see how his art was impacted by a life of isolation, eccentricity, perfectionism, paranoia, disease, tragedy, and fear of success balanced by an obsession with mainstream pop music forms. I think that listening to him for all those years with that in mind made him pop out as even more vulnerable, even more human. Watching this movie was like a refresher course on why I find his recordings so beautiful too bad it doesn't feature any performances of what is, in my humble opinion, his best song: "lucky star".

  • Sep 18, 2009

    Arthur Russel, what a talent. Great documentry of an artist who's music is so ahead of his time. Even to this day it sounds from the future or some far away world. This film is informative while bitter sweet. I wonder what his sound would be if he were still around.

    Arthur Russel, what a talent. Great documentry of an artist who's music is so ahead of his time. Even to this day it sounds from the future or some far away world. This film is informative while bitter sweet. I wonder what his sound would be if he were still around.

  • Sep 04, 2009

    Does it make me a total idiot that I've missed this musician? Well, I did and thanks to this documentary my eyes are now open to his art. A great look into the world of Arthur Russell. I now have most of his music.

    Does it make me a total idiot that I've missed this musician? Well, I did and thanks to this documentary my eyes are now open to his art. A great look into the world of Arthur Russell. I now have most of his music.

  • Jul 24, 2009

    This was good but a little too music heavy for my taste. Despite all the interviews with friends and family I still felt like I didn't know the man.

    This was good but a little too music heavy for my taste. Despite all the interviews with friends and family I still felt like I didn't know the man.