John Ford's 1939 classic Stagecoach finally gets the inimitable deluxe release from Criterion. The film's merits should be obvious to viewers of any generation, as it remains a wonderfully entertaining adventure. However, what has probably been diminished to many movie fans over the decades is the impact Stagecoach had on the Western movie genre. With this film, Ford had elevated the Western from the realm of B matinee productions by providing a highly intelligent, superbly written scenario designed to appeal to adults rather than the traditional core audience for Westerns, which was primarily children. In reality, there had been several attempts to elevate the Western to a higher plain prior to Stagecoach - primarily Raoul Walsh's 1930 epic The Big Trail. However, that film required theaters in invest in expensive widescreen projection equipment - something they were loathe to do during the Depression. Thus, the movie lost a fortune and relegated its star, John Wayne, back to B movie hell. Ford rescued Wayne by bucking studio executives who wanted a more prestigious star for Stagecoach. The rest, as they say, is history.
Rush is a band that has been playing live since 1968 and recording and touring since 1974.They rank just behind The Beatles and the Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio album sales.They have toured the globe many times over in support of their 19 studio albums and have played to millions of people for 36 years.Despite all of this, little is known about this Canadian rock group outside of the circles of their most ardent fans. Rush is comprised of three fairly private individuals who don’t think of themselves as interesting enough to warrant media scrutiny.Fortunately, there are those who disagree. Among them are filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, both Rush fans who met with the Holy Rock Triumvirate in August 2007 during a stop in Dallas, TX while on tour in support of their “Snakes and Arrows” album. During the visit, they convinced Rush that they should be the subject of their next documentary film.Having previously made several films about the world of heavy metal music – Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey (2005), Global Metal (2008), and Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (2009) – the filmmakers wanted to tell the story behind this incredible rock band, and how they have managed to not only last but flourish in an industry that can easily cripple and destroy other bands.
Lead singer and bassist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart are center stage in Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, which premiered on April 24, 2010 as part of the ninth annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, and is now available on a double-disc DVD and single-disc Blu-Ray.Running nearly two hours in length, the audience is taken on an awe-inspiring, entertaining and informative journey documenting the history and philosophy of Rush.There are many musicians of various backgrounds who lend their thoughts on what Rush means to them, among them Gene Simmons of Kiss (Rush used to open for them in the 1970’s), Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, Jack Black of Tenacious D, Billy Corrigan of Smashing Pumpkins, and Sebastian Bach, to name a few.