Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1h 52min
The 60 th anniversary of the Motown label, famed for bringing soul music to the mainstream, is celebrated in this affectionate documentary filled with toe-tapping classics.
Taking its name from a portmanteau of Detroit’s nickname ‘Motor Town’, Motown was the brainchild of Barry Gordy, himself working on the Ford assembly line when he had a revelation: “I can do this with people.” He envisioned a production line for talented artists, a kid walks in one door, they are trained to sing, to dance, to dress and given the right material, they leave out the other end a star.
The formula was unprecedently successful with such giants as The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder attached to the label.
As the documentary notes, the label also played an important role in the racial integration of popular music as an African American-owned label that achieved crossover success. When the artists first started to tour, they would find the venues divided by a rope down the centre of the auditorium separating the whites from the blacks. Previously unseen footage, new interviews and songs a-plenty make this an unmissable evening out.
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