Glamour, guts and surrealism. Nino Rota, who died in '79, won Oscars for his haunting Godfather scores, but his greatest collaborations were with his compatriot Fellini. Films such as La Dolce Vita, 8½, Roma, Amarcord and La Strada were among the highlights of their three decades of artistic alliance. Few if any have merged imagery and music to such effect: you could argue that Fellini's idiosyncrasies were such that Rota's job was hardest of all. The Prague Philharmonic here whistle through his warm, sure work.
Inspired by a Bowie gig, Trilogy sees The Cure perform three of their LPs in full over two nights at Berlin's Tempodrom—the classics Pornography and Disintegration plus the more recent Bloodflowers. With the band, as usual, brilliantly lit and the event shot with 12 separate cameras, this is far superior to normal live fare. The music, too, benefits from perhaps the band's strongest line-up. Pornography, originally performed by a trio, here becomes a maudlin monolith, with the ageless Smith somehow reinfused with a bitterness now 20 years old. Thrilling.
A slew of queasy 1960s anxieties get refracted through the camp superspy persona of oversexed karate-chopping polymath Derek Flint (James Coburn, fantastically deadpan). Our Man Flint sees him tackle a trio of, gasp, pinko scientists who can control the planet's weather, while In Like Flint pits him against a devious group of demented feminists. Funny, knowing, and yet unsettling at the same time.
NYC rock'n'roll troupe Cat Mother had a semi-illustrious history. Formed by Stephen Stills' mate Roy Michaels (pre-Buffalo Springfield), Roy's boys packed an esoteric punch with their odd mix of old rocker standards and mandolin/violin/banjo workouts. Jimi Hendrix took a shine to them and semi-produced this disc at Electric Ladyland. They came up with a diverting set, but the Hendrix link is obviously the draw for this first-time CD reissue.