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Elton John, Cameron Crowe opening Tribeca with “The Union”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The Tribeca Film Festival today announced that the world premiere of Cameron Crowe’s documentary “The Union” will open the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.

A performance by the film’s subject – Elton John – will follow the free, outdoor screening to kick off the Festival’s 10th edition and thank the New York City community for its ongoing support.

“The Union” will premiere on Wednesday, April 20 at the North Cove at the World Financial Plaza. The 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival will take place from April 20 through May 1, 2011.

From the release:

“The Union” is an unprecedented and personal look at the creative life of Elton John and the remarkable collaborative album with Leon Russell, produced by T-Bone Burnett. Begun in November 2009, the filming captures the entire writing and recording process of the heralded album John recorded with his early-career idol, Russell.

Never before filmed in his composing process, John¹s creation of The Union is an extremely candid portrait of one of the world’s most treasured artists and performers, and his extraordinary journey of the heart — one that sent him to powerfully reclaim and reinvigorate the life and musical career of Russell, to whom John hadn’t spoken in over 38 years. The Union is a captivating and exhilarating real-life experience of musical creation and generosity, directed by Cameron Crowe.

Award-winning music producer T-Bone Burnett, John’s lifelong lyricist Bernie Taupin, icons Neil Young and Brian Wilson, legendary R&B organist Booker T. Jones, steel guitarist Robert Randolph and a 10-piece gospel choir are featured on the album, while appearances by Stevie Nicks and Don Was color the documentary about a love of making music.

“It’s a special opportunity to open our 10th Festival in this distinct and unique way—not only are we inviting the community to join us for the world premiere of Cameron Crowe’s film The Union, but to have Elton, whose music transcends generations, perform after is an extraordinary gift to our Festival and more specifically the downtown community,” said co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival Jane Rosenthal. “Cameron Crowe gives audiences unprecedented access into Elton John and Leon Russell’s artistic process in an emotional and realistic way.”

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Photo courtesy of PRPhotos.com.

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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