Eagle Vision [Released 08.11.14]
Produced by the band themselves and filmed to document their 1968 summer tour, the uncompleted “Feast of Friends” was shelved at the time due to frontman Jim Morrison’s ongoing legal issues and, with the exception of a few film festival showings and a handful of bootleg releases, has remained unreleased until now.
The original film was funded by the band and directed by friend Paul Ferrara and is a candid insight into The Doors’ 1968 tour, mixing live and offstage footage, black and white and colour film and some artistically shot pieces – all of which is accompanied by soundbytes or Doors music from that era.
Relaxed footage of the band behind the scenes shows Morrison as either a genius or playing up to the camera- either way, it doesn’t really matter as he is a showman both on and off stage. There is also a great live rendition of “The End”. The footage on “Feast of Friends” was edited down from some 23 hours and the film feels relatively short at just 40 minutes, however, this is more than rectified by the DVD’s bonus features
First up is “Feast of Friends: Encore”, an in depth companion piece sourced from the originally shot footage and featuring rare Doors recordings accompanying the footage. It is this feature that will appeal most to fans of the band
Also included is the British 1967 Granada TV documentary “The Doors Are Open”. The visual and audio quality has suffered over the years but this has now been restored, thanks to Bruce Botnick who is well known for his work with the band. The documentary mixes live performance from the band’s London Roundhouse gig in 1967 interspersed with footage of the time including the Vietnam War, riots and political leaders
Finally, we have the 1967 Canadian feature “The End”, long considered by die-hard fans of The Doors to be one of their finest recorded concerts. In addition to the live footage there are interviews with Robby Kreiger, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and manager Danny Sugarman.
With the band still remaining popular amongst music fans of several generations, this DVD is a great release and with the recent death of keyboardist Ray Manzarek it is a reminder of the awesome musical ability that made The Doors the band they were. *****
Review by Nikk Gunns
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