8 stories about one man...who changed their lives...forever!
(from Press Kit - " Altered By Elvis")
Symbolic of both its pedigree and importance as a riveting documentary directly about the King's followers (believers), and indirectly about subliminal aspects of Elvis himself, is the film's Official Selection at the Waterfront, Vail and Memphis International Film Festivals in 2006!
Narratively, "Altered By Elvis" has a schizophrenic nature, driven by the psychologically eclectic divergence that constitutes Elvis fandom. The pot pourri of Elvis fans in the film provide a colorful mosaic of things often extremely Elvis. Sometimes charming, sometimes confronting, above all else, "Altered By Elvis" challenges our perceptions of what is a fan.
There are also important touches of neo-normality in "Altered By Elvis". We learn how celebrity photographer, the (himself) iconic Alfred Wertheimer, continues to make a living from his "two weeks in 1956" trademark Elvis images, and while the three "Huzzies (be clear though, these are NOT "hussies!") exhibit some odd behaviour, theirs is really only the charming playfulness that afflicts many of us as the seminally heady and carefree days of our youth start to dim thanks to a combination of advancing age and the often trite mundaneness of everyday life.
In a more subdued scene, the celebrity sunglasses king, Dennis Roberts, tells how he became Elvis' glasses provider. Rock 'n' roll aficionados will relish Bettye Berger's account of her record "Please Convince Me" and its unfortunate, for Bettye anyway, Elvis connection.
One of the Memphis Mafia members who emotionally divides fans, Elvis' new age hairdresser, Larry Geller, offers a touching, if overly dramatic, account of his and Charlie Hodge's visit to the mortuary after Elvis died. Larry's description of what happened as the casket lid closed for the last time is pure Hollywood.
While these "softer" vignettes offer a counterbalance to the colorfully more extreme stories of an implicitly socially challenged minority, not surprisingly it is the latter which dominate "Altered By Elvis" and provide its filmic and lasting power.
There is also an important, grounding moment traversing musical, social and racial boundaries. In an important filmic elsewhere, black American drummer, Don Valentine, perceptively observes:
Verdict: An important, personality driven, disturbingly rich and challenging film which will linger in your thoughts long after the last visual fades from the screen. The cult of celebrity lives in Elvis!
Visit the Altered By Elvis website
Read EIN's review of Elvis Through My Eyes (Jimmy Denson)
EIN's review was prepared after viewing a DVD screener of "Altered By Elvis"
Quote:"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"
(Dr. Gary Enders)
Quote:" Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"
Quote:"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"
(humorist Dave Barry)
Quote:"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"
(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")
Quote:"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"
Quote:"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"
Quote:"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew I wasn't going to work for anybody...hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail"
Quote:"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"(Sir Paul McCartney)