Happy Birthday to the late, great Pete Postlethwaite

One of the finest actors of his generation, Pete Postlethwaite,  (7 February 1946 – 2 January 2011) appeared in several favorite films of The Hobbledehoy, including Brassed Off (1996), and Terence Davies’ brilliant Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988).

His international reputation peaked when he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his moving portrayal Giuseppe Conlon In the Name of the Father (1993).

Happy birthday up in heaven, Pete.

Rodrigo’s “Concierto d’Aranjuez” from the film “Brassed Off”

One of THE HOBBLEDEOY’S all-time favorite films is writer/director Mark Herman’s Brassed Off (1996). This scene features the legendary Pete Postlethwaite, Tara Fitzgerald, Stephen Tompkinson, and Ewan McGregor, but the true star here is the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, who perform the music.

The Concierto de Aranjuez is by the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. Written in 1939, it is by far Rodrigo’s best-known work, and its success established his reputation as one of the most significant Spanish composers of the 20th century.

Usually performed as a guitar concerto, the flugelhorn arrangement of the Adagio was by Kevin Bolton.

If you have not seen this film, you must. Not currently available on Netflix or Amazon, it’s worth a trip to borrow from the local library.

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How we made Brassed Off 

‘I spent months learning the flugelhorn – and I didn’t even have to play it’

Pete Postlethwaite, who was playing my father, took me down to Grimethorpe a week before filming to talk to locals and let them know this was their story. The miners were reticent at first. Not long before, a TV crew had stitched up the town, getting kids to throw stones at derelict buildings and making it seem as if it was a regular occurrence, as if Grimethorpe had become a wild west town. [ . . . ]

More at source: How we made Brassed Off | Film | The Guardian

Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez scene from Brassed Off

One of Johnny Foreigner”s favorite British films of the ’90s was Mark Herman’s Brassed Off – 1996 British-American comedy-drama film written and directed by Mark Herman and starring Pete Postlethwaite, Tara Fitzgerald and Ewan McGregor. These’s so much to love about the movie, including the brass band music, but especially the performance by one of the greatest British actors of all time – Pete Postlethwaite as the bandleader/miner “Danny.” If you’ve never seen this movie, grab it from Netflix or Amazon.

The film is about the troubles faced by a colliery brass band, following the closure of their pit. The soundtrack for the film was provided by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, and the plot is based on Grimethorpe’s own struggles against pit closures. It is generally very positively received for its role in promoting brass bands and their music. Parts of the film make reference to the huge increase in suicides that resulted from the end of the coal industry in Britain, and the struggle to retain hope in the circumstances. [Wikipedia]