Entertainment

Picture perfect!

The Harder They Come gets digital make-over

BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor — Auto and Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, February 09, 2014    

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THE classic Jamaican film, The Harder They Come, has been digitally re-mastered and released in high definition.

"You'll now be able to see how beautiful the cinematography was. You'll be able to appreciate the artistry of the cameraman," Justine Henzell told the Sunday Observer.

Henzell is the daughter of Perry Henzell, the film's co-writer and producer who died in 2006.

According to her, the digital 'spruce up' was done in September by the family-controlled International Film Management.

"You will catch the subtlety and nuances you wouldn't have seen before... it's a better picture," she said.

When asked if consideration was given to dubbing the sub-titled film to English to reach a wider audience, Henzell said she was not interested.

"You would lose some of the flavour. It would then look like one of those bad Kung Fu movies... Completely out of sync," she chuckled.

The Harder They Come is a low-budget film which stars reggae singer Jimmy Cliff. Cliff's character, Ivan, is a youth from rural Jamaica who relocates to Kingston to chase his dream of making it big as a singer. When that does not materialise, he turns to a life of crime.

The film takes its cue from Ivanhoe 'Rhygin' Martin, a criminal who terrorised sections of west Kingston in the late 1940s.

The film made Cliff a superstar and helped introduce Jamaican pop culture to an international audience.

Released by Island Records in Britain in February 1972, The Harder They Come soundtrack contains the title song, Many Rivers to Cross, Wonderful World, Beautiful People and You Can Get it if You Really Want, all by Cliff; as well as (007) Shantytown by Desmond Dekker, The Melodians' By The Rivers of Babylon, Pressure Drop and Sweet and Dandy (Toots and The Maytals) and Johnny Too Bad by The Slickers.

In 2003, The Harder They Come soundtrack was listed at number 119 on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums. That year, the Universal Music Group re-issued the album with five bonus tracks.

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