Music Films ‘Martin Barre’ and ‘Bluebird,’ Biopic ‘Mrs. Lowry & Son’ Available on Disc From MVD and Cleopatra

Two music films, Martin Barre — Live in NYC and Bluebird, and a biopic on artist L.S. Lowry are just out on disc from MVD Entertainment Group and Cleopatra Entertainment.

Martin Barre, best-known as the guitarist in Jethro Tull, one of the biggest selling bands of all time, brings his famous guitar chops to the Big Apple in this rare concert in Martin Barre — Live in NYC. Available on DVD with two audio CDs of the entire concert, the deluxe collector’s edition comes in an eight-panel digipak. The titles covers his solo band live as they rock through the classic hits that earned him a reputation as one of the signature axemen of his era.

Bluebird, available on Blu-ray and DVD, chronicles the origins of megastars such as Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift while following emerging singer-songwriters as they chase their dreams inside The Bluebird Cafe, Nashville’s accidental landmark that has altered the course of music history. Its 35-year history is revealed through never-before-told stories from those that have worked, played, been discovered and helped preserve this unassuming strip-mall haunt. The film, an official selection at SXSW (2019), the Nashville Film Festival (2019) and the Newport Beach Film Festival (2019),  features interviews with Swift, Sam Hunt, Maren Morris, Faith Hill, Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and Vince Gill along with the stars of the hit TV series “Nashville.”

Mrs. Lowry & Son, available on DVD, chronicles the life of British artist L.S. Lowry (Timothy Spall), who lived all his life with his overbearing mother Elizabeth (Vanessa Redgrave). Bed-ridden and bitter, Elizabeth actively tried to dissuade her bachelor son from pursuing his artistic ambitions, whilst never failing to voice her opinion at what a disappointment he was to her.

Talent Talk: Romance With Hollywood Star Changes Young Man’s Life in ‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’

To Hollywood, she was an aging star from the 1950s known for playing femme fatales.

Though she was decades his senior, to a young Peter Turner in Liverpool in the late 1970s, she was a fascinating woman and lover who changed his life.

Based on a true story by Turner, that romance between a young actor and Oscar-winning film star Gloria Grahame is the basis for the romantic drama Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, available now on digital and DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

“I was 28. She was in her early 50s,” recalled Turner. “That was quite a big age gap at the time. It was quite unconventional.”

The film stars Annette Bening as Graham and Jamie Bell as Turner. Julie Walters and Vanessa Redgrave also star. It received three BAFTA Film Award nominations, including Best Leading Actress (Bening), Best Leading Actor (Bell) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Matt Greenhalgh), in addition to its four British Independent Film Award nominations, including Best Actor (Bell) and Best Supporting Actress (Walters). The San Francisco Film Critics Circle and London Critics Circle Film Awards each nominated Bening’s performance, with her winning Best Actress at the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards.

Bening’s portrayal also gets high marks from Turner, who said, “She made the role her own.”

“There’s no impersonation involved,” he said. “Annette was very clear that she wanted to inhabit the essence of the woman, the truth of Gloria, the soul of Gloria. She didn’t want to put on a phony walk or flip-of-the-hair kind of thing or have a kind of big makeup job. She just wanted to have a kind of truthful portrayal.

“She said to me, ‘Peter, I might not be exactly the Gloria that you knew, but I will be, I promise you, the Gloria that I now know through you.’”

Of the real Grahame, Turner recalls knowing and loving a very singular individual.

“She was just very unique,” he said. “I’d never met anyone like her before or since really. She had this sort of natural kind of aura. She was funny. She was very, very clever and just a wonderful actress, and there was also a sweet vulnerability about her that was very endearing. She had a great sense of humor, and we just connected.”

Though she was typecast often as a femme fatale, the real person wasn’t like that, he said.

“She was quite quiet really,” he said. “She wasn’t boisterous.”

While known in her prime as very glamorous Hollywood royalty — in 1953 she won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Bad and the Beautiful — Turner noted she found it hard to do her makeup and hair.

“She never really nailed it, how to dress or how to do her makeup, because of course at the studios it was all done for her,” he said. “She liked to be very natural.”

Turner noted the age difference never bothered him during their romance, and wonders at the double standard that makes the love affair so unusual.

“If I had been in my early 50s and she was 20 no one would have batted an eye,” he said.

All that matters, he said, is human connection.

“Love doesn’t kind of know age really,” he said. “I think that the most important thing in any relationship of any kind of endurance is the love and the connection in the relationship, and I was very lucky to have shared that time of my life with such a wonderful, enlightened, beautiful, sensual, clever woman, and I shall always be grateful for everything that she gave me.”

The DVD release of Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool includes the music video for “You Shouldn’t Look at Me That Way” by Elvis Costello; film commentary with director Paul McGuigan, producer Barbara Broccoli and Turner; and four featurettes: “Elvis Costello Performance & Conversation,” “Making of the Music Video: ‘You Shouldn’t Look At Me That Way,’” “In Conversation with Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Paul McGuigan & Peter Turner,” and “Annette Bening on Gloria Grahame.”