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Joni's newest hope - Production of movie   Print

by Mary Gilchrist
Saskatoon StarPhoenix
November 3, 1969

Can't you just see it - a world premiere of a Hollywood movie, a throng of celebrities, bright lights and emblazoned across the marquee, written, directed and produced by Joni Mitchell.

And every Saskatonian would straighten with understandable pride.

It could happen. Joni, who has established herself in the folk world, both as songwriter and performer, was musing a little about the future Saturday night after her concert at the Centennial Auditorium.

The film companies are looking for new things on the screen, she said. She and others had been approached to provide some of those new happenings.

Warner Brothers had offered her an unlimited opportunity. She could merely come up with an idea or she could write a screen play, or direct and produce it, too, "as far as I can take it."

She said she had a couple ideas she was working on, ideas that would take an hour and a half to express, instead of the three minutes she's accustomed to in song. And for Joni, the fact the company has set no deadline for her, gives her the freedom she so enjoys.

And Joni's fans can also look forward to the publication of a book of poetry and drawings she is currently working on.

Even during her visit this week with her parents in Saskatoon, Joni was at work. She was asked to provide words for a song from the movie, The Arrangement, soon to be released. She ran into a little difficulty trying to fit words to someone else's music, so she plans to submit her own music and lyrics and hopes it will be accepted as a package.

Joni quickly squelched a report that had emanated from the coast that she would not play Canadian cities like Vancouver because they were hick towns and she only played Saskatoon because her parents live here.

"It's simply not true. I've played Canadian cities, like Ottawa and Stratford and I've been waiting to play Vancouver, too." She dismissed the author of the Vancouver story with a giggle. "The guy must have had an inferiority complex. I just don't know why he would have written such a thing."

A Canadian theatre she would like to play, on another visit home, is Castle Theatre in Aden Bowman Collegiate where she finished high school. The theatre has been built since the days when she was so active designing and painting sets for school plays, then staged in the gymnasium, and she's excited about the idea of singing to the students there.

Joni said she sometimes fells a little apologetic singing to Canadian audiences because her themes tend to be American understandably, since it is in the United States that she lives and writes.

Eight months ago, she gave her first concert in Saskatoon. The atmosphere was tense with "just another hometown kid" hoping she'd be liked, and an audience hoping their Joni would make them proud.

Saturday night, the atmosphere was different. Joni was more comfortable and confident and the audience was warmer, giving her two standing ovations before the program ended.

She sang earlier favorites, such as The Circle Game and I Had a King, and, of course, her pop hit, Both Sides Now, all well received.

The future? More of the same, says Joni. There are themes such as peace and air pollution, "it's absolutely necessary to do something about."

 

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