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Doors Documentarian DiCillo Discusses Key Discovery

Jim Morrison

More than 100 hours: That's how much time Tom DiCillo says he spent watching Doors archival footage in order to make the documentary "When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors."

DiCillo was watching DVD copies of the jumbled footage from The Doors' archives when suddenly he saw a bearded Jim Morrison walking through a desert. It was a scene filmed for "HWY," a movie Morrison made with some of his friends outside of the band.

"I said, 'That's a great shot. I'm going to use that somewhere,'" DiCillo recalls. "There was something so beautiful and haunted about that footage that I [felt as though] it's almost like it's the spirit of Jim, and that gave me the idea to use that as a motif throughout ['Strange']."

DiCillo adds, "I never knew that Jim made that movie, and the instant I saw that footage, I never questioned that it was Jim Morrison."

But some people have questioned whether it's really Morrison, and it's easy to see why. For one thing, the "HWY" outtakes DiCillo included in "Strange" are very crisp. And if you consider that, and the recent tendency for some music documentaries to include re-enactments, then one could think that the bearded drifter in "HWY" is an actor and not Morrison.

DiCillo doesn't exactly buy into that theory.

"If that was the case," he says, "I guess I would ask, 'Would I be that blatant in putting close-ups of this actor?' Then you come to the scene where Morrison comes across the dead coyote. What did we do? Did we run over a coyote just to put it in the movie? I guess I understand [the re-enactment theory]. I wish there had been a little more curiosity instead of dismissal."

One of the reasons why the "HWY" outtakes look so good, DiCillo says, is that he had access to the original negative.

"People said to me, 'It's too clean. Maybe you need to muck it up and make it look like some of the other parts of the film.' And I just said, 'We have this incredible, historical stuff here. This is the way Morrison shot it; this is the way we should use it.'"

Chris Junior (2010, June 28). Doors documentarian DiCillo discusses key discovery. Retrieved March 17, 2014, from www.goldminemag.com
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Doors Playlist

Music, poetry, full concerts, rare live footage—all the best YouTube has to offer on my favorite band, The Doors.

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  • The Doors at '"Murray the K In New York" Full Outtakes 1967
  • The Doors THE END FULL version!! (LIVE in Toronto, CBC television, 14 September 1967)
  • Jim Morrison Backstage at "Bakersfield Civic Center " 1968 Footage
  • The Doors "A Profile of Jim Morrison and The Doors On and Off Stage'" at "PBS Critique'" 1969
  • The Doors- Light My Fire Official Live
  • THE DOORS IN HD - JIM MORRISON - THE END - LIVE IN CONCERT - AMAZING !!!!
  • the doors - love me two times
  • Jim Morrison on Why Fat is Beautiful | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios
  • Before the End: Searching for Jim Morrison [OFFICIAL FILM PREVIEW]
  • Riders on the Storm - The Doors HD
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  • 40 Second Wonder ;)
  • Full hour with Ray Manzarek of The Doors on Joe Viglione's Visual Radio, also John Densmore
  • The Doors - Roadhouse Blues, BEST version (live in N.Y. 1970) [music video]
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  • THE DOORS ROBBY KRIEGER TALKS JIM MORRISON PARDON
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  • DOORS Lead-Singer Jim Morisson Visits French Movie Set DAYS Before His Death

Rick and the Ravens had a contract with World Pacific. They'd tried to get a couple singles out, but nothing happened. They still had a contract to do a few sides, and we'd gotten together by then, so we went in and cut six sides in about three hours. At that time, Robby wasn't in the band, but John was. He was drumming, Ray was on piano, I was singing, and Ray's brothers played harp and guitar… and there was a girl bass player—I can't remember her name.

—Jim Morrison

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