BYE BYE BLUES REVISITED

Back in 1988, I remember getting a phone call from my daughter, Robyn, who was on set for the filming of Bye Bye Blues, directed by Anne Wheeler, in the Alberta badlands, home of dinosaur tourism.

Bye Bye Blues

Robyn Stevan playing Frances

I recall hearing about the challenging role she had to play, requiring a lot of stretching to find the character, but she did it.

She won a Genie (Canada’s equivalent of the Oscar) for Best Supporting Actress. It was for the role of Frances.

What brings me to write about Robyn and Bye Bye Blues, is not so much to share Rob’s and my pride with her achieving this honor, but to mention how frustrating it is that Bye Bye Blues, a work of art in the field of filmmaking is not available on DVD.

Bye Bye Blues

Me, proud mom, with daughter Robyn and her Genie Award

 

 

I tried to get a DVD copy recently, only to discover it was only available on VHS, which we have. I don’t know about your VHS tapes, but I find that the quality deteriorates with time.

The story is exquisite: It’s about a “WWII wife and mother who joins a local dance band to provide for her family while husband’s at war. Romantic involvement with one of the dance members makes her decisions difficult when her husband returns from war.

Bye Bye Blues

Rebecca Jenkins and Robyn Stevan

Story watches the progression of the band as it grows into a popular successful recording and touring group. Excellent music and soundtrack.

I found one clip from the film on Youtube, not the greatest quality but you’ll get a flavor of Bye Bye Blues, nonetheless. Rebecca Jenkins, who won a Genie for best actress, is featured in this clip.

Considering this Canadian cinematic gem was nominated for 10 awards and won 5, it’s a shame that this film isn’t available on DVD. But thanks to Rebecca Jenkins and her husband, Joel Balkan, a University of B.C. law professor and part-time jazz guitarist, it’s now available on iTunes and hopefully soon on VOD streaming.

Bye Bye Blues“Bakan said he spent about $20,000 to rescue Bye Bye Blues …, and added that he expects any subsequent application to go more smoothly. …The question I ask is, you’re flipping through the channels and you very seldom see an old Canadian film on TV. You see newer ones — but none of the old films. Our cinematic history is either not on DVD, not in digital form, not on Netflix, not available on iTunes, and not being broadcast on TV because of this problem.” (from Rebecca Jenkins’ website) .

So, now that’s it’s available on iTunes, our family is looking forward to renewing our love affair with this film, for all the above reasons. If you want a good story and good music, this is a movie to see.

Love your comments, so please don’t hesitate to leave me a line or two. 

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10 thoughts on “BYE BYE BLUES REVISITED

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      I know, Julia. Surprising. She is so talented. Has won a number of awards, but decided to leave the field as it was too hard with a family. So, she got her B.Ed. and is teaching now. Loves it. I’ve never heard of Hulu. Don’t think we have that in Canada.

  1. Karen Dodd

    Wow, Diana, I had no idea about Robyn. Besides obviously being very talented, she is absolutely beautiful–as are you! Thanks so much for sharing this; can’t wait to see it.

    Hope to see you down here before the summer is out, for a coffee now, that we’re finally settled in our new digs:-)
    Karen Dodd recently posted…Reconnect To Your Writing!My Profile

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Jo-Anne, it’s a very good film. Glad that it’s now available on iTunes. I need to figure out if I can get it on our TV. I’m sure there’s some way. I have chromecast, which is erratic but maybe through that, I can buy a copy and upload it.

  2. Kimberly Johnston

    I keep looking for the DVD of Bye Bye Blues and was pleased to find your article. I remember your daughter really well from the movie. She was fantastic.

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Kimberly, how lovely to get your comment. It’s a great little movie. I’ll let Robyn know that you appreciated her work. She’s loving teaching kids. She’s also directing some school plays. She may return to acting in film and or theatre down the road.

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