17 November 2012 4:02 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

These complementary American documentaries centre on west coast rock musicians, a female drummer and a male guitarist, who were expected to go to early graves. By some way the more attractive of the two, the likable, sweet-natured Jason Becker, was a musical prodigy and a guitar virtuoso from the impoverished city of Richmond in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1989, aged 19, he was about to become one of the hottest rock stars of his generation. But having had some trouble with his left leg, he had a medical check up and was diagnosed with Als (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), known in America as Lou Gehrig's disease (after the interwar New York Yankees baseball star) and in Britain as motor neurone disease. He was expected to lose his ability to walk and talk and to be dead within five years. In fact only the first half of this prognosis proved to be the case. »

- Philip French

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