This documentary, which was undertaken soon after James Dean's death, looks at Dean's life through the use of still photographs with narration, and interviews with many of the people ... See full summary »
This documentary, which was undertaken soon after James Dean's death, looks at Dean's life through the use of still photographs with narration, and interviews with many of the people involved in his short life. Interviewees include the aunt and uncle who raised him after his mother's death (when James was 9), his fraternal grandparents, a cabdriver friend in New York City, and the owner of his favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. James's father, who was alive when the film was made, does not get a single mention. Written by
David Glagovsky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Perceptions will vary wildly about this film and may parallel some misunderstandings of who Dean was: Unless you have an intuitive view, you might think of Dean as arrogant or standoffish...the icon you see in posters of "rebel". In reality he was shy, tender, yet very driven to constant self-exploration. This documentary, shot not long after Dean's passing, successfully tells his story through his real friends and family. Hollywood apparently no longer aspires to make this kind of honest film without the sensationalism and innuendo heaped in for "box office". Back in '57 folks didn't cry on cue just to prove the depth of their sentiments while being interviewed. Yet one can plainly feel the love felt and the deep impression Dean made on those around him. Altman and George reveal that the "rebel" aspect attributed to Dean was not some sort of love of violence (a la today's Pulp Fiction), but was Dean's expression of loneliness and search for acceptance...much like the character Cal in East of Eden.
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