|Index||6 reviews in total|
i saw this film at Hot Docs and then a new sound mix/ edit and i must say it has truly come alive. a film that was a great idea with a wonderful heart has become a beautiful film about love and life and what people need. the intimacy of some of the scenes really makes the film's quiet qualities involve the viewer. the connection between the impersonators and tribute bands, the first and 2nd generation fans all seemed to be wrapped up in a single word: LOVE. a very nice theme for a documentary nowadays. as it was ending i thought "would i like to see the outtakes?" and the answer was yes. that's the greatest compliment i can give the film! though it is not a perfectly filmed movie the experience was well worth it.
While visiting a good friend, I had the pleasure of viewing this film. She is good friends with the producer, David Sarich. I did not expect to like this film! I am not much on impersonators or "obsessive fans". Mr Sarich brings surprises with each frame of this film. It is a factual portrayal of impersonators of Neil Diamond. They have built their careers around emulating this mega star. The film makes each one of them shine in their own special light. It gave me a look inside their lives and a new perspective on their chosen occupation. I have always wanted the "real" Neil, but Sarich made me "feel" Neil through these performers and fans. I will not hesitate to book tickets to see these muti- talented men. I was hesitant to admit that the fans were normal. I now take back my ignorance of any fan who loves another's persons talent. They are portrayed in a innocent off the cuff, honest light. I could not help identifying with some of them. This film captures the true meaning of this films title. Sarich has hit the hot spots of fan adoration and emulation. I truly could "Feel Neil Diamond" through the content and raw emotions of the people shown in this film. They are real and they are true fans. I hope Sarich plans to market this as a DVD or place in theaters. This doubter will be the first believer to buy a copy. Thank you to Mr Sarich and my friend in proving a valid point. " This film is true to it's title. Why don't you "Feel Neil"? I did!!!!
"Feel Neil" brought me a satisfaction I shall cherish. I have been a "Neil Diamond" fan for years, and was mesmerized with the uniqueness of this film. David Sarich opens a new vista to the art of impersonation. He leaves no stone unturned as he weaves a story of fans and impersonators carrying on the love for the legend, NEIL DIAMOND. From the first Punk Rock Group, THE NEILISTS(their music is in the film), to the lives of Tom Sadge,Jay White, Rick Pierce and others, you are caught up. It is fast paced, informational and in-depth. The fans are genuine and honest and true "Diamondheads". One becomes eager to see the next frame of film and witness the spontinaity and creativity. Sarich is to be commended for the open perspective and research he brought to this film. This is an honest,informative and amusing film. I laughed, I watched, I listened, I became "one of the fans", and most of all I loved being able to "Feel Neil". "A "must see" especially for Neil Diamond fans!
What a treat this film turned out to be. I enjoyed the information on different people who make a living impersonating and performing Neil Diamond. Jay White was especially insightful as was Rick Pierce and Tom Sadge. I have seen all three perform and it was entertaining to see information on their real lives. Feel Neil, has such raw and true comedy throughout, I enjoyed this. The fans were not portrayed negatively and yet I could laugh genuinely and identify with their adoration for Neil Diamond. The birthday party was so entertaining and it made me make my reservation for this years celebration. The object of the director/producer/filmmaker,David Sarich,was to let us come away "Felling Neil" I definetly did!
Director David Sarich has succeeded in doing what would seem to be an impossible task: making the kitschy underworld of Neil Diamond look-alikes not only interesting but memorable. Who knew there was even an underworld of Neil Diamond look-alikes? Shaky and improvised from the beginning, Sarich's film has the look of being shot on a shoestring and a handshake. The angles and locations are unreliable and often as unusual as they were probably unplanned. This fits in admirably with the nature of the project: Sarich is exploring an unknown realm, charting an expanse of kitsch that is known only to those live there. Had he gone in, cameras and lights blaring with pre-planned studio-set interviews the doors would have shut immediately. By bringing the camera along more as an accoutrement than a tool, Sarich has enabled the characters on screen to drop their guard and really lay themselves open for who and what they are. The comments from the interviewees seem natural, genuine and completely unguarded. David Sarich is one to look for in the future. Who would ever have thought not only to find interest in these characters but also in the strange land they inhabit? What else will Sarich find interesting in the future?
Much like its director, David Sarich, this is a quirky and fun film. David followed several Neil Diamond impersonators, tribute bands and fans. I never knew that he was the 3rd most impersonated celebrity after Elvis and Madonna. It is funny, weird and sometimes frightening. The Diamondhead subculture is unique, but the bottom line is that the people are having a great time. David must have enjoyed putting this film together. It was screened at the Tidal Wave Film Festival in Fredericton, November 2003.
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