A portrait, mostly chronological, of composer, cellist, and vocalist Arthur Russell (1951-1992). His parents, friends and colleagues such as Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass, his long-time ... See full summary »
Documentary about rock pioneer Roky Erickson, detailing his rise as a psychedelic hero, his lengthy institutionalization, his descent into poverty and filth, and his brother's struggle with their religious mother to improve Roky's care.
'JACO' tells the story of Jaco Pastorius, a self-taught, larger-than-life musician who changed the course of modern music. Never-before-seen archive unveils the story of Jaco's life, his ... See full summary »
This documentary about the culture of intense cinephilia in New York City reveals the impassioned world of five obsessed movie buffs. The filmmakers expose this delightfully deranged cult ... See full summary »
Watching this movie created a strange feeling in me.
For quite a few minutes into this film, I though it to be a mockumentary in the style of "This is Spinal Tap". A teenager (in a band) in the late sixties, I thought I new quite a bit about the music of the time.
Yet, in spite of the film's obsessing of Walker's work and its impact, I had no recollection of him whatsoever. I thought the film was a joke.
Only when the story began to weave in interviews from people I knew did I begin to think this might be a factual story. Then, when I heard "The Sun Aing't Gonna Shine Anymore", I recognized a hit I had heard (my after-the-fact research shows that the Walker Brothers had only two top 40 hits: this one, which reached #13, and an earlier one "Make It Easy On Yourself" which reached #16 in 1965 and 1966).
So I became convinced Walker was real--for a while. As I listened to some of Walker's stranger efforts I again thought the film might be a put-on. The two hits I mentioned? I began to think they were done by another group (or even Engelbert Humperdinck, whose voice is similar to Walker's).
In the end, though, Walker is very real. As to rather the film is a put-on, you'll have to see it and make up your own mind. Some of Walker's music is very interesting (the spacey, avant garde stuff is unusual and unlike anything I've heard). Some is just nice, soothing pop (the two hits). Most of it does not stand the test of time well.
So there's the rub, the reason I rate this film only 4 stars, and the reason the film is not as enjoyable as it might have been. The producers' intentions are vague and the true spirit of the film is impossible to discern for certain.
At the outset, had they mentioned the subject of the film was very real (even though we might not have heard of Scott Walker) and put the film in context, things might have been different. Instead, they seemed to assume we'd all know him, admire his work and think of him as an icon. We don't know whether they're making fun of Walker, of us, or both.
Perhaps things are different in the UK, but in America, Mr. Walker is not an icon, even though perhaps it could have turned out otherwise.
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?