Thirty years, three generations, and a lifetime later, award-winning filmmaker Ralph Arlyck returns to San Francisco in search of Sean, the boy who was the subject of his controversy-sparking 1969 documentary.
At the restaurant scene when the two main characters eat the chicken wings, the chicken wings themselves go back and forth between being bitten and unbitten. See more »
Remember how, like, when you used to call people, either they were home or they weren't? You know, like, you got their machine? Now, everybody has a cell phone, but when you call people, it's like, they pick up even less.
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So-so movie with some great cinema verite' nuggets sprinkled in
One good thing about this movie is that the cheap indie feel for once works in a flick's favor. The record-company executives are seen to be scam artists (by us) from the very beginning. We see gold records being spray-painted as the opening credits roll. But the men sucked into the scheme only gradually become aware that they're conning people. You have to suspend some disbelief to accept that it takes them so long to figure it out.
The plot focuses on two of the "record producers," played by Pat Healy and Kene Holliday, who go on the road to audition local talent and persuade the bands to make a contribution to the production of their records. One of them gets really good at it, and is more reluctant than the other one to get out of the game.
The movie has a lot of rough spots and a few bright spots. Kene Holliday's performance is quite good.
The brightest spots were the auditions of all the local acts. I loved every one of them. It seems clear that they really were amateur performers -- bands, singers, songwriters, some good, most not so good -- and I could not imagine how they were lured into making a movie about exploitation of bad local bands, and having their performances immortalized on celluloid. The editing of the auditions was perfect, so we never get bored with them. The dialog between Healy's and Holliday's characters as they sell their operation to the suckers seems improvised, and skillfully improvised.
The movie as a whole just sags too often, and when it does Pat Healy is always the main character on screen. He goes through the entire movie as if drugged, and at the end his character loses all credibility. Well, that's not his fault, I guess, since the script was the script; too bad he didn't get to improvise more.
I predict most people will not be able to sit through the whole movie, but don't give up before the auditions start.
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