8.1/10
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Wesley Willis's Joyrides (2008)

A look at the life and work of controversial rock musician and cult hero, Wesley Willis.

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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Jello Biafra ...
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Tabitha Soren ...
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Himself (archive footage)
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A look at the life and work of controversial rock musician and cult hero, Wesley Willis.

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Documentary

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January 2008 (USA)  »

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Rock and Roll McDonald's
Written and Performed by Wesley Willis
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"Just a Weirdo"
1 April 2010 | by (Denver) – See all my reviews

This is one of my favorite docs of all time (and I watch more docs than any healthy being should). The production quality is very high, and more importantly, it gives you a loving look into the complex-mind of a man so many of us knew only superficially. In the few shows I saw while he was alive, I dismissed many of Wesley's ramblings and rants and chalked him up as a big black package of innocent-yet-insane entertainment with a trademark head-butt cherry on top. This film digs so much deeper than the caricature I knew before and does not allow the viewers to see Wesley as a weirdo or single-serving performer existing only to entertain you or laugh at. It provides insight into the mental turmoil that Wesley expressed clearly though a a vocabulary he invented to express his bright "joyrides" and darker "hellrides" and "profanity demons". It lets the viewer understand Wesley on a level only a handful of friends could before. Like poetry that only reveals its deeper meaning once you get to know the author and their history, this film makes it clear that this man was not a mumbling moron, but a talented artist with a complex mind and unique perspective on the world. Like my other favorite Denver-based music doc, Friends Forever, the film takes an artist who may first appear as a jester only to reveal the guru inside through a deeper look at the wisdom these people and their lives have to offer. You can buy the DVD from their website: wesleywillissjoyrides.com (its more expensive on Amazon, with less money going to the filmmakers)


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