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Most feature films slot 1-2 percent of production costs for the music budget, but in "Fade', music supervisor Steven Van Zandt, had about 10% of the $20-million-plus budget or at least $2 million. See more »
In an early scene, Douglas and friends are seen perusing shrink-wrapped LP records in a music store. These discs were sold unwrapped through the 1960s, the time of the scene. See more »
Young man grows into rock and roll and independence
Bob Dylan ends Not Fade Away with "She's an artist; she don't look back." David Chase is an artist whose first feature film is not just a look back at his coming of age in New Jersey around 1963 but about the ambiguities in the impulse to look back.
As one character quotes The Tibetan Book of the Dead, there is no past, only the present, which contains the past as it does the future. The film's title comes from a song and a singer (the prematurely snuffed Buddy Holly) we don't hear in the film because it's not about that particular song/singer or even that period; it's about the ineffable presence of the past, our containing what we were. The past is the one thing that doesn't fade away, the way youth, vim, hopes, love, faith, family, friends, lovers, do.
Time is the film's central theme. The early and late TV clips show a trio twisting again, like they did that implicit mythic summer. In the clip from Welles's Touch of Evil the fat old sheriff hearkens to the memories stirred by Marlene Dietrich's mechanical piano -- and she struggles to find the old Hank in the grotesquely obese one. OK, all those candy bars and booze don't fade away either.
Chase's hero, Douglas (John Magaro) -- however autobiographic -- is today what he was then. The plot replays the boy's growing away from his family and the independence he gained first from his passion for rock and roll music and then from his transition to the West Coast and filmmaking. In reverse of the most repeated song in the film, he has time on his side because he's alive in its flow. It's time, not the lover, that keeps running back to him. See more at www.yacowar.blogspot.com
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