7.0/10
1,215
16 user 38 critic

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (2012)

PG-13 | | Documentary, Music | 15 March 2012 (USA)
Trailer
2:23 | Trailer
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is a feature-length documentary film about the dismal commercial failure, subsequent massive critical acclaim, and enduring legacy of pop music's greatest cult phenomenon, Big Star.

Directors:

Drew DeNicola, Olivia Mori (co-director)

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Billy Altman Billy Altman ... Self - Writer
Jon Auer Jon Auer ... Self
Lester Bangs Lester Bangs ... Self (archive footage)
Chris Bell ... Self (archive footage)
David Bell David Bell ... Self - Chris Bell's Brother
Norman Blake Norman Blake ... Self
The Box Tops The Box Tops ... Themselves (archive footage)
Panther Burns Panther Burns ... Themselves (archive footage)
Cheap Trick ... Themselves
Stephanie Chernikowski Stephanie Chernikowski ... Self - Photographer
Alex Chilton ... Self (archive footage)
Rick Clark ... Self - Writer and Musician
Stephen Ira Cohen Stephen Ira Cohen ... Self - U.S. Congressman (archive footage) (as Steve Cohen)
The Cramps ... Themselves (archive footage)
John Dando John Dando ... Self - Band Manager, Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

First-time filmmaker and award-winning photographer Sam Jones documents the recording of Wilco's album, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot."

Director: Sam Jones
Stars: Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Leroy Bach
Dig! (2004)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary on the once-promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, and the friendship/rivalry between their respective founders, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor.

Director: Ondi Timoner
Stars: Anton Newcombe, Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Joel Gion
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Ginger Baker looks back on his musical career with Cream and Blind Faith; his introduction to Fela Kuti; his self-destructive patterns and losses of fortune; and his current life inside a fortified South African compound.

Director: Jay Bulger
Stars: Ginger Baker, Femi Kuti, Eric Clapton
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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.

Director: Keven McAlester
Stars: Byron Coley, 13th Floor Elevators, Evelyn Erickson
Documentary | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Tom Berninger chronicles his time spent on the road as a member of the tour crew for The National, the rock & roll band fronted by his brother, Matt.

Director: Tom Berninger
Stars: Tom Berninger, Matt Berninger, Bryce Dessner
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary on the electric guitar from the point of view of three significant rock musicians: the Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White.

Director: Davis Guggenheim
Stars: Jimmy Page, The Edge, Jack White
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A portrait of Keith Richards that takes us on a journey to discover the genesis of his sound as a songwriter, guitarist and performer.

Director: Morgan Neville
Stars: Steve Jordan, Keith Richards, Waddy Wachtel
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.

Director: Morgan Neville
Stars: Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

An innovative concert movie for the rock group The Talking Heads.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: David Byrne, Bernie Worrell, Alex Weir
Hal (2018)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Hal Ashby's obsessive genius led to an unprecedented string of Oscar®-winning classics, including Harold and Maude (1971), Shampoo and Being There. But as contemporaries Francis Ford Coppola... See full summary »

Director: Amy Scott
Stars: Allison Anders, Judd Apatow, Rosanna Arquette
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A feature-length documentary chronicling early 80's punk rock band the Minutemen, from their beginnings in San Pedro, California, to their demise after the death of singer D. Boon in 1985.

Director: Tim Irwin
Stars: Milo Aukerman, Joe Baiza, Kevin Barrett
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An in-depth look at the relationship between the late musician Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen.

Director: Nick Broomfield
Stars: Nick Broomfield, Marianne Ihlen, Leonard Cohen
Edit

Storyline

BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME is a feature-length documentary about legendary Memphis band Big Star. While mainstream success eluded them, Big Star's three albums have become critically lauded touchstones of the rock music canon. A seminal band in the history of alternative music, Big Star has been cited as an influence by artists including REM, The Replacements, Belle & Sebastian, Elliott Smith and Flaming Lips, to name just a few. With never-before-seen footage and photos of the band, in-depth interviews and a rousing musical tribute by the bands they inspired, BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME is a story of artistic and musical salvation. Written by Danielle McCarthy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The definitive story of the greatest band that never made it.

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for drug references and brief strong language | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

When listing current artists that were influenced by Big Star, Elliott Smith is seen introducing a Big Star cover song on the Jon Brion Show with the date 1996. The show was not recored until 2000. See more »

User Reviews

 
Colourful documentary about a rock band that, while critically acclaimed, seemed destined to sink without trace... and then gradually became a classic
31 December 2016 | by crculverSee all my reviews

BIG STAR: Nothing Can Hurt Me is a 2012 documentary about the eponymous 1970s pop-rock band from Memphis that saw few sales in spite of enormous critical acclaim, but went on to become a cult phenomenon and inspire some great bands in the decades that followed. The documentary was made without the participation of Big Star's surly frontman Alex Chilton (and it was completed following Chilton's untimely death), but it does feature interviews with bassist Andy Hummel, drummer Jody Stephens, and the musicians brought on when Chilton announced a new Big Star in the 1990s. Furthermore, producer John Fry appears throughout the documentary and appears to have had a bigger role in the Big Star story than many listeners might have imagined.

The film begins with the Memphis context of the late 1960s/early 1970s. Chilton, who had already had a chart hit with the band The Box Top and toured the country, comes home and starts a new band with Chris Bell. The process of recording Big Star's first album "#1 Record" is explained in some depth, from how the band used the available studio resources to where the iconic cover art came from.

We learn how Bell splits after the first album, has a nervous breakdown and flirts with evangelical Christianity, tries to make it as a musician in England and cuts the legendary single "You and Your Sister/I am the Cosmos", and finally dies in 1978 of a car crash at only 27 years old. There are poignant interviews with Bell's older brother and sister-in-law, but part of Bell's angst was his homosexuality, and everyone is uncomfortable even approaching this subject.

The documentary continues through the recording of Big Star's second ("Radio City") and third ("Third/Sister Lovers") records, followed by the ultimate breakdown of relations between Jody Stephens and Alex Chilton and the end of Big Star. There's some brief coverage of Chilton's solo career through the 1980s and the reformed Big Star in the 1990s and early millennium. There are some brief comments from later, perhaps more famous musicians that express an eternal debt to Big Star, like Teenage Fanclub and Mike Mills of R.E.M.

This is one of those documentaries that, to a degree, expects viewers to already know quite a bit about the band in question, making it somewhat frustrating for those who know Big Star's name and legacy but not so much the band's career and arc. It is mentioned that #1 Record sold poorly through label problems, but it's as if the viewer is already supposed to know that it was poorly distributed. It is mentioned briefly that Chris Bell died in a car crash, but with little detail. And there are some aspects of the production that seem mystery. For example, why does Jody Stephens have such a bad attitude throughout his interviews? Still, I enjoyed BIG STAR: Nothing Can Hurt Me overall. So many rock documentaries interview people who exploded into stardom, moved to la-la-land like California and seem to live on another planet compared to non-celebrities. Here, on the other hand, it's amazing just what ordinary southern Americans these people are, who clearly have some good memories of their youth but never really went for celebrity culture. They could be one's neighbours or the people you pass in the supermarket. That's not to say that they aren't interesting, as they include some quirky characters like the affably campy John King and producer Jim Dickinson's elderly but eternally young widow.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 March 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Большая звезда: Ничто не может причинить мне боль See more »

Filming Locations:

Memphis, Tennessee, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,096, 7 July 2013

Gross USA:

$105,998

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$105,998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed