My rating: 9
IMDB rating: 8
Again, I have to confess that I am a rock ‘n roll junkie. I buy and listen to vinyl, anything from the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin to Kiss and Journey. It is the music I grew up with and I will forever be rocking to You can’t always get what you want, while jamming my air-guitar…
But rock ‘n roll is not the only reason why I love this movie; I love the fact that it is not about a band trying to make it, but a journalist, I love that William is just a kid but everyone still gives him a chance, I love how the movie is not about how rock ‘n roll ‘corrupted’ him, it is rather about a whole lot of different people at different stages of their lives just trying to come to terms with who they are (and it’s a coming-of-age film- yeah!!!).
Ahhh… Penny Lane. What an amazing character! From a feminist viewpoint she is everything that feminists tries to stand for, but just like it sometimes happens you fall in love, or real life just happens, and your views are tested to the limits and your heart just ends up broken. She is, of course, the ultimate muse. She inspires while she corrupts, she bemuses while she breaks your heart, she is yours but never fully, and that is what makes her such an awe-inspiring character.
The movie also comments on a lot of stereotypical ‘band-issues’ from the rock era. The intertwinement of their sexual relations, their ‘artistic’ anger outbreaks and their hyped drug-induced lifestyle are all emphasised. The role of groupies are also explored; as women who was not only willing to sleep with anyone famous, but women who were ‘the ultimate fans’, desperate to bring out the best in the bands that they followed.
I also like the fact that ‘truth’ is explored in the sense of ‘fan truth’ versus ‘in-depth truth’. A band, or anyone famous for that matter, displays a certain ‘truth’ to his fans that almost always increases his public image. In other words they blow up a certain aspect of their being and that is the ‘self’ that they sell to the world. ‘In-depth truth’ is another thing altogether, William in this movie sees the band as a friend, a fan and a critic. As a friend he is perhaps shown the most truth by this band, as a fan he is shown the ‘fan-truth’ and in this film William has to combine the two, which is not an easy thing to do, to form a critics’ opinion.
The last thing I want to emphasise is that this film transports you to 1973, on a bus, on tour with Stillwater, 100%- and that is amazing. This film was made fourteen years ago and I think it now has even more relevance than then, because we are so desperately looking for meaning that finding it again in rock ‘n roll may not be a bad way to go.
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