Out now is a batch of music documentaries for your enjoyment. First we have Adam Ant The Blueblack Hussar. I can’t really say I was a fan of Adam Ant and really only know a few hits of his. His fans will eat up this documentary for sure. I never realized the issues he had after becoming a huge pop star. Severe depression pretty much crippled him and the documentary talks about that and his comeback. It’s one of those films that the more interested you are in the subject/topic, the higher your level of enjoyment is. Obviously not being a fan, I wasn’t all that interested in it, but I can understand why people fell for him. He was talented and outrageous and wore crazy clothes with make up. Some people eat that stuff up. I liked his downfall more because it was something I didn’t know about him. And I’m glad to see he was able to make a comeback. Not everyone does in that situation, especially life long depression. But talent usually does rise and his fans still flock to see him.
Second we have I Need a Dodge! Joe Strummer on the Run. Sure it’s about music in a way, but it’s also somewhat a biographical documentary about Joe Strummer at that time. It’s another film that fans will enjoy and non-fans will just watch. I never got into The Clash, I know their hits and their London Calling album, but never worshipped them like others. This is about The Clash falling apart and Strummer spending time in Madrid, Spain and buying a Dodge. He wants the Dodge back if anyone can find it. It also explains what he was doing in Spain in the first place and that story is pretty fascinating. He was definitely trying to find himself and find a new direction in life, producing music for other people and trying new music for himself. The DVD box compares it to a Jack Kerouac adventure and I can clearly see that. If you are a fan of Strummer/The Clash, check it out.
Third we have Giving Up the Ghosts: Closing Time at Doc’s Music Hall. Another subject I can’t say I knew about before watching. This one is about Dr. John Peterson who is a physician and ran an arts & music center in Indiana for 20 years. The film shows the final performance with Doc doing original songs and covers of The Doors, The Temptations, The Isley Brothers, Paul Simon, Lionel Richie and more. There’s some great interviews about how it all started, how popular it became and even Doc getting involved alternative medicine. The club helped artists and musicians grow, but don’t think it’s just a musical documentary. Nope they talk about the ghosts of deceased actors that people believe haunt the place. I don’t believe in ghosts so I didn’t quite get into that side of the story, but overall it’s an easy and enjoyable watch.
Last we have Seymour: An Introduction. Ethan Hawke wrote and directed this look at pianist Seymour Bernstein. I can’t say I was familiar with Bernstein prior to this. It’s actually a good mix of biographical and music documentary. Bernstein was pretty interesting. He was a top notch pianist that stopped to teach others and questioned the world around him. I always question what makes someone just give up on what they are doing, but clearly he felt more drawn to teaching others develop their talent. If you know of the man I’m sure you’ll thoroughly enjoy it. Hawke paints a great picture of the man and I thought I saw Mark Ruffalo in the documentary as well. Even if you don’t know who he is (like myself), the man has amazing stories and incredibly talent that draws you in and makes you look into his work.