Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Voyeuristic Vinyl Eruption

I was looking at my dvd's this morning trying to decide in whose glorious company I was going to spend the next 120 minutes but nothing. I'm still at home due to a a muccus overload and was in desperate need of some company as I've apparently infected everyone I know and am now solely left with my cat who is an enviable state of blissful ignorance.

Anyway I did come across one on my all time favorites. I held it, reminisced, and foolishly decided to put it back and do something more productive like sit in font of a computer screen instead of a television screen, big difference. The movie in question was Almost Famous.

Set in the seventies, it starts Patrick Fugit as William, a sixteen-year-old aspiring rock journalist who gets and assignment from Rolling Stone Magazine to do a piece on the up and coming band Stillwater. Dying to break away from his strict and ever so funny mother (Frances McDormand), he finally gets to chance to experience some real rock 'n roll as he involuntarily goes on tour with them and loses his heart to the enchanting "band aid" Penny Lane, played by Kate Hudson.

The always sensational Philip Seymour Hoffman pops up as well as another rock journalist who guides William down this wonferful path of auditory adventures. Billy Crudup, Jason Lee,... are all phenomenal in portraying a conflicted band in the seventies rock scene which was envisioned so vivdly and authenticly by none other than Cameron Crowe.

Crowe started out his career as journalist for Rolling Stone magazine and loosely based this script on his own experiences (although I am wondering if he to was deflowered by three bored "band aids") which give it an incredibly personal and relatable vibe. He was aided by his lovely wife Nancy Wilson, a singer, songwriter and actress who is is responsible for the music in most of his movies. The soundtrack not only captures the essence of the seventies but also the essence of an endearingly smart coming of age tale.

I think I've seen this movie seven or eight times but what first appealed to me was no, not the fact that William was a writer but Panny Lane. Bold yet fragile, adventurous yet docile, a dreamer yet ultimately a realist. I just loved that character and her delicately disasterous relationship with Russel (Billy Crudup).

The second time round I became captivated by the atmosphere and the touching story which which is deceptively simple at its core but lathered with intricate human emotions. The characters are so real and the dialogue is fun and fresh, typical Crowe and it justly earned him an Academy Award for best original screenplay. This offbeat classic is filled with touching moments and funny anecdotes in all the write places.

Thirdly, it was the music. I don't know a lot about seventies rock but god, this soundtrack is good. Whenever I hear Elton John's Tiny Dancer, I still get goosebumps. Now it actually took me a fourth viewing to realize: "hey this kid is a writer!" Cool.

Everytime I watch it, something else captures my eye in this unique mix of colorful characters, dazzling dialogue and memorable music.

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