September 23, 2000

Sept 23

wow. the legend lives on ! the Swans site has just clicked over once again to all zeros and so now — to two million plus hits. two million and 405 as I write this! the webmaster will need to change the one to two as the only thing that is automated is the clicker. somebody out there is checking it out…. personally i think it is aliens from another planet plotting world domination through music….

I went to see a peripherally music film that a friend was involved with tonight — because 1. Scott is so cool and i was really proud as the credits rolled at the end, and because 2. i was lucky enough to go to the ‘wrap party’ , and because 3. the director has the desire and gift to tell a compelling story and turn a film into a timeless classic — no matter in what cultural era it may be set , and because 4. when I congratulated the director on his rare singing performance at his film party last year with Ann and Nancy Wilson (of the band Heart), he responded by saying that –coming from me it meant quite a lot.


For me, Almost Famous is a very un-today’s Hollywood, quiet film –about self growth. FInding yourself. Even though a lot of camera attention is reverently focused on the pivotal female character (featured on the posters for the movie at every bus stop in America right now), the story is really told from the point of view of another character. This character is a savvy 15 year old ‘music journalist ‘ who still lives with his mother, has very ”parental’ phone calls from his mother when on the road with a rock band covering his first assignment for Rolling Stone — and has left home for this assignment –as a virgin. But even though sex and drugs and rock and roll — and rebellion and experimentation –are ingredients in the film, they are not used in an exploitative manner or even dramatized. Hollywood has numbed us . But when a film like this comes along out of the Hollywood system, it stands out because it is reaching into us from a human voice that is personal and real. The rock guitar ‘golden god’ in the film speaks about his longing for what is ‘real’.. A middle class lamp shade and suburban kitchen have him joyous…….

Touring is a very unreal world. You get over stimulated with the chaos and contantly moving from place to place. Friends and any respite from this ‘world’ become precious commodities.

This film is based on the real life of director Cameron Crowe. And even though films based on real stories are made in Hollywood regularly,this one still stands out. The appropriate choice in this case not to use a lot of big stars who can sometimes take away for the story itself and steal every scene because we cannot get away from the fact that they are who they are– and the overall low-key and intimate way the story opens to us — make this ultimately not a typically sensationalistic Hollywood film or a rock and roll film — but an affectionate and gentle film clearly made from love.