Sunday, April 11

Review: Almost Famous

Why the fuck aren't more movies like this made?

Okay, let me back up a bit here. Almost Famous tells the story of William Miller, a bright kid growing up in the American suburbs. And since the movie is set in the seventies, the music kicks ass. His mother, however, doesn't seem to appreciate this: she raises her children so strictly that her daughter (Williams sister) leaves the house to become a stewardess at 18. But before leaving, she leaves her little brother her biggest treasure: her record collection.

Fast forward 4 years. William is 15 and, although a little shy, a genuine rocker. He writes for local magazines and is apparently quite good at it, since he gets an offer from Rolling Stone magazine to write an article (if you are reading this, Rolling Stone people, I would happily give my left arm for the privilege). He joins the (sadly fictional) band Stillwater on tour. And that's where things really get interesting.

And by "interesting",  I mean "sexy"

I think that people who have seen some movies can probably guess what happens: the band argues, William falls in love, his mother learns to appreciate his music, happy end. But this movie does that rare thing that only a great artist can: using a form and style that has been used to death and still make a beautiful piece of art. Almost Famous made me happy, affected and sad. No matter what happens, the atmosphere is always great. This is exactly the thing Hollywood movies are good at, yet no movie had done this to me in a long time. In fact, the only movie I can think of that made me feel this way is The Shawshank Redemption and from me, that's a biiiiig compliment.

But what I liked best about the movie is the music. As mentioned before, the film is set in an age of great music. And since the movie is mostly about musicians and their... cohorts, a lot of music is played. Now, I am used to the use of rock music in movies, and classic rock is used so often I hardly notice it any more. But this movie made me feel the music again. It brought back the feelings of listening to my dad's scratched records of Abbey Road and The Dark Side of the Moon. The feeling of going to a concert by a band you love. The feeling that the music is a raw, ancient power, brought to life by the hairy gods on stage, which moves you in ways you didn't know you could be moved.

Hello, Cleveland!

I'm sorry if I'm starting to sound like some hippie audiophile, but I really, really loved this movie. Oh sure, it might not be innovative, but it is so good you will hardly notice. It is everything that is great about Spinal Tap without the irony, everything that is great about Shawshank with a great topic. This is a must-see for music lovers, aspiring journalists like myself and anyone who just plain likes good movies.


The music for today gave me a little headache, but I finally decided upon DeWolff, a kickass young band from my native Limburg. It's probably the only good thing ever to come from there. The sound quality is much better in HD, so I recommend that once the clip is playing you set it to 720.

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