Showing posts with label biopic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biopic. Show all posts

Monday, August 27, 2012

JIMFF 2012: The Moon (พุ่มพวง, Pumpuang, Thailand) 2011

Part of MKC's coverage of the Jecheon Intl. Music & Film Festival.

Generally speaking I’m not a huge fan of music biopics. As the Jecheon film festival has proven (or not in some instances), musicians tend to make better documentary subjects. With the latter format you can improvise and approach their life and work from a variety of angles. By staging a full blown narrative feature, you’re assuming that the musician has a life that is worth the film treatment. Very often this is not the case. While musicians lead very interesting lives, these rarely amount to a good feature-length narrative.

The Moon is about Pumpuang Duangjang, the queen of Thai country (luktung) music. Born in poverty, Pumpuang worked hard to get herself taken in as an apprentice by an established musician in Bangkok and quickly made a name for herself with her powerful voice among a male-dominated scene. The film chronicles her steady rise and later her battle with illness, all the while exploring her marriage as she grows more famous and distant.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

JIMFF 2012 - Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet (USA, 2012)

Part of MKC's coverage of the Jecheon Intl. Music & Film Festival.

When director Jesse Vile presented his film ahead of its screening he asked how many people were already familiar with legendary guitarist Jason Becker. I was part of the majority that was not and as a longtime axeman myself I am little ashamed of this fact. However, I’m very glad that I now know who he is.

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet follows the life of a young guitarist, a progeny who took the guitar world by storm in the early 1990s but only for the briefest of times. Following his huge break, when he landed the vacant lead guitar spot on the David Lee Roth band following Steve Vai’s exit, which was the most coveted guitar gig in the world at that time, he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was forced to pull out of the outfit just before his first tour and moved back in with his parents in Richmond, California as he rapidly lost the use of most of his muscles.