Monday, September 28, 2009

(Rock and) Roll Camera

Each month we will look at a film about or inspired by music. Keeping with last week's apparent Zooey Daschanel theme, today's movie is Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical classic, Almost Famous.

The movie stars Patrick Fugit as, William Miller, the alienated, too smart for his age, fifteen year-old prodigy who discovers rock and roll after his sister, Anita (Daschanel), leaves him her record collection when she runs off to become a stewardess. Soon enough William is immersed in the world of rock, meeting with Cream Magazine's, Lester Bangs (Phillip Seymore Hoffman), and eventually landing a job writing the cover story for Rolling Stone Magazine on the (fictional) band, Stillwater. Of course things don't go as planned and William, if he's ever going to get the story written, has to battle with a drugged-0ut rockstar (the fantastic Billy Crudup), a near plane crash and an overbearing hyper-intellectual mother, (Frances McDormand), while falling in love with groupie, ahem, Band-Aid, Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), along the way.

Funniest Moment: Crudup's character, Russell Hammond, stands atop the roof of a suburban house in Topeka, Kansas, high on acid, overlooking a swimming pool and a crowd of adoring teenage fans. After announcing he is a "Golden God," (?!?) he tells the crowd that his last words are going to be, "I love music," to which they seem non-plussed. "How about... I'm on drugs!" Everyone cheers, Russell jumps in the pool!

Best Scene: The morning after the pool incident, the band and their entourage are back on the tour bus and not at all happy with each other. Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" comes on the radio and one of the band members begins to sing. Soon enough the entire bus has broken out in song and everyone is smiling and laughing again. William turns to Penny Lane (Hudson) and says, "I have to go home!" She touches his face and says, "You are home." If you haven't shed a tear by this point, you're a heartless bastard.

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