Saturday, March 14, 2015

astounding story - amazing film

so last night we went to see a film at the Bishop Planetarium - which has a Friday night film series. We decided to go see this one because our good buds CBGB have been touting it for a couple of years, ever since it played at the Traverse City Film Festival.  The movie is called Searching For Sugarman and it is the story of a guy who made a couple of records in the very early 70s and had virtually no success and so dropped out of the music scene.  However, in the closed world of apartheid South Africa he was a huge huge huge hit- bigger than Elvis.  The South Africans had heard of his suicide (in at least two versions of the tale) and at a much later date one guy decides that among the things on his life list was to find out how Rodriguez died.

The New York Times critic Manohla Dargis wrote a positive review, calling the film "a hugely appealing documentary about fans, faith and an enigmatic Age of Aquarius musician who burned bright and hopeful before disappearing."  Critic Dargis subsequently named Searching for Sugar Man one of the 10 best films of 2012.

my personal review is that this was one of the best documentaries I have ever seen... a terrific movie- we laughed, we cried (sad tears and joyful tears) - a wonderful tale of a most unusual artist and his art. And oh by the way - it won the academy award for best documentary in 2012....

spoiler alert: if you already have heard of this film you know this but if you plan on seeing it and don't know anything about it- don't read any further...

despite the varied rumors of Rodriguez death, he was actually living in Detroit and working as a laborer even after having gotten a degree from Wayne State University.  his co-workers are interviewed in some of the most humorous scenes of the movie as they recount their disbelief that he was this huge music star in South Africa.... the second half of the film - after they find him alive and well and living in Detroit, centers on his concerts in South Africa... really an amazing worth your time to seek it out.

so two strong thumbs up from us for this one! I love it when you can come out of movie saying WOW! and in the absolute best way....  find a way to see it...

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