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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Sunday, October 26, 2014 - Edition No 920 

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ROCK 'N 'ROLL NERD

SYNOPSIS:
Filmed over 3 years, the film charts the rise of a unique talent from obscurity to celebrity. At the 2005 Melbourne Comedy Festival, no-one's heard of Tim Minchin, a young musician who in a last ditch attempt to get noticed, gives comedy a go, with his own wordy songs, accompanying himself on piano. He needs to make an income if his childhood sweetheart, Sarah, now his wife, is to get her way and start a family. His self produced show catches the attention of Edinburgh producer Karen Koren and wins the Director's Choice Award - and an offer of a spot at the Edinburgh Arts Festival - the most competitive comedy festival in the world. There, he walks away with the Perrier Newcomer Award, plus TV appearances and offers from around the world. Now he has somewhere to fall from.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It's Tim Minchin's downbeat, dark and fatalistic sense of humour that comes through in this great doco about his rise from nowhere to somewhere. His musicianship becomes a servant to his writing skills, much like Tim Lehrer's 40 or more years ago. But make no mistake, he plays a mean piano.

The amazing thing about the film is how the filmmakers began their coverage of Minchin before 'it' happened to him. Luck? Who knows. But it makes the journey irresistible. And it's also intimate: we're there when the pregnancy test is positive ... and Tim talks to us about his thoughts and feelings. So it's both a making your dream story and an intimate drama.

The likable, self deprecating image hides a likable, self deprecating man. Tim Minchin is one of those naturals who only needs a Karen Koren to discover him. So many are undiscovered.... And the ups and downs of instant fame soon strike home, just as the hopes and fears do.

Tim's style is like a comedic pop version of hip hop, where the lyrics and music fuse to drive a story and a message. He's at his best at his most offensive; risks pay off. But the film isn't about dissecting his work; it's a story of a man in freefall - upwards.

Jane Usher's hard nosed, disciplined editing gives the film a tight pace and propels the emotional oomph as well.



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

ROCK 'N' ROLL NERD (MA)
(Aust, 2008)

CAST: Documentary featuring Tim Minchin

PRODUCER: Rhian Skirving, Lizette Atkins

DIRECTOR: Rhian Skirving

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Rhian Skirving

EDITOR: Jane Usher

MUSIC: Jackson Jackson

RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Perth: November 13; Melbourne: November 20; Brisbane: November 23; Sydney: December 4, 2008







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