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ALMOST FAMOUS: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Scoring an assignment sight-unseen (over the phone) from Rolling Stone, 15 year old rock music fan William Miller (Patrick Fugit) enters the world of touring rock bands to cover rising stars, Stillwater. It’s 1973 and the tumultuous experience, watched from afar and in dread by his possessive, devoted mother (Frances McDormand), leads him through a maze of relationships and professional journalistic conundrums as he gets close to his subjects, through his friendship with guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup). Making things even more complicated is the alluring ‘band aid’ Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), whose love for Stillwater focuses on (the married) Russell.

The most satisfying aspect of Cameron Crowe’s semi-auto biographical film is the silken threads he weaves into the various relationships; there is ambiguity and an imprecision to these that is a marvellous aspect of cinema. Patrick Fugit’s debut as the 15 year old would-be rock journalist is brilliant and there are several accurate observations about journalistic quandaries that Crowe’s script captures 100 per cent.

Re-enjoying the film on DVD is great fun; the many amusing moments are like familiar friends – and they’re most welcome at home. On the Making of featurette (24 minutes) the candid Crowe talks openly about his embarrassment at making a film basically about his own experiences as a 15 year old accidental freelance journo for Rolling Stone. I like his confession about the time his mum was on set behind him watching Francis McDormand play his mum in front: "nowehere to hide," says a pained Crowe. This documentary – although a tad over-edited – retains the sense of warmth that emenates from the film, the tone that makes the film so accessible and enjoyable.

And while there is no audio commentary from Crowe, the doco will satisfies all but the most demanding Crowe or Almost Famous fan.

It’s a doco of a doco, really, and excitingly nostalgic, since we’re in the early 70s. The featurette is often poignant and we can relish the niceties of the process that truned into such a satisfying film.

This fine DVD is worth the price for anyone who loves movies, rock n’ roll or people.
Andrew L. Urban

Published: November 1, 2001

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia

ALMOST FAMOUS (M)
(US)

CAST: Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee, Patrick Fugit, Anna Paquin, Fairuza Balk, Noah Taylor

DIRECTOR: Cameron Crowe

RUNNING TIME: 118 minutes (feature only)

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

DVD RELEASE: September 12, 2001

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Making of documentary; Fever Dog music video; productions notes; Rolling Stone articles; trailers

Presented in widescreen, with Dolby 5.1 sound in English and Spanish; subtitles in English, Spanish, Portuguese.

You can buy it HERE







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