Friday, June 15, 2007

I Found John Doe

From fellow Culture Vulture (and designer of our graphic) Diane M, wilting under the FLA sun.

Hey Scott!

I just saw the greatest movie on sundance channel! Tell me if you've
seen this: it's called "Sugartown", and it's about 4 aging rockers
from the 80's trying to make a comeback record in the late nineties in
LA. It was made in 99, and John Doe plays one of the guys in the
band, and is, as usual, fabulous. There's an all star cast,
including Rosanna Arquette, Michael Des Barres, Ally Sheedy and
Beverly D'Angelo, and other people I recognized but can't name offhand
due to accumulative brain damage over the years. What made it great
is that it's sort of a small quiet movie, instead of an over the top
silly one, which is what those usually are--very believable, well
written, and poking fun at the dilemma of being an aging rockstar in
decline while still being very sympathetic, and treating the
characters with more respect than one usually finds in movies on this
subject. If you haven't already seen it, find it and watch it. Two
thumbs up!


Scotty D said...

Sugar Town was helmed by Allison Anders, who has got a decent grip on the rock scene, and some heavy L.A. inside connections. Outside of Doe and Des Barres, Sugar Town also features the strange brew of John Taylor (Duran Duran), Martin Kemp (Spandau Ballet) and Larry Klien (Joni Mitchell band leader) Her first, low rent feature was Border Radio (1987), starring, among others, The Flesh Eaters Chris D, Dave Alvin, and yer boy John Doe. I absolutely dig her Grace of My Heart (1996) starring Illeana Douglas as a fictional Carole King, with a title song by Elvis Costello,Briget Fonda as a Lesley Gore type, a Beach Boy-like group played by Redd Kross (!) with Matt Dillon (!) as the Brian Wilson guy, and best of all, John Turturro tearing it up as the Phil Spector figure. As for John Doe, at this point he’s got close to 60 acting accredits on the IMDB, and I’ve seen him on both Law & Order and CSI:Miami episodes, and he had a reoccurring role on the short-lived Roswell.

mdoggie said...

I'm not sure I should even leave this. It's not about John Doe, Allison Anders, Paul Newman, or either of the Dillon brothers. So many random thoughts about performance, celebrity, and artistic culmination. I'm just watching a recorded Sundance Channel "Iconoclasts" with Fiona Apple and Quentin Tarantino. Two big big big personalities spinning around each other. I can't really imagine anyone getting a word in edgewise with Quentin in the room, but somehow she manages, or is it the magic of editing?
I just watched Nick Cage in "The Weatherman". Nick is too young for a retrospective ala the Paul Newman piece, but I think one could easily wax on and off about Nick. He delivers everything from the hair for Weatherman to the hair for "Lord of War" to goofy turns in "National Treasure" and "Ghost Rider". I still think his loopy adolescent in "Peggy Sue Got Married" stands as one the oddest and most hilarious performances ever.
I also saw most of "The Big Knife" (1955) with strangely overwrought and literary dialogue and scalding performances all around by Jack Palance, Ida Lupino. Shelly Winters, Rod Steiger, and Wendell Corey. Is it actually about John Garfield's untimely death? Hollywood insiders want to know...

Scotty D said...

Cage is undoubtably one of the greatest and most sublime American masters of the hairdo/ hairpiece, easily outdoing fellow practioners Sean Penn and Bruce Willis, in fact, he's strong enough to go one-on-one with such Brit hair titans as Olivier or Guinness. As far as the Big Knife,it's scripted by the occasionally overwrought playwright and showbiz lefty Clifford Odets,actually features craggy Jack Palance as the straight-up lead(!), and is yet another sharp effort from the vastly underrated Robert Aldrich (The Dirty Dozen, Ulzana's Raid, Kiss me Deadly) who was born in RI and attended Moses brown before his long and varied Hollywood career.