When I was approached about publishing an exclusive clip from the new film "The Perfect Age Of Rock'n'Roll" here on the blog, I was interested because of the cast. But then the events of the last week, as we were looking for a place to schedule the clip, made it a little bit more interesting and, frankly, difficult, and we had some conversations about how to handle it before we agreed to premiering it this morning.
I suspect you'll understand why once you read the following synopsis for the film:
According to rock ‘n’ roll lore, age 27 is a fateful milestone. From Robert Johnson, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison to Kurt Cobain, all stars we lost at this very age.
World famous rock star Spyder (Kevin Zegers – Transamerica, Frozen) has achieved fame and fortune with a smash hit debut album. This blinding success however, is built on the Faustian pact that capitalized on the genius of his long lost childhood best friend and band mate, Eric Genson (Jason Ritter – NBC’s The Event, Good Dick). Now Spyder retreats to his small hometown after his sophomore effort flops. Reconnecting with Eric after a seven year estrangement, the two recall their youthful ambitions and reexamine the choices they’ve made. Accompanied by the band’s ambitious, fiery manager (Taryn Manning – ABC’s Hawaii 5-0, Hustle & Flow, 8 Mile), the legendary music impresario August West (Peter Fonda – Easy Rider, 3:10 to Yuma) and a raucous crew of musicians, they set off on a cathartic journey along historic Route 66 that brings them closer to each other, their history and their destiny. Fueled by a stellar rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack that includes songs by Nirvana, Bob Dylan, Iggy & The Stooges, Alice in Chains, Muddy Waters, The Violent Femmes, Howlin’ Wolf, Jane’s Addiction, and many more, The Perfect Age of Rock ‘N’ Roll fully captures the energy, rebellion, and thrills of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.
Last week, Amy Winehouse died at the age of 27, and as soon as that number got reported, I braced myself for it to trend on Twitter. And it did, as did Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain. It is a sad and unfortunate coincidence, but as with any artistic field, there are superstitions and folklore that build up, and for this film to make that a jumping-off point is one of those strange synchronicities of timing that happens occasionally.
With a soundtrack that seems to cover a lot of stylistic ground and a really eclectic mix of people in the cast, I'm curious to see how authentic the film plays it. There are certain careers that are easy to romanticize, and rock star is one of them. Playing the reality of it without pushing the whole thing to cartoon is not easy, nor is portraying something as ethereal as reconnecting with a love of what you do. The filmmakers behind this have not set themselves an easy task, but I'm curious now.
As I said, we talked about the appropriateness of running this, but I think in the end, it's a valid conversation to have, and we all understand that the producers didn't run out and produce an entire feature film to try and exploit the death of Winehouse. This was just dumb luck, and I'm sure they would much rather have another record as great as "Frank" or "Back in Black" than another name to add to a sad list of squandered potential.
But such is rock and roll.
"The Perfect Age Of Rock'n'Roll" begins its limited run release August 5, 2011.