AKA Jerome Felder
November 1st, 2013 § Leave a Comment
We seem to have music documentaries coming out of left field so often perhaps we should just shift the whole field. I don’t know if that visual metaphor worked for anyone, I’m still working through the ramifications myself. What we the new left of field be? And why is nothing every right of field?
Anywho, another film about someone you’ve probably never heard of (and I hadn’t heard of) but you need to know about. I’m sure anyone with half a brain realizes that popular music is often not written by those performing it, but it is often hard to know who is the person behind the music. And when you think about some of the biggest hits of the 50s and 60s being sung by a whole slew of different performers you’d probably not make the jump that the same person wrote “This Magic Moment,” “Teenager In Love,” and “Save The Last Dance For Me.” Well, he did. Him being the eponymous Doc Pomus nee Jerome Felder.
The bigger and more human story the film tells is about all the musicians’ lives he touched and songwriters he mentored (including the recently departed Lou Reed, who appears in the film). It’s obvious that everyone interviewed in the film loved the man, and where documentary credit sequences usually feature something funny, this film opts to tug at your heartstrings with little bits of everyone singing their favorite songs he wrote. It’s hard to get through the story of who “Save The Last Dance For Me” came about without getting a little misty eyed. What a romantic!
Speaking of left field, there’s another moldy goldie that Drafthouse Films has dusted off and is giving the ol’ restoration and distribution treatment: THE VISITOR. This is a strange film, but it’s not the laugh-out-loud-so-bad-it’s-good of MIAMI CONNECTION. It’s a bizarre hodgepodge of creepy children with mystical powers and destinies (think THE OMEN) and aliens among us who look human and have secret agendas (think THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH). The strangest thing is, it’s not a empirically bad film: just really, really odd. It’s like the filmmakers just wanted to combine all their favorite types of movies and, not stopping at that, put their favorite directors in it as well (John Huston and Sam Peckinpah). A film that truly has to be seen to be believed.
—stay the course faithful film geeks, dan