Searching for sugar man

Discussion in 'Documentaries' started by Resistance isn't futile, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Wow what a wonderful documentary about a man that became a huge rock star and never knew it for over 40 years. It's also a very sad sad sad commentary on racism in the United States."]Searching For Sugar Man Official HD trailer - YouTube
  2. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    i dunno, it was kind of sugary oscar-bait.

    i really enjoyed it, and i immediately bought the dudes two albums
    but it was one of those very Hollywood-ised documentaries which really takes the source material and fit it into a per-concieved structure, disregarding the things which run counter to its narrative (Rodriguez was not a nobody before he realised that he was famous in SA, he had also enjoyed success in Australia and New zealand, and had toured there repeatedly, therefore, the scene in which they are all amazed and how natural and un-selfconscious he was on stage? its because he was used to playing big crowds.), a documentary removed from the roots of the genre, roots of journalism and science (anthropology and ethnography) and towards entertainment.

    now there's nothing inherently wrong with this (like i said, i really enjoyed the movie) when its about a subject like this, but i do get a little pissed off when i get the sense that rough edges are being sanded down in order to soften a character and attract a wider audience. For example, i recognised the old euphamisms being rattled out when it talks about his political views, auto-worker in detroit, involved in political activism "very interested in the plight of the working poor", of course, in a film gunning for awards recognition, its best to avoid terms like "socialist" or "trade unionist"

    but it had a really fascinating look at the fight against apartheid from the white, middle class point of view, which is interesting.
  3. Yes america and the new wave of Thatcher-ites in my nation do hate the word socialist.

    I had no idea that he was already a star in Australia and that does bother me a little. but hey... we live in a time when all anyone cares about is making a some bob. But still I really like his music. However they're really hard to find on vinyl.
  4. I dont really remember him, but checking Wikipaedia he toured with Midnight Oil at one stage, they were the biggest band in Aus in their heyday
  5. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    with awards-fodder its more a case of anything which is decidedly and unashamedly political. if its seen as flying any sort of flag, then it runs the risk of being perceived as contentious. anything just sort of vaguely positive and life affirming does better, it can get political, but only in areas which are uncontentious (most people, for example, are of the opinion that apartheid wasn't a good thing.) the director of five broken cameras was held at the airport and threatened with deportation when flying to the US to attend the ceremony, there's no chance that he was going to get it lol

    in a year when incendiary political documentaries like invisible war, how to survive a plague and five broken cameras came out, it really seems like the academy took the unbelievably safe route with this film, while good and interesting, it seemed to have the rough edges sanded down.

    reminds me of the year persepolis came out and they gave best animation to ratatouille.

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