Only recently have I seen the movie Almost Famous (2000), directed by Cameron Crowe. It might come as a shock for most of those who know me well, since its movie that combines both cinema and music, with exceptional good taste and quality. Plus, being myself on the way to become a journalist (hopefully), it also provides great insight on an amazing story regarding an aspiring journalist as well. Point being: This feature matches (in many ways) both my personal taste and professional ambitions. I would reckon it would bring enough to possibly inspire me. And so it did!
The movie follows William Miller, a young kid educated under strick rules by a loving (but also very paranoid) mother, played by Frances McDormand. As William grows up, he develops a great interest in music, especially Rock N Roll, under his sister’s (Zooey Dechanel) influence.
Although his mother considers Rock N Roll to be dangerous and responsible for the decaying of American youth, she learns to deal with the fact of having to trust her son, in order not to push him away. Being so, music allied to his writing skills, eventually lead him into meeting Lester Bangs, a rock journalist. Once established a certain bond and having listened to a lot of personal and “professional” advice, William gets an assignment consisting on writing a review of a Black Sabbath concert. This takes William to meet the opening band for that show, Stillwater.
With the band's introduction comes a big moment in the narrative development! From this point on, the story takes a big leap, in which after a few developments he is eventually invited by the historical “Rolling Stone Magazine” to write an article about Stillwater who that at the time was struggling to make a name for itself.
But let me make a quick change of direction, since this isn’t actually what I intended to say.
I guess that, the thing that i enjoyed the most was the opportunity and (for a lot of you followers I presume) dream of being able to write for a magazine such as RS. I mean… you get to write, you get to hang out with a lot of cool people, listen to great music, and even though you might not get a great salary, you have other perks.
It makes me wonder, what would it be like to ingress in such a profession… especially at that time and age, where the “politically correct” wasn’t as demanded as it is today or where music seemed to make more sense and have more purpose… Times where you “could go to a record store and visit all your friends”. Not implying that we can’t feel the same way nowadays, but you have to agree, there was something magical about the 60’ and the 70’. Going back to a time where “Woodstock” broke all boundaries and united people. That’s by far one of the best examples of the power of music!
Anyway (getting lost in my own words here) half way through the film, I already knew how much of an impact it would have on me! It is an awesome motion picture! Great directing by Crowe, great performances from a cast in the likes of Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jason Lee, Anna Paquin (actually her roll was so minor, that I didn’t really care for her character) and (the already mentioned) Frances McDormand and Zooey Deschanel. Another of its major strong points is (of course) the soundtrack that has the ability through sound to take us into a journey beyond our wildest dreams, as a new generation! Forget the pure and revolutionary Rock N Roll on which most of the soundtrack consists! What about classics such as Elton John’s Tiny Dancer (which by the way provides one of the finest moments of the movie) or the soulful Clarence Carter with Slip Away?? It’s just unbelievable!
Either a music fan or cinema lover… I absolutely recommend the viewing of Almost Famous, as it will contribute to your knowledge, as well as to the uplifting your mind and spirit!