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The unlikely story of Detroit Folk in South Africa.,
This review is from: Searching For Sugar Man [DVD] (DVD)
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The documentary of an 'unknown' Detroit folk musician, through bootleg recordings was a cult hero in South Africa. He was presumed to have died in various gruesome ways after the commercial failure of his albums in the US.
His music falling between the sound of Bob Dylan and Charles Manson, with a story just as mythic.
There's a twist that most will know already, best if you don't know, but even the trailer gives it away. There's a lack of information on what happened to Rodriquez before and after he made the albums is disappointing. The story you do get is still surprising.
Odd mix of stock footage, talking heads, animation with atmospheric scenes of cities. The film took three years to make, perhaps explains the grab bag of styles. The film holds together with the use of tracking shots of walking down streets that give it a more cohesive style.
Over insistent incidental music that shows a lack of confidence in the audience being interested in talking head material (and a strong tip of the hat to Errol Morris films).
The beginning could be tidier, overall the film could have been tighter. Losing the unnecessary animation and incidental music would help.
The extras include a generous "Making of the Documentary" documentary. The commentary track is worth listening to, as a certain commentator adds a few missing pieces. That commentator being slightly more responsive than in the film!