- Actors: Alice Cooper, Michael Douglas, Shep Gordon, Emeril Lagasse, Anne Murray
- Directors: Mike Myers
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: Exempt
- Studio: Dogwoof
- DVD Release Date: 13 Oct. 2014
- Run Time: 84 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00LSUELVU
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,632 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon [DVD]
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In his directorial debut, Mike Myers (Wayne's World, Austin Powers) documents the astounding career of Hollywood insider, the loveable Shep Gordon, who fell into music management by chance after moving to LA straight out of college, and befriending Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix. Shep managed rock stars such as Pink Floyd, Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass and Alice Cooper, and later went on to manage chefs such as Emeril Lagasse, ushering in the era of celebrity chefs on television. Stuffed with fantastic archive footage the film traces Shep's transformation from the 1970s hedonist to today's practicing Buddhist yearning for a family of his own.
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There are on camera interviews with Alice Cooper (who was Shep's 1st client, and who he has managed for 45 years!), Mick Fleetwood, Michael Douglas, Tom Arnold, Emeril Lagasse, Anne Murray, Mike Meyers, Willie Nelson, Sylvester Stallone and Steven Tyer. But the best interview subject is Shep himself, who has tremendously entertaining, often funny and occasionally tragic anecdotes about his many years in show business. Among the most interesting are the various clever, and sometimes amusingly devious ways Shep would raise his clients' public profiles and help make them stars.
There's a genuine wisdom and even a spiritual side to Shep, who befriended the Dali Llama, and spent a week cooking for him as a way of giving back. Ultimately Shep realized, sadly late in the game, that there was more to life than work, and that he was missing out on having kids and a family.
Not a 'change your life' film, but it's always engaging, like listening to the most fun and intelligent guest at a great party.
You wouldn't think this was Mike Myer's first debut as a maker of a documentary film - it flows through with all the right pacing and interest that you would easily think it was put together by someone who had done 1000's of these before.
I really enjoyed the unique footage that was captured here - backstage, day to day activities, interviews etc. Something like this could have just been made by stock images and footage with the occasional interview clip here and there to tell the same story. No, they really made sure to go out and get real-life footage that set Shep in the modern day, bringing it all to life and making it infinitely better.
What I would mention, however, is the title. It hints to this film's flaw that I recognise as being something that stops me putting this down as 5 stars. The film can be somewhat embarrassingly focused on how great Shep is. It dangered on being less of a documentary on Shep's story and more a song and dance of a love-fest on how wonderful he is. We can arrive at the same conclusion about his warmth and talent without it being spelled out to us, not just in the movie but as the title of the whole thing. It's self evident and becomes too loaded with this title. Shep seems to show embarrassment to how this is named, and I wouldn't be surprised if he had to use it in the title of his own autobiography after the release of the doc to tie the book in with it.
Couple of comments: first and foremost, even if Shep Gordon may not be known to you at all, you are in for a finger lickin' good time with this documentary. The man was arguably one of the most connected people in the Hollywood entertainment scene, and apparently one of the most respected and beloved. Besides managing many stars in the music and movie business, Gordon practically single-handedly started the 'celebrity chef' scene when he befriends French chef Roger Verge and later agrees to manage him and many other chefs. Second, given the 40+ year relationship and bond between Gordon and Alice Cooper, we get to see quite a bit of the Cooper saga with fascinating insights on how Cooper was able to break through, with the ideas from Gordon playing a crucial role (and hence it's a nice compliment/contrast to the recent "Super Duper Alice Cooper" documentary). Third, the documentary does not shy away from the personal side: while we see Gordon having relationships with Sharon Stone and other well-known women, in the end we see Gordon alone. Says his assistant: when he wakes up after the surgery and sees me beside the bed, it's clear that he wishes it was not me, his paid personal assistant, whom he'd be staring at", wow.
This showed up without any pre-release hype or advertising last month at my local art house theater here in Cincinnati and I went to see it right away. The late matinee screening where I saw this at was okay but not super-well attended. "Supermensch" is not a 'dirty laundry' type of documentary, so if you think you'll be hearing/seeing a lot of gossip on the artists managed by Gordon, you will be sorely disappointed. If on the other hand you are interested in getting an intimate portrait on one of the most successful managers in the entertainment business, then this is for you. I enjoyed this from start to finish. Quite a nice debut for first-time director Mike Myers. "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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