Posts Tagged ‘David Chase’

not fade kiss“NOT FADE AWAY” My rating: B (Opens Jan. 4 at the Tivoli)

112 minutes | MPAA rating: R

To date, David Chase’s major contribution to American arts has been as creator/producer of the cable hit “The Sopranos,” which along with its excellent drama and characterizations was forever pushing the envelope on TV violence, language and nudity.

For his first outing as a solo writer/director Chase puts away the blood bags and turns to his own adolescence. “Not Fade Away” is less a novel than a series of not-quite-nostalgic snapshots taken between 1963 and 1968.

It begins with two teenagers in suburban New Jersey staring at a shiny electric guitar in a store window. Their every third word is some variation on the f-bomb — I’m pretty sure Chase is foolin’ with us, delivering in one scene enough smutty talk to fill an entire movie. Then, our expectations of Chase-ian profanity fully met, he proceeds to deliver a very personal, sweet and slightly sad reverie on the role of rock ‘n’ roll in a young man’s life.

Our protagonist is Doug (John Magaro), who in 1963 is a skinny, unathletic dweeb hanging with similarly un-studly pals. The lives of these losers are transformed by the one-two-three punch of the Kennedy assassination, the first appearance of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan just weeks later, and the subsequent ascension of the Rolling Stones, who forced American teens to reckon with their own ignored blues heritage.

(The film’s title, of course, is that of a Buddy Holly song famously covered by the Stones.)

Doug is immediately smitten. The girls may not give him a second glance, but he knows he has rock star potential. He bones up on the drums and teams with his guitar-playing buddies Eugene (Jack Huston) and Wells (Will Brill) to form a band.  They’re pretty bad — at least until they start to get good.


Read Full Post »