OK, Boomer: Practically Famous’ Tinted Nostalgia Has Not Aged Well


Time seems to be stalling in pop culture.

Can Almost Famous really be 20 years old? Cameron Crowe’s coming of age opus seems like it was launched yesterday, yet at the time– a sprightly Millennial feel-good vessel– it pointed itself towards another world, the lumbering rock dinosaurs of the early 70 s, ambling throughout North America with beers, double-necked guitars, and quaaludes, an age right before punk’s meteorite struck.

Re-visiting the film, though, it’s striking how much has actually changed because its release. Rooted in scenes from Cameron Crowe’s own life– himself a teenage Rolling Stone reporter– its rose-tinted fond memories masks scenes and attitudes that are deeply bothersome, while the film fails to offer any genuine critique of the period it is located in.

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Take Cent Lane. Based upon a female promoter with the exact same name, it provided a breakout role for Kate Hudson, a Band Aid whose character adds a little of the firm found in contemporary accounts such as Pamella Des Barres’ memoir I’m With The Band. It still falls victim to this numbing, Golden Age halo, constructing someone who is more of a manic pixie dream woman, a portal for a young male journalist to enter the adult world through.

Philip Seymour Hoffman get some scene-stealing lines as Lester Bangs, and he definitely occupies a few of the author’s iconoclastic style. A real life mentor for Cameron Crowe, in the movie Lester Bangs cautions the young writer William Miller avoid relationships with bands at all expenses– sage guidance, considered that they (spoiler alert) betray him on a base level several times over.

Yet this representation, too, uses a thinned down, extremely safe vision of Lester Bangs. A troubled supernova of a critic, he was capable of fantastic ruthlessness in his own right– explaining David Bowie as a “limey faggot” at one point, for instance, deploying casual racism at others, or eviscerating Kraftwerk’s spectacular electronic futurism with some unpleasant Nationalist tropes.

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Maybe Cameron Crowe can be forgiven for a little dewy eyed creativity– after all, it is basically his life.

When it comes to its depiction of a culture fading into the night, nevertheless, Almost Famous pulls its punches.

Certainly, Cameron Crowe seemed to reach some kind of sanguine reflection both the age and Practically Famous itself when re-cycling the script for a stage show. Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, he had a hard time to select his goals and motivations, and admitted that he wore “rose-coloured glasses” throughout the imaginative procedure.

” I simply figured, let’s not welcome the wrong kind of debate,” he shows on the ages of the Band Help ladies.

In spite of this, Cameron Crowe would later on make 2 substantial modifications to the script of Almost Famous when it hit the phase– a sign, maybe, that even his hard-rooted fond memories was beginning to be shaken up.

Just as much a cultural item as the albums it makes use of on its soundtrack– Kate Hudson’s wardrobe is basically a Woodstock costume party staple– Nearly Famous has actually likewise become based on revisions, permitting it to be seen in a fresh light. It’s something that even influence on its cast– in a genuine punch to the gut for a film that studiously prevents representing abusive behaviour, Mark Kozelek satisfies the role of bass gamer in Stillwater, a man presently defending himself from several accusations of sexual misbehavior.

Undoubtedly, possibly that the only real truism that Almost Famous gets right: bands– and certainly movies – will constantly let you down.

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About Lance Frendsen

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