American Hot Wax

“You get the idea that rock ‘n’ roll was born and all but killed off over one weekend in New York in 1959, and the compression of lived history makes this glorious film—with career performances by Tim McIntire as the doomed, all but death-seeking DJ Alan Freed and Larraine Newman as a Carole King-like songwriter—a fever dream in which anything can happen and almost everything does: a touching backstage harmony on ‘Hushabye’. Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis in their 1978 bodies appearing as themselves in the movie [set] almost twenty years earlier and making you believe every note and gesture. A doo-wop group throwing songs at each other on a street corner in a way you know will never translate to the stage. A flip from a bandleader, a wide-open mouth from a record producer, a slow, film-noir walk down a dark and rainy street—it all makes you feel as if the music and its moment was too good to be true. It was—but it happened. And it should have happened just like this.”—Greil Marcus.

Appears in: Special Screenings

Genres: Drama, Music