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Searching for Sugarman Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, Dennis Coffey, Mike Theodore, Dan DiMaggio, Steve Rowland, Willem Möller, Ilse Assmann, Clarence Avant, Rodriguez, Sixto Rodriguez

Searching for Sugarman:  two South African super-fans document their search for information on their illusive musical hero – Rodriguez. As a narrative, the documentary plays it’s hand perfectly – the first half is low-key, indie, explaining (and perhaps slightly exaggerating) the legend: second half is uplifting and fascinating. Rumours of Sugar Man’s on-stage suicide: self-immolation, gunshot, overdose… quite the bizarre list. Naturally, the film is crammed with the music of Rodriguez, which has a timeless quality – no references, all universal themes, feelings and descriptions – also helps that they’re decent tunes. Up until the halfway point I was having some suspicions as it mainly consisted of a few fans and label bigwigs talking about his talent; name-dropping comparisons of popularity and talent with Dylan, Hendrix, Rolling Stones, Elvis etc etc. In the second-half however, you can’t help but smile when you see the footage of his ‘Anvil Moment‘ and realise that he’s a genuine star in S Africa, it’s electrifying. The majority of the footage is well-shot, with some lovely animations and city-scape footage – although there’s several strange shots of him struggling through Detroit weather while the crew film him from a car crawling alongside. Where the film falls down, and prevents it being great (like the aforementioned Anvil) is that it focuses far more on the legend and backstory of Rodriguez, rather than spending quality on-screen time with him. Searching for Sugar Man is a very good documentary: especially as an eye-opening look at the music industry before the digital age, Wikipedia and so forth.

Score: 7.5/10

Searching for Sugar Man Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, Dennis Coffey, Mike Theodore, Dan DiMaggio, Steve Rowland, Willem Möller, Ilse Assmann, Clarence Avant, Rodriguez, Sixto Rodriguez

Found him, LOL!!!

Kentucky Fried Movie A Fistful of Yen 01

The Kentucky Fried Movie: a series of spoof movie trailers, commercials, films and news sketches – set out like you’re watching TV. Sometimes going in to a film completely cold is a great thing because when the opening line is a newsreader informing you that “The popcorn you’re eating has been pissed in. Film at 11.” it grabs you by the cojones and tells you everything you need to know about the film. Despite an unorthodox format, it allows the film the freedom to deliver a range of brilliant genre parodies: Women in Prison, Blaxploitation, Disaster Movies, Sex Ed, Russ Meyer, and a 30-minute mini-film “A Fistful of Yen”, which perfectly mocks everything about 70s Kung Fu films, specifically Enter the Dragon – everything is 100%, from the editing and SFX down to the cheesy synths. Written by the Zucker brothers, this has their trademark ‘joke joke joke joke joke’ style, so that even when some miss the mark, the next laugh isn’t far off. The only downside is that because there’s so much going on over so many sketches and ideas, you don’t always get enough time with the funniest characters: Wally and Beave in court were hands-down my favourite. While some comedies are era-specific, relying on the culture and news stories of their time – this film was made in 1977 and is easily one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. Kentucky Fried Movie is the film that kick-started the careers of the Zucker brothers and John Landis – so if you like their comedies, there’s absolutely no doubt that you’ll love this.

Score: 9/10

Kentucky Fried Movie A Fistful of Yen 02

Kentucky Fried Movie Courtroom