Movie: Almost Famous
Theme: Coming of age in the world of rock and roll; the time in life when the world tilts.
Famous quote- From Lester Bangs (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman), a very influential person in the director’s early development as a music writer: “Music, you know, true music not just rock and roll, it chooses you.” I chose this memorable line because throughout the movie, music was usually more profound than anything the actors were saying. The music gave things a greater meaning.
“Almost Famous” is based on Cameron Crowe’s real life experience. Crowe also directed the film which was a V style film because although the goal was to portray his life “as it really was,” he manipulated the audience’s reality to stay true to his journey. The story is told almost entirely through the eyes of William Miller. William was an outsider when he met a band named Stillwater and got inside his dream of becoming a music journalist.
A nationwide search was launched for a teenage actor who embodied characteristics the filmmakers were looking for in William. Since Patrick Fugit, the actor chosen, wasn’t even born by 1973, he had no personal connection to that music era. Crowe successfully solved the actor’s lack of knowledge by assigning a vast cross-section of musical “homework.” The director did a phenomenal job of making all the characters look real. The entire cast and all of the settings seemed very authentic and natural.
To further enhance the verisimilitude style of the movie, Crowe skillfully cast a combination of actors and “real” musicians. Billy Crudup played Russell Hammond, the lead guitarist in the band Stillwater. Crudup was teamed with actor Jason Lee, who plays lead singer Jeff Bebe, and real-life musicians Mark Kozelek and John Fedevich, to form the band. Before reading the film’s production notes, I truly thought that Stillwater was a real band.