Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 04 January 2013 01:00

‘Not Fade Away’ does, lacking development and energy

‘Not Fade Away’ does, lacking development and energy www.notfadeawaymovie.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

  • Director: David Chase
  • Dates: January 4, 2013

The title “Not Fade Away” for director David Chase’s affectionate reminiscence of 1960s music notes that bands and individuals come and go but great music will “Not Fade Away.” It thereby references Buddy Holly and The Rolling Stones, a perfect setup for a celebration of rock and roll: its evolution and its impact on a generation.

Set in suburban New Jersey, the film begins with a voiceover narrator who identifies herself as the sister of Douglas, an aspiring musician in a band that, like so many others, “you never heard of” because they never made it. Told in flashback, the story thereby throws away possible suspense about the band’s success or failure. Secondly, the sister interjects voiceover observations several times throughout the film, hovers on the edge of many scenes, but never materializes as a central or needed character. Further weakening the story, an episodic approach short circuits scene after scene, rushing pointlessly to the next event while viewer identification dissipates without development of action.

A labor of love for music producer Steven Van Zandt and director David Chase, it is particularly disappointing to watch momentum fail to build. Chase certainly knows how to develop characters, as proved over and over in “The Sopranos,” and he ends this film with another dynamite conclusion. To ridiculously understate the case, Van Zandt, a founder with Springsteen of the E Street Band, knows music. But though “Not Fade Away” pays homage to the songs, the families, and the social constructs of those times, the picture lacks energy, even as the rich backdrop of cultural references and watershed events unfolds at a measured pace—President Kennedy shot, the Vietnam War, the Beatles and The Rolling Stones, landmark movies like “Blow-Up,” television series including “The Twilight Zone,” and more.

As the likable Douglas, John Magaro builds a lackluster teenager into one who gains confidence but still remains too introspective to spark viewer excitement. James Gandolfini plays a stereotypically conservative, disapproving father. Molly Price is a most often silent mother submissive to the point of dreariness, and the other three band members come across as characteristically self-absorbed. Van Zandt has said he had to have them play worse than they were, their having learned fast. But “Not Fade Away” remains too kaleidoscopic and works best only to evoke our own memories.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

July
Friday
10

A Muscle Shoals Music Revue with Amy Black and Sarah Borges

Join powerhouse singers Amy Black and Sarah Borges for a soulful celebration of the incredible music that came out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama in the 1960s and 70s. Together, with a full band, they will perform classic songs originally...


July
Saturday
11

Brunch at the Stage: Jonathan Ramsey

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


July
Wednesday
15

Lunch Beat St. Louis #25 @ KDHX

Lunch Beat St. Louis is a free lunch time dance party to let you slip away from the everyday. Bring your co-workers, and bring your friends because for this party the bigger, the better. The music begins exactly at Noon and lasts...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

1 user and 7702 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook