Saturday, 23 February 2013

GFF 2013: Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

Nothing Can Hurt Me tells the story of power pop icons Big Star in a very conventional music-doc manner, with all the expected genre hallmarks: musician fans pop up to sing the band’s praises (with talking heads including REM’s Mike Mills and Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor); archive footage strives to give a sense of why so many still care so deeply; and those party to events (including members Jody Stephens and the late Andy Hummel) offer first-hand testimonials that together build a portrait of the band’s successes and failures. 

But while the format is routine, the execution is first rate, skirting hagiography and comprehensively essaying not only Big Star’s all-too-brief existence, but also the band’s extended family tree – from Alex Chilton’s time in the Box Tops through to his avant garde solo ventures; from Chris Bell’s early steerage to posthumous masterpiece I am the Cosmos. The results should satisfy both long-term acolytes and those newly curious of Big Star’s timeless artistry.

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