Not Fade Away

Director: David Chase
Year Released: 2012
Rating: 2.0

In this thinly-veiled work of autobiography by a man best known for his work on television, a group of New Jerseyites (led by John Magaro) begin to idolize rock 'n roll stars (it fittingly starts off with a flashback showing Jagger and Richards having a conversation on a train) and, naturally, form their own band with hopes of making a career out of it (spoiler: they don't). As a document of life in Vietnam-era America Chase pays a lot of attention to little details, but overall this is a dark and uninspiring tale of ambition and youth: Magaro's clashing with his father (James Gandolfini) over changing social mores ("You look like a fag") provides the only palpable tension in the picture, with the band mates bickering over tiny details of their 'big project' coming across as niggling and infantile. It ends rather peculiarly, with Magaro not going with hippies to another location and his sister (Meg Guzulescu) doing a dance (?) in the middle of the street - one figures the dreams of rock star glory have died at that point, and dreams of dominating another medium (television) took over....