Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 2003. Caldera Productions, Kino-Eye American, Perna Productions, Question Mark Productions. Screenplay by George Hickenlooper. Cinematography by Kramer Morgenthau, Igor Meglic. Produced by Christopher Paul Carter, Greg Little, Greg S. Little, Tommy Perna. Music by Anthony Marinelli. Film Editing by Julie Janata. Independent Spirit Awards 2003. Toronto International Film Festival 2003.
From autograph hound to club owner and, when this documentary finds him, popular radio disc jockey, Rodney Bingenheimer has carved out a life for himself where he is the fawning worshipper of many a popular celebrity. He is also, thanks to his keen eye for good music and the huge audience that his radio show has been reaching for decades, responsible for introducing North America to the sounds of such disparate artists as David Bowie, No Doubt and Coldplay. Here, in this mildly enjoyable though hardly compelling film by George Hickenlooper, his life is traced from his family roots, through to his early days in Hollywood as buddy to Sonny and Cher (she appears in the film to talk about their relationship) to his current stasis as a DJ supreme whose career is hanging by a thread. The film is ample on celebrity sightings (including the appearances of Courtney Love, Joan Jett and…Kato Kaelin), but doesn’t really get too deep beneath the surface; when it tries, it reveals a mostly unsympathetic subject. Still, fans of music documentaries should enjoy it.