billie frances

6

“From here on out, I am only interested in what is real. Real people, real feelings, that’s it, that’s all I’m interested in.”

Almost Famous came out in 2000 and it is directed by Cameron Crowe and serves as a semi-biography. It is also one of the best coming-of-age films I have ever seen, shared along with Stand By Me. As you may know, this film is one of my favourites. It is my home, it’s like a hug, strange at it seems. It is the life I want, well if I lived in the 70s. It’s the film I choose to watch when I’m feeling down, although it gives you quite the heartache at times. Almost Famous is drama/comedy film about music, 70’s music to be exact.

So the story is about 15-year-old William Miller (Patrick Fugit) who wants to be a writer, a rock writer, mind. William gets the opportunity to travel with up and coming band Stillwater. Before that big event, William submits his record reviews to Creem magazine writer Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The two becomes friends and Williams gets the mentor of his dreams. Soon after William goes on a mission for Rolling stone, where he meets the girls, the band aids, the un-groupies. Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) the band aids leader takes a liking to the teen and William falls head over heels for her. William leaves his home, with the band Stillwater (Billy Crudup, Jason Lee, John Fedevich and Mark Kozeleck) and leaves his “trying to mean well” mother, Elaine (Frances McDormand) to worry.

This film is filled with lovely, wonderful performances. Patrick Fugit portrays naive and young William very well, Frances McDormand is brilliant as William and Anita’s (Zooey Deschanel) mother. Billy Crudup and Kate Hudson fill the screen with romantic tension and a bit of heartbreak, or a lot of it actually. Kate Hudson as mysterious, ageless, nameless “Penny Lane”, yes like the song, is brilliant and honest. Her character is very relatable and it really isn’t hard to fall for her ways. The beer scene is one to really look closely at. As always Philip Seymour Hoffman is brilliant, he exudes arrogance and confidence, he’s always such a good supporting actor.

The soundtrack, of course, is so very good, filled with classic rock tunes, only the best. The music written by then-wife of Crowe, Nancy Wilson, for Stillwater is so bloody good. It’s a visually good looking film, but the cinematography isn’t an element that stands out, this film is about honest characters and good music. I recommend it forever, I really do, and if you want the get the absolute best experience from it I would recommend trying to find the extended version.

On This Day: April 20
  • 1649: The True Levellers Standard Advanced is published by the Diggers.
  • 1812: Luddites attack factories in Middleton near Manchester, England, protesting technologies throwing them out of work.
  • 1848: The radical democratic forces in Baden were defeated ending the revolution in south-west Germany.
  • 1853: Escaped slave Harriet Tubman begins her Underground Railroad.
  • 1871: The Paris Commune abolishes night shifts for bakery workers.
  • 1871: US President Grant signs the “Civil Rights Act of 1871” into law which empowered him suspend habeas corpus to combat the KKK.
  • 1914: Ludlow Massacre of miner strikers and families by US troops using machine guns.
  • 1916: Emma Goldman was convicted of advocating birth control.
  • 1927: The Dielo Truda group organized an international anarchist conference in L'Haÿ-les-Roses, France.
  • 1939: Billie Holiday records the anti-lynching, anti-racist song “Strange Fruit”.
  • 1946: The Korean Anarchist Congress met for the second day of four.
  • 1964: Nelson Mandela makes statements in Rivonia Trial.
  • 1964: Approximately 60,000 or 85% of black students in Cleveland boycott classes to protest segregation.
  • 1980: United Auto Workers end successful 172-day strike against International Harvester.
  • 2001: Jaggi Singh was arrested while thousands of demonstrators, including members of Anti-Capitalist Convergence, demonstrated against the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas in Quebec City, Quebec.
  • 2002: A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition organizes march of over 75,000 against the War on Terror in Washington, DC.
  • 2012: Tens of thousands demonstrate in Cairo’s Tahrir Square against continued military rule in Egypt.