THE OPERATIVE – movie review

THE OPERATIVE
Vertical Entertainment
Reviewed for Shockya.com & BigAppleReviews.net linked from Rotten Tomatoes by: Harvey Karten
Director: Yuval Adler
Screenwriter: Yuval Adler, adapted from the Novel “The English Teacher” by Yiftach Reicher Atir
Cast: Diane Kruger, Martin Freeman, Cas Anvar, Liron Levo, Yaakov Zada Daniel, Ohad Knoller
Screened at: Critics’ link, NYC, 7/26/19
Opens: August 2, 2019

Image result for the operative movie poster

You would expect Yuval Adler, a director whose freshman feature, “Bethlehem,” bounce back and force in the plotting, getting diverging points of view from people involved in the spy business. “Bethlehem,” about the complex relationship between an Israeli Secret Service officer and his Palestinian informant, finds the director coloring his new movie with the same complexity of his first. “The Operative,” based on Yiftach Reicher Atir’s book “The English Teacher” (available from Amazon for under ten bucks), excels with yet another gem of a performance from Diane Kruger, a German actress who is not only fluent in English but speaks it with an American accent. Kruger, who studied with the Royal Ballet of London until an injury ended that career, may have endured a blessing in disguise as she is easily among A-list actors sought for diverse roles whether a revenge thriller like “In The Fade” about a woman played by Diane Kruger who seeks revenge when a car bombing kills her husband and son, or “All That Divides Us,” examining the relationship of slum dwellers and a bourgeois family, with Diane Kruger playing the daughter of Catherine Deneuve who needs saving from a relationship.

I occasionally wonder whether some of these movies that switch back and forth would be better served by a chronological pattern but we take what we’re given. Here Thomas (Martin Freeman), a “handler” operating with the Israeli Mossad in Germany, works this time with Rachel (Diane Kruger), whose principal mission is in Tehran. Rachel is a loner, admittedly often lonely as well, a woman involving herself in a romantic relationship that could damage a major operation: that of setting up an electronics company to convey equipment to Iran which is deliberately destined to fail. She likes Tehran (there’s no city like it says another character) but without knowing the language, she does her job as an English teacher to young Iranians. By coincidence, Farhad (Cas Anvar), an executive with the company, hits on her and she responds. Adler, who scripted the adaptation of “The English Teacher,” makes us wonder whether the relationship with this playboy-exec is part of a game that she is playing or whether she has made the cardinal mistake of sleeping with the enemy.

As word gets back to Germany about their agent’s faux pas, arguments break out among Mossad agents, some of whom want to “take out” their flawed operative despite Thomas’s vigorous opposition. The most suspenseful scene arises when Rachel, burying her body on the floor of a truck with Iranian men whose loyalties are unclear. One of whom actually tries to rape her in a fearfully claustrophobic setting.

This is an espionage tale that’s more John Le Carré than 007, with a complexity of plotting that might make viewers desire a second viewing.

Kolja Brandt films partly in Berlin, though the areas representing Tehran are not given either on Wikipedia or the Internet Movie Database. In English, Hebrew and Farsi with English subtitles.

117 minutes. © 2019 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online

Story – B-
Acting – B+
Technical – B+
Overall – B

THE MOUNTAIN – movie review

THE MOUNTAIN

Kino Lorber
Reviewed for Shockya.com & BigAppleReviews.net linked from Rotten Tomatoes by: Harvey Karten
Director: Rick Alverson
Screenwriter: Rick Alverson, Dustin Guy Defa, Colm O’Leary
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Jeff Goldblum, Hannah Gross, Denis Lavant, Udo Kier
Screened at: Park Ave, NYC, 7/22/19
Opens: July 26, 2019

The Mountain Movie Poster

If you enjoyed a highbrow feature like Yorgos Lanthimos’s “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” a film that hones in on a young man who follows a surgeon around as though he were trying to be the doctor’s best friend, you might be looking forward to another ethereal drama, “The Mountain.” In this tale, a young man who never smiles follows a doctor around presumably because the older man performed a lobotomy on the kid’s mother. Given the status of Lanthimos and Rick Alverson as maverick directors, you figure you would enjoy “The Mountain,” but what you anticipated turns out to be a far more enigmatic, static, color-drained look at a strange decade in America in which women who were not as repressed as the rest of the population, women who had opinions of their own, were subject to pre-frontal lobotomies. If you saw “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” a solid, middlebrow look at a hospitalized man whose fellow inmates were so horrified by what happened to him after such surgery that they suffocated him. But don’t expect such a narrative to be present here.

Rick Alverson, whose “Entertainment” in 2015 is about a has-been comedian trying to revive his career in the Mojave Desert, is known in some circles as being anti-movie, even anti-pleasure. Those traits are visible here in a film that highlights a relationship between a despondent twenty-year old and a doctor who roams about the country performing lobotomies. Since Andy (Tye Sheridan) lost his mother, who is institutionalized, and since his stiff father Frederick (Udo Kier) died while teaching figure skating, Dr. Wallace Fiennes (Jeff Goldblum) befriends him, giving him a job (that could be make-work but looks needed) taking Polaroid pictures of women who are being lobotomized. Actually the term lobotomy is not mentioned, so Alverson trusts his sophisticated audience to put 2 and 2 together.

While lobotomies are said to be frequent as late as the 1950s, somehow Fiennes cannot find steady work and has to travel about the asylums of California (photographed largely in Washington State). The Polaroid pix are made into slides to show to the doctor’s colleagues. As a side hobby, the doc also administers electroshock. However the most catatonic person in the story is Andy, and he had not even had a lobotomy—yet.

The most memorable scene, one that might prompt some viewers to turn away in embarrassment, features Jack (Denis Lavant), who works as an alternative healer in hospitals but who is the craziest dude in the picture. Jack dances about the room giving spastic monologues in English, French and Franglich, subtitles provided. Jack authorizes a lobotomy for his daughter Susan (Hannah Gross), who like other women barely shows signs of rebellion, though in a moment of anguish. Suddenly Andy changes from his placid self into a roaring volcano.

What does it all mean? It could be a satiric look at lobotomies, but criticism of that horrid procedure is outdated. Maybe it’s a spoof of the 1950s, with those small-screen TV’s and dull entertainers, a prosperous era but one which produced and nurtured repressed people, especially women. Or maybe you don’t care, and shouldn’t.

106 minutes. © 2019 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online

Story – C-
Acting – B
Technical – B
Overall – C

HONEYLAND – MOVIE REVIEW

HONEYLAND
Neon
Reviewed for Shockya.com & BigAppleReviews.net linked from Rotten Tomatoes by: Harvey Karten
Director: Tamara Kotevsky, Ljubomir Stefanov
Screenwriter: Tamara Kotevsky, Ljubomir Stefanov
Cast: Hatidze Muratova, Nazife, Hussein Sam, Ljutvie Sam, Mustafa Sam
Screened at: Dolby 24, NYC, 7/9/19
Opens: July 26, 2019

Image result for honeyland movie poster

The Pennsylvania Dutch living in and around Lancaster, Pennsylvania, have a life style that most of us consider strange. In fact their land is a tourist attraction that has captivated Americans wanting to look at a group different from the typical bourgeois resident of our country, given that the Dutch (actually Deutsch) voluntarily live without automobiles, televisions, even electricity. But compared to the principal character in Tamara Kotevsky and Ljubomir Stefanov’s documentary, a film that happily avoids the structure of talking heads and interviewers, these Pennsylvania folks are living in Trump Tower. Filmed over a three-year period with Fejmi Daut and Samir Ljuna lensing as though they were making a National Geographic nature study, “Honeyland” takes us to a remote, mountainous region in the Republic of North Macedonia, where life is anything but milk and honey. Yet Hatidze Muratova, in her mid-fifties, appears to have chosen her way of living despite the call of Macedonia’s capital, Skopje, shunning the rest of the world and involved herself in the support of her eighty-five year old mother, earning her living by nurturing hundreds of wild bees in the making of honey. The film begins as a study of a woman living in harmony with nature and concludes with a scathing criticism of capitalism. Most of all, though, “Honeyland” is a study of the only woman in the entire European continent who lives in this style, and we leave the theater wondering how this kind of life can be of interest to even a single person.

Hatidze Muratova, who allowed the directors and photographers to be flies in the wall, lives in a broken-down shack without electricity and therefore without TV or even an outhouse, with the company of only her sick mother, Jacky the dog, and one cat. She would remove a stone from a hill housing hundreds of bees, take half of the produced honey at one time, and leave the other half for the insects. In this way, by sharing, she expects that the bees will always produce enough for her to live on. She makes the long journey to Skopje on market day to sell the product, insists that this is not junk honey but prepared without chemical pollutants, and therefore deserves a decent price in euros. Hatidze could have chosen to take on a booth in the outdoor market, but she is committed to her mother, who never leaves the shack, who is ill but who understands that she is, as she admits, as static in her bed-bound life as a tree. It’s remarkable how Hatitze can go on, coaxing her mother to eat something, telling her that she must exercise at least to the extent of extending her leg, but regularly gets the reply from the old lady that she cannot do even that.

Hatidze likes to sing, using her affection for song to encourage the bees as she removes the stone exposing the helpful insects who rarely bite their caretaker though she has little protection from a netting costume. She finds that she cannot stay isolated for long. A noisy neighbor arrives with a bounty of kids from babies to teens and a bunch of cattle with which they travel. Instead of sinking more into her isolation, Hatidze plays with the kids, chats with Hussein Sam, the father, advising the entrepreneur wanting to start his own bee business to take only half the honey each time he’d collect his harvest. But Hussein Sam, a Turk like Hatidze, is like an American capitalist, wanting immediate returns, impatient to give the business time to prosper. In return, even the bees revolt, stinging him and the kids repeatedly.

From the satirical part of the movie, we see a universality. The region is as remote in Europe as you can get, yet the theme involves the trampling of nature by the corporation, a level of greed that will destroy not only the natural habitat but sink the business as well. Ultimately the new settler’s rush to profits will destroy not only his own business but that of the nurturing Hatidze.

There is considerable originality here, a look at the last woman alive who conducts her business as does Hitidze. We try to figure out why she is doing this, and even a teenage boy asks, “Why don’t you leave this place?” Hitidze has no answer, treating the question as merely rhetorical, but this is the question that everyone in the movie theater will be asking as well.

The film, in the Turkish language with English subtitles (some with misspellings), played at Sundance and at the Sarajevo Film Festival among other locations.

85 minutes. © 2019 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online

Story – B+
Acting – A-
Technical – A-
Overall – B+

SKIN – movie review

SKIN
A24 & Direct TV
Reviewed for Shockya.com & BigAppleReviews.net linked from Rotten Tomatoes by: Harvey Karten
Director: Guy Nattiv
Screenwriter: Guy Nattiv
Cast: Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Daniel Henshall, Bill Camp, Louisa Krause, Zoe Colletti, Kylie Rogers, Colbi Gannett, Mike Colter, Vera Farmiga
Screened at: Tribeca Screening Room, NYC, 7/17/19
Opens: July 26, 2019

Skin Movie Poster

White supremacy and neo-Nazism evoke ugly memories as depicted in several movies about its ideology in addition to a wealth of articles in journals. In the 2001 film “The Believer,” Frank Collin is a Jewish Nazi. In “Keep Quiet,” the founder of a Hungarian Nazi party, Csanad Szegedi discovers that his maternal grandparents were Jewish. He embraces the religion during a three-year study with a rabbi. The other day, an online UK journal cites the case of a white supremacist who takes a DNA test and discovers that he’s not pure Caucasion. Some of his colleagues want to throw him out of the party. But another, who is sympathetic and tries to comfort him, states “You know who controls the DNA companies,” obviously meaning Jews, “And they want nothing more than to render the entire population diversified.”

Now with “Skin,” a white power member from the Midwest has second thoughts about his ideology. As played with the intensity that could merit an Oscar nomination, Jamie Bell inhabits the skin and soul of Bryon “Pitbull” Widner in a film based on a true story (the real-life people are shown in the end-credits). Byron is a member of the so-called Vindlanders Social Club stationed in Indiana, though when we first see him we notice that he is not entirely comfortable with either the ideology or the methods of the group. Its leader, Fred “Hammer” Krager (Bill Camp), defines himself in a pep rally, calling on his followers to fight against Blacks, Muslims and Jews, though the terms he uses are not the polite ones. His goals are to organize pogroms against groups he hates and to recruit young, rootless, stupid people to the cause. To bring in new members he relies on his wife Shareen (Vera Farmiga), a den mother of sorts who looks more like a middle-aged girl-next-door than an Ilsa Koch, using her feminine wiles to offer attention and affection to prospective recruits.

When Bryon is disgusted by the one of the group’s activities—to burn four Muslims alive—he has had it, his flight from the organization evoking a chase by the Vinlanders to find a “traitor,” though at that point he had not turned himself in to the Southern Poverty Law Center or to the FBI. The group’s harassment leads him to confess to a spokesman for the SPLC, Daryle Lamont Jenkins (Mike Colter). His decision to “turn” is motivated largely by the love of a woman, his relationship with Julie Price (Danielle Macdonald), who has three children from a previous marriage. Julie shares her man’s conflict with the group—not the best kinds of men and women to influence her adorable young ones.

Flashbacks provide us with another example of violence, of a kind that is self-inflicted by Bryon. A plastic surgeon, subsidized with money from a private donor, uses a laser to wipe away the tattoos through an excruciating process. This is not the kind of laser you may be familiar with when you are getting a tooth filled. As photographed by Arnaud Potier in close-up, it resembles two cylinders, each spewing sparks like a cigarette lighter than tries to light but cannot. Even a tough guy like Bryon cannot help crying in agony, a message that should be spread to members of the general public who are following the unfortunate custom of painting their entire bodies with permanent images—and who may seriously regret doing so when tattooing falls out of fashion.

Bell’s performance lifts a simplistic narrative that follows a predictable curve. This is a tale of falling into a far-right organization, having regrets and conflicts, and getting out ahead of the people who are determined to kill traitor like him. His role can be compared to that of Edward Norton in “American History X,” an examination of the roots of racial hatred in America. Guy Nattiv, an Israeli now living in California, won an Oscar for the best live action short of 2018 with the title “Skin,” which takes flight when a black man in a supermarket smiles at a ten-year-old boy across the checkout lines. Whatever the Academy thinks of the current picture, you can expect that Jamie Bell’s name will come up in the nominations this year.

119 minutes. © 2019 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online

Story – B
Acting – A-
Technical – B+
Overall – B+

THE GROUND BENEATH MY FEET – movie review

THE GROUND BENEATH MY FEET (Der boden unter den fuessen)
Strand Releasing
Reviewed for Shockya.com & BigAppleReviews.net linked from Rotten Tomatoes by: Harvey Karten
Director: Marie Kreutzer
Screenwriter: Marie Kreutzer
Cast: Valerie Pachner, Pia Hierzegger, Mavie Hoerbiger, Michelle Barthel, Marc Benjamin, Alex Sichrovsky
Screened at: Critics’ link, NYC, 6/26/19
Opens: July 26, 2019 at New York’s IFC

Though much is made of a woman diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Austrian-born writer- director Marie Kreutzer—whose debut feature “The Fatherless” deals as does her current film with the effect on a family of the appearance of their sister—covers considerable ground. “The Ground Beneath My Feet” can be looked upon as an anti-capitalist reach, centered on the relationship of a yuppie business consultant with her lunatic half-sister. Most of all it should compel you to consider people who are always dressed to kill, walking about as an iconic image of success, looking you right in the eye with their perfect complexions and well-trained bodies, with remarkable poise, restrained emotion, and perfect grooming, as likely as not to be harboring barely repressed memories and a conflicted wish to rid themselves of some of the responsibilities dragging them down.

Such is the case with Lola (Valerie Pachner), a slim woman who at the age of thirty is already on the way up in a consulting job that may remind you of George Clooney’s profession in “Up in the Air” as a hit-man of sorts helping companies to downsize their personnel in order to show more health in the bottom line. Kreutzer, though, is not as interested as Jason Reitman in comedy, but in a carefully paced drama that might make you realize that you’ve spent too much time in the office. It helps that the film is anchored by a remarkable performance from Valerie Pachner, who was previously seen in “Egon Schiele: Death and the Maiden,” about an artist who scandalized Viennese society in the early 20th century with provocative paintings.

Much is made of Lola’s status as a single woman, an orphan with nobody capable of looking after her, though she is the legal guardian of Conny (Pia Hierzegger), her forty-year-old half sister who spends most of the story hospitalized in a Vienna psychiatric institution, clinging to Lola, complaining that she is being kept against her will and is physically punished for not doing what the staff insists that she do.

Life is particularly complicated for Lola given that her work takes her from her native Vienna to the town of Rostock in North Germany, not exactly a backwater but as I recall a picture-perfect town on the Warnow River. Like other executives on the way up, she tries to keep her personal and private lives separate, inventing excuses when she is actually returning to Vienna to see her sister. That’s not all. She is having a lesbian relationship with Elise (Mavie Hoerbiger), her boss, who in one scene are graphically getting it on during a few erotic moments.

So far, whatever Lola wants, Lola gets, but she may have made a mistake in telling her lover about her schizoid sister, as Elise begins to wonder whether mental illness runs in Lola’s family. Climaxes arrive in both Lola’s professional life and her family bonds, as Elise must make a decision on promotions in her staff, and Lola must bear an even greater burden when her sister is released and set up in her own flat. However, in a small scene that would be comical if it did not strike home here in the U.S., a male executive in the firm that has contracted with Lola’s not only hits on her while having steak in an upscale restaurant but tells her flat-out that many males would put their hands under the table and into her thighs but that “I am not like that.” In another small scene that appears to show her political views, when a homeless woman asks for fifty cents and is ignored by Lola, she curses Lola, calls her a “rich woman” and worse, receiving a curt answer from Lola that the woman’s poverty is her own fault.

This is quite the film, mixing business with, well, some pleasure but mostly family heartache, editor Ulrike Kofler taking us back and forth, exposing what some of us in the audience undoubtedly face: how to spread our lives around from our professional duties to our family obligations without suffering at least one nervous breakdown in our lives. The ensemble do a splendid job, some serving like a Greek chorus to serve as background to Lola while a select few, particularly Pia Hierzegger as her loony sister and Mavie Hoerbiger as her immediate superior represent Lola’s family life and business tensions respectively.

In German with English subtitles.

108 minutes. © 2019 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online

Story – B+
Acting – A-
Technical – A-
Overall – B+

ROSIE – movie review

ROSIE
Blue Fox Entertainment
Reviewed for Shockya.com & BigAppleReviews.net linked from Rotten Tomatoes by: Harvey Karten
Director: Paddy Breathnach
Screenwriter: Roddy Doyle
Cast: Sarah Greene, Molly McCann, Darragh McKenzie, Ruby Dunne, Ellie O’Halloran
Screened at: Critics’ link, NYC, 6/27/19
Opens: July 19, 2019

Rosie Movie Poster

Movies with Hollywood endings—to the extent that they still exist in our cynical times—conclude with a victory by the good guys over the bad. Director Paddy Breathnach appears to have no use for the formula in “Rosie,” where the good guys, the deserving poor, are down for the count, or at least to the count of eight, and the villains, in this case greedy landlords, couldn’t care. But this is no 007 thriller; on the contrary. It’s a film where the only melodrama arises when one of the title character’s four kids goes missing, and we in the audience cannot be blamed if we think that she has been kidnapped. But imagine a kidnapper’s hearing that the entire family is close to dead broke, living in their car, made up of six Dubliners who are polite. Rosie always says “Tanks” when phone calls bear no results and daddy John Paul works hard as a dish washer in an upscale restaurant in Ireland’s capital city.

“Rosie” is a film that can be appreciated even here in the U.S. as well as in many a European city at a time that greedy landlords are taking advantage of an economic boom, throwing out rent-paying tenants in favor of the young upscale professionals who can pay handsomely. Rosie Davis herself, played by a remarkable Sarah Greene, a stage actress (she once played opposite Daniel Radcliffe on Broadway in Martin McDonagh’s “The Cripple of Inishmaan”), anchors a family of six who have just been tossed out of their affordable digs when the landlord sees opportunities to make more. She lives in her car with her husband, John Paul Brady (Moe Dunford) and their four kids—ages thirteen, eight, six and Madison—the young fry for the most part restraining their whines but occasionally testing the patience of their parents.

The film follows the Greek unities—all taking place within 36 hours, a single plot and a single location (Dublin)—the plot testing both the anger of a left-leaning movie audience wondering why a newly-rich country cannot place citizens in a home with affordable rent, and the contempt of right-wingers who may wonder why a couple with a stay-at-car mum and a dishwasher dad would wind up with four children—and possibly counting. The Dublin City Council does lend a helping hand, not enough, allowing Rosie to use government vouchers as payments for motels that are on a list that will accept the homeless. The trouble is that this little experiment in socialism cannot succeed for everyone since only a limited number of hotel managers are willing to accept the low payments. (Aside: this may make some of us moviegoers wonder what would happen if a President Bernie or President Elizabeth succeeds in winning Medicare for all only to find that half the doctors will not accept the lower payments that Medicare allows vs. private insurers.)

For the bulk of the movie, watch Rosie compulsively using her cell to reserve places for six people only to discover that virtually none of the managers is willing to provide shelter for them for more than single night, if even that. As in the U.S. homeless kids are bullied in school, specifically Millie (Ruby Dunne) is called “Smelly Millie” though her mom tells the teachers that she is always clean. Rosie has way out but she’s too stubborn. Her mother (Pom Boyd) is willing to take the kids into her big house but demands that Rosie apologize for accusing her late father of abuse.

Roddy Doyle’s script may remind cinephiles of his original story for “The Commitments,” a musical based on the culture of a coastal community in New South Wales while director Breathnach’s most recent helming of “Viva” considers a hairdresser who must stop performing in a local drag club when his estranged father returns. “Rosie” will make you think of the usual themes of Ken Loach, whose social realism is best seen in “I, Daniel Blake,” in which a 59-year-old carpenter who, after having a heart attack, must jump bureaucratic hoops to get government support. But Loach’s story is filled with melodramatic flourishes while “Rosie” needs an audience willing to absorb the lessons of gentrification’s cruelties without the heart-pounding excitements of a kidnapping, a murder, a violent argument and the like.

The Irish accents used by the English-speaking cast are not as difficult to understand as Glaswegian, but still, for an American audience, subtitles would have made a difference.

86 minutes. © 2019 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online

Story – B+
Acting – B+
Technical – C+
Overall – B

DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME – movie review

DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME
Sony Pictures Classics
Reviewed for Shockya.com & BigAppleReviews.net linked from Rotten Tomatoes by: Harvey Karten
Director: A.J. Eaton
Cast: David Crosby, Jan Crosby, A.J. Eaton, Cameron Crowe, Roger McGuinn, Henry Dlitz, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Neil Young
Screened at: Sony, NYC, 5/22/19
Opens: July 19, 2019

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When your time is running out or even when you’re on your deathbed, you may confess to things you never admitted before. The evil that men do, according to Shakespeare, lives after them but perhaps coming forth and admitting your sins will give the public a better opinion of you. You can discuss the ways you screwed up your life and hurt others, confessing to your priest, to your victims, or to a movie production. This documentary is such an attempt by David Crosby, formerly of the Byrds and then of Crosby, Stills and Nash, who is enlisted by A.J. Eaton to be his interviewer, to go over his current politics and even give him a stage to allow us to remember his contributions to folk rock. We note that even today, at the age of 77, he has kept his vocal qualities enough to perform concerts and attract an audience.

As he sits with A.J. Eaton, who is knocking out a debut as director, Crosby, sporting a dropping mustache and long, stringy white hair covered by a wool cap, sits back and confessing (bragging?) about the well over one hundred women with whom he had affairs, However he did not hurt women the way you and I may have done: he got many of them into drug addiction. From all the women, he truly loved Christine Hinton who died at age 21 in a car accident, and carried on a tempestuous affair with Joni Mitchell, known by fans particularly for her “Woodstock.” Falling in love with Joni was like “falling into a cement mixer,” which serves as either a compliment or otherwise depending on your interpretation.

Crosby’s affinity for show business was passed down from his father, Floyd Crosby, a cinematographer best known for shooting the iconic Western “High Noon” in 1952, when Crosby was twelve. Step by step with archival film throughout, Crosby takes his interviewer through his days with The Byrds, which allowed him to hang out with the Beatles, getting him into the kind of music that is a bridge between the folk interpretations of Pete Seeger and The Weavers and the varieties of harder rock that followed. He later took up with Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young, founding Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Here he laments that, as with the women he hurt, he no longer speaks with the partners of this well-known band.

My big regret is that notwithstanding the conventional archival shots, many of which may not have been seen previously, we could have seen more examples of the works of CSNY performed on stage, particularly “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “Helplessly Hoping,” and “Marrakesh Express.” These albums are available on Youtube and are recommended particularly for those of us who are under sixty and want to see what the Woodstock generation was all about.

93 minutes. © 2019 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online

Story – B
Acting – B
Technical – B+
Overall – B