HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  One-Trick Pony There Goes Rhymin' Simon
Year: 1980
Director: Robert M. Young
Stars: Paul Simon, Blair Brown, Rip Torn, Joan Hackett, Allen Garfield, Mare Winningham, Michael Pearlman, Lou Reed, Steve Gadd, Eric Gale, Tony Levin, Richard Tee, Harry Shearer, The B-52s, The Lovin' Spoonful, Sam and Dave, Tiny Tim, Daniel Stern
Genre: Drama, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jonah Levi (Paul Simon) has been a musician since the nineteen-sixties, when aside from popular albums he also had one huge hit with the anti-war protest song Soft Parachutes. Still on the road, he is finding the music business is changing around him, with his record company keen to have him secure another hit with new material - a new album would be welcome as well. But life on tour has become the norm for him, he gets along with his band (who he would like to play on any fresh recordings he may or may not make), he can meet the occasional groupie and spend the night at her place, and the audience are appreciative. It's just that when he sees the up-and-comers, he feels a million years old...

Those up-and-comers represented by The B-52s here, as an example of the New Wave music that was rendering artistes like Paul Simon dangerously close to looking like rock dinosaurs. This film was designed to promote the One-Trick Pony album, a disc that did significantly better than this project, as part of the drawback to watching it was that it came across like a very seventies movie, whereas it was being released in the brave new world of the eighties where there was a sense of a changing of the guard. If The Village People couldn't cut it on celluloid with Can't Stop the Music (au contraire), then what hope did a far less zeitgeist-y singer-songwriter like the one headlining this effort?

Well, Simon had been part of the zeitgeist in the previous couple of decades, it was true, but now he was looking as if he would have to stick with the fans he had picked up back then, since eighties kids preferred something a lot more flashy and/or relevant to the politics of the day. Naturally, Simon was not to know that on embracing African styles of music he would enjoy one of the biggest successes of his career halfway through the eighties with the Graceland album, a work many consider one of the masterpieces of that decade, so his sad sack persona as portrayed in his self-penned screenplay for this film was, it was safe to say, not one he could have usefully pursued to any profit.

Financially or artistically, and the drama he concocted, presumably drawn from his life, set his character as an ageing rebel wrestling with the notions of what he should do with his time now middle age is approaching. His ex-wife Marion (Blair Brown) believes his profession to be adolescent and something he should have grown out of years ago (he doesn't agree, indeed this irritates him no end that she doesn't take his work seriously), but at least he can hold a torch for her as his love for her has never died completely. The record company, led by Rip Torn in "reasonable as long as you do everything I say" mode, is another matter, dead set on commercialising his sound in a way that he feels is a betrayal of both his principles and his audience, along with his touring band who he has loyalty to.

This is leading up to a final shot of Jonah, and by extension Simon, sticking it to the man, thus proving his rock 'n' roll credentials to an audience who perhaps were not that interested, they simply wanted something to tap the steering wheel along with in the car. It was a curious beast for that reason, was One-Trick Pony, very sorry for itself which you might think was a bit rich coming from a musician of the calibre and hit rate of Simon, but one supposed inside every rock megastar was a whiny teenager complaining that nobody understands him struggling to get out. They secured the services of an interesting cast at least, so though the star was nobody's idea of an accomplished thespian, we could be distracted by a proper actor like Allen Garfield who was memorable as a boo-hiss exec, or stunt casting like Lou Reed as the integrity-ruining producer mogul Torn insists Jonah uses. Nevertheless, this was strictly for the fans, or industry types and frustrated musicians who could sympathise.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1056 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: