Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

An unmissable doco for music buffs that pays tribute to the enduring legacy of this sublime and under-celebrated power-pop quartet. Set to play at the ACMI.

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A complete manifesto of the most influential band you’ve never heard of, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is as much the story of the titular band as it is of the Memphis rock scene in the 70’s. Director Drew DeNicola has created a documentary that’s in turns flippant and poignant, from a compilation of interviews with everyone who played a part in the turbulent careers of front men Alex Chilton and Chris Bell. The band faced more than its fair share of hardships with their unreliable record labels and bouts of drug abuse and religious fervour. However, they’re now touted as major influences on acts like R.E.M, Belle and Sebastian and The Flaming Lips and if that doesn’t ring any bells, their track “In The Street” was used as the theme song for That 70’s Show.

While the film becomes laborious in its adherence to the details, it does paint an energetic portrait of the eclectic mix of musicians, producers and rock writers who witnessed one of the scene’s most dismal stories. DeNicola avoids over-sentimentality with skill and instead imbues the story with sweet nostalgia, so that it feels a lot like Almost Famous.

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me makes its Australian premiere at ACMI and will screen as a Long Play season from Sunday 26 May through to Thursday 13 June, 2013. More information and purchase tickets here.

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