HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Spitfire
Killers from Space
Castle of the Creeping Flesh
Ghost Stories
Wild Boys, The
Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai, The
Four Rode Out
Lethal Weapon 3
Kit Curran Radio Show, The
D.O.A.
End, The
Tully
Bedeviled
Man from Mo'Wax, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
   
 
  One-Trick Pony There Goes Rhymin' SimonBuy this film here.
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, Music
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 319 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
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
Arif Kabban
   

 

Last Updated: