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Gerry Humphreys: The Loved One

Biographical docu explores the life of Gerry Humphrys, a British musician who lived in Australia for 15 years (1957-72), making his mark first as a clarinet player and leader of a popular jazz band, the Red Onions, and later as a Beatles-influenced R&B performer, but who disappeared after returning to London. Although centering on a real-life character, pic is at times reminiscent of a Woody Allen mockumentary ("Sweet and Lowdown"). Humphrys' fame seems limited to survivors of the '60s Melbourne music scene.

Biographical docu explores the life of Gerry Humphrys, a British musician who lived in Australia for 15 years (1957-72), making his mark first as a clarinet player and leader of a popular jazz band, the Red Onions, and later as a Beatles-influenced R&B performer, but who disappeared after returning to London. Although centering on a real-life character, pic is at times reminiscent of a Woody Allen mockumentary (“Sweet and Lowdown”). Humphrys’ fame seems limited to survivors of the ’60s Melbourne music scene. Music-oriented fests would be the best bet for wider screenings.

Filmmaker and jazz enthusiast Nigel Buesst spends the first 40 minutes interviewing middle-aged musicians who worked with Humphrys in Australia and the woman he married when she was 16. Buesst incorporates footage of Humphrys playing with the Onions and other bands. By the time helmer travels to London to interview his subject, who’s now a rather sad man living in suburban Wimbledon, expectations are relatively high: What happened to him? Why did he disappear? Unfortunately, the answers provided in the poorly filmed interview are extremely mundane.

Gerry Humphreys: The Loved One

Australia

Production: A Sunrise Picture Co. release and production. (International sales: Sunrise Picture Co., Melbourne.) Produced, directed, edited by Nigel Buesst.

Crew: Camera (color), Buesst. Reviewed on videocassette, Sydney, July 22, 2000. (In Melbourne Film Festival.) Running time: 65 MIN.

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