×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The 27 Club

Devastation and abandonment in the wake of suicide haunt Erica Dunton's downbeat road movie, "The 27 Club."

With:
With: Joe Anderson, David Emrich, James Forgey, Eve Hewson, Jimmy Hager, Alexie Gilmore, Kyle Luker.

Devastation and abandonment in the wake of suicide haunt Erica Dunton’s downbeat road movie, “The 27 Club.” Joe Anderson (“Across the Universe”) turns in an intense, anguished performance as the left-behind half of a successful rock duo. Hiring a hick supermarket checkout boy as driver, the grieving musician takes off on a cross-country trek, soon joined by a hitchhiking Irish colleen. Though consistently maintaining a wryly observed interaction between the motley, convertible-bound threesome, the pic fails to get much mileage out of encounters along the way. Nevertheless, a solid musical base and tie-in with Kurt Cobain-type self-destruction could score with niche auds.

When his adopted brother/partner/best friend Tom (James Forgey) voluntarily, if unexpectedly, joins the “27 Club” (the pop culture term for celebrated musicians who expire at that unnatural age include Brian Jones, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Cobain), Elliot (Anderson), the surviving co-leader of the fictional rock band Finn, loses his moorings.

As in her “Find Love” about a white-hot 24-hour romance, writer-director Dunton displays a light touch with strong emotional impulses that defy social norms. Elliot sits for long minutes in the morgue with red-rimmed eyes berating his lifelong buddy’s corpse for leaving him bereft.

Dunton proves equally adept at establishing, through short flashbacks a remarkably convincing musical backstory for the two, from early boyhood musical noodlings to scenes of on-stage fame showcasing original songs composed and performed by Forgey and Anderson.

On the other hand, Dunton reveals virtually nothing of the car’s other occupants, beyond that the chauffeur (David Emrich, both actor and persona imported wholesale from “Find Love”) hails from a clan of matching-outfitted dorks and the girl, Stella (Eve Hewson, U-2’s Bono’s daughter), comes from Ireland.

Stella instantly deduces Elliot’s identity, but keeps mum. Instead, she names the driver Three Words, discovering in his speech a triplicate pattern that grants him a special rhythm. Their chummy romance allows Elliot the freedom to participate or not in the social exchanges in the car.

But aside from a slight tension about whether he will be recognized by locals, Elliot’s interactions are lacking in the ethnographic richness of classic road movies like “Two-Lane Blacktop” or “Five Easy Pieces.”

Elliot’s one significant encounter, with an alcoholic bum (Jimmy Hager) who introduces him to the real-life “Down by the Wayside” choir of the homeless, comes off as staged.

Stephen Thomson’s widescreen lensing reinforces the pic’s main dynamic, increasingly pulling Elliot out of the multimedia past into an unfolding present.

The 27 Club

Production: A Bystander Films presentation of a 3 Words production. Produced by Chiara Trento, Erica Dunton. Executive producer, William J.B. Brady. Co-producers, Susan Carpenter, Les Frank. Directed, written by Erica Dunton.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Stephen Thompson; editor, Olivier Bugge Coutte; music, Michael Tremante; production designer, Chad Keith; costume designer, Susan Oliver; sound, Jeff Babb, Alex Markowitz. Reviewed at Tribeca Film Festival (Discovery), April 27, 2008. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: With: Joe Anderson, David Emrich, James Forgey, Eve Hewson, Jimmy Hager, Alexie Gilmore, Kyle Luker.

More Film

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi displays

    Narendra Modi Wins New Mandate in Indian Election and Divides the Film Industry

    India has returned the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance coalition to power for a second term, with a huge mandate. In doing so, it polarized the film industry. The NDA won 351 seats out of a total of 542. The biggest democratic exercise in the world, more than 600 million Indians voted across six weeks. [...]

  • Director Dean DeBlois and online game

    'Dragon' Director Dean DeBlois and PUBG's CH Kim to Keynote 2019 VIEW Conference

    Dean DeBlois, director and executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and PUBG Corporation CEO CH Kim are the first keynote speakers announced for the 2019 VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy, in October. Since it began 12 years ago, VIEW, which stands for Virtual Interactive Emerging World, has continually [...]

  • 'The Cordillera of Dreams' Review: Poetic

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Cordillera of Dreams'

    Rounding out his sublimely meditative, deeply personal documentary-essay trilogy on time, memory and the relationship of Chile’s breathtaking landscapes to its troubled human history, Patricio Guzmán delivers “The Cordillera of Dreams,” a haunting and allusive exploration of the cultural impact of the country’s most spectacular geological feature: its snowcapped mountain spine. Coming after the exploration [...]

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

  • Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala

    Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala: Mariah Carey, Kendall Jenner and Tiffany Trump

    Kendall Jenner caused a commotion when she arrived. Tiffany Trump went unrecognized until a member of the press pointed her out as she made her way down the carpet. And Mariah Carey flew in to perform a couple of songs. Welcome to this year’s AmfAR Gala Cannes, the AIDS organization’s annual — and largest — [...]

  • 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo' Review: Abdellatif

    Cannes Film Review: 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo'

    A simple but somehow atypical shot opens Abdellatif Kechiche’s new film: a serene closeup of a young woman’s face, as seen through the camera lens of Amir, a budding photographer still finding his perspective. Her expression is ambiguously tranquil, her long hair lightly rustled by a humid breeze, all softly lit by a sinking afternoon [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content