Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday Review

I Trust You To Kill Me is a 2006 documentary following a two-week Europen tour of Rocco DeLuca and The Burden as they touted their forthcoming album to be released on Kieffer Sutherland's Ironworks label later that same year.

A tour film isn't so rare that it creates its own publicity, but since this one featured Sutherland as the band's road manager for the tour, it offered slightly different perspective on an otherwise normal rockumentary.

The film works because DeLuca and the Burden are quite good. Rocco is the obvious driving force - drummer and bass players are good musicians, but nothing spectacular. The addition of a percussionist is nice as Rocco's songs can often slide in and out of two or three genres with blistering speed. Rocco writes the songs, Rocco plays the riffs and Rocco chases the dream. It's not enough that his guitar work is stellar...his voice is mind-blowing. Hitting huge notes (often w/o falsetto) and pouring his whole voice into every song, Rocco's voice is the perfect combination to his gritty, stompbox-saturated dobro playing. The movie works because the band is great. You want these guys to succeed.

The film also works because Kieffer Sutherland is a train wreck. Four years after the film's release, the actor's hard-partying and multiple DUI arrests are common knowledge, this 2006 movie reveals a disheveled, unorganized, hard-drinking celebrity trying to perform numerous administrative tasks to help the band succeed. I speak of "train wrecks" not because we tend to enjoy watching people live destructive, unholy lives (which we do,) but because of the great tension it creates. The filmmakers have setup a fantastic scenario here: you're pulling for Rocco. He's this pure, sincere artist who's trying to succeed without compromising his values and you get the sense that he's on a collision course with someone with who has similar sincerity, but not the same tenacity.

I won't reveal whether or not that collision happens...that is what those in the business call a "spoiler," but I do heartily recommend this for fans of well-written rock and blues music. Check it out.