Thursday, August 1, 2019

Review: David Crosby: Remember My Name

Release date: July 19, 2019 (August 2, 2019 in DMV)
Running time: 95 minutes
Starring: David Crosby

David Crosby has had a roller coaster of a career.  From multiple top bands, to two rock and roll hall of fame inductions, to drug rehaab, and finally to a new life as a solo artist, the 78 year old rock star has had quite the life.  And, as with many celebrities who rise and fall throughout their careers, he has some amazing memories and some horrible mistakes along the way.  David Crosby: Remember My Name is a documentary about this man from his own mouth and recollections.  It is a frank, unabashed look at Crosby's life and career.

As someone that has had very little exposure to Crosby's career, this movie does a great job of showing the arc of his meteoric rise, multiple falls, and slow ascent to reinvigorate his career as a solo artist.  The film uses authentic clips and music to take you along this journey.  And the journey is helped immensely by Crosby's own recollections of his career.  For someone that has experienced as much life as Crosby has, his recall is immense.  The stories he tells really take you to the moment as he experienced them, with some amazingly minute details adding to the experience.  

Another aspect that helps this journey is Crosby's honesty.  You can tell that this is a man who has come to terms with his own mistakes and had to learn from them.  Part of this might be for the cameras, but you get the sense from the film that Crosby actually has learned from his actions and this movie is an attempt to heal old wounds.  But it is not all an apology tour.  Crosby is honest in all respects: he knows how talented he is as a musician and will happily discuss that right along side his own failings.  The man is a talented enigma and seeing him open up in the film is great for old fans of his music or those that are just trying to learn. 

However, if there are any criticisms with the movie, it is that it ends too soon.  It would have been nice to have an additional 30 minutes of footage because it feels like the movie barrels to the ending.  The 95 minute time was probably an intentional choice to not make the documentary too long for the movie going public; hopefully some additional footage will be released with the disc release.  Additionally, some parts of the movie do feel a little one-sided due to the fact that most of the exposition is from Crosby himself.  

Crosby: Remember My Name is a frank and surprisingly honest documentary about an influential musician and his fifty plus year career.  Fans of his music and those hoping to find out about this complicated and talented man should not hesitate jump on this tour bus.

Watch it
Bonus, check out this special Q&A with Director A.J. Eaton for some great insights about Crosby and the film!

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