Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel

Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel

4.3 3
Director: Gandulf Hennig

Cast: Gandulf Hennig, Gram Parsons

     
 

Gandulf Hennig's fine documentary on the life and music of the late Gram Parsons goes beyond recounting Parsons' public story as the father of country-rock and digs into the often-tragic circumstances of his personal life, with several of his relatives speaking on camera about the long history of depression, alcoholism, and self-destructive behavior in the Connor,… See more details below

Overview

Gandulf Hennig's fine documentary on the life and music of the late Gram Parsons goes beyond recounting Parsons' public story as the father of country-rock and digs into the often-tragic circumstances of his personal life, with several of his relatives speaking on camera about the long history of depression, alcoholism, and self-destructive behavior in the Connor, Snively, and Parsons families which contributed to Gram's death at the age of 26. Hennig's film has also been given a fine presentation on DVD for its American home-video release. Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel was shot on digital video and has been transferred to disc in widescreen format, letterboxed at 1.78:1 on conventional television sets, and enhanced for anamorphic playback on 16 x 9 monitors. Boris Becker's camerawork is well-served in this transfer, and the images are clear and colorful throughout (with the exception of some archival footage whose rarity compensates for its dodgy visual quality). The audio has been mastered in two formats, Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 and Dolby Digital Surround 5.1, and the sound is full-bodied and well-recorded throughout. The interviews are in English, with no multiple language options or subtitles included. Bonus materials include an interview with director Hennig in which he talks about the often-difficult circumstances behind the making of the film, a timeline-style text biography of Parsons, a discography (which covers his principle album releases but misses a number of important posthumous discs and compilations), and a gallery of still photos, nearly all from his days with the Flying Burrito Brothers. Even those already familiar with Gram Parsons' story are likely to learn something from this film, and Rhino Home Video has given it a worthy release on North American DVD.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
Gram Parsons was never a household name -- indeed, the lauded singer-songwriter never had a hit record -- but his music and life are both the stuff of legend. Over the course of his short career, which came to a crashing end with a drug-and-alcohol overdose when he was only 26, Parsons helped mastermind the country-rock fusion that’s become a staple in the pop music world with artists from the Eagles and Poco to Wilco and Ryan Adams. Directed with a warm touch by newcomer Gandulf Hennig, this documentary tells Parsons’ tale through extensive original footage and numerous interviews with family members and contemporaries including Emmylou Harris, Keith Richards, Chris Hillman, early Eagles member Bernie Leadon, and roadie Phil Kaufman. The intrigue driving the film is twofold, as it tracks both the tragic arc of Parsons’ personal life and the explosive trajectory of his artistic career, which included time spent with the Rolling Stones in France during the recording of Exile on Main Street. On the former front, the story is pure southern gothic: A pampered, wealthy Florida boy, Gram, at age 10, lost his father to suicide, followed by his mother, who succumbed to alcoholism when the nascent musician was only 18. As a youngster, Parsons saw a young Elvis Presley perform and was, according to friends, a changed person thereafter. Thus the seeds were sown for his artistic career, which included stints with the International Submarine Band and the Byrds (he helped shape their Nashville album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo); the founding of the Flying Burrito Brothers; and a two-album solo career, which first connected Parsons to Harris, then an unknown folk singer. Hennig, a massive fan, presents the facts both artistic and personal, recounting not only Kaufman’s storied theft of Parsons’ body from LAX -- and its subsequent burning in the Joshua Tree National Park -- but also the family’s reaction to these acts. Although Harris warns that Parsons’ music should be his legacy, Fallen Angel presents a broader and deeper tale than even diehard fans have known previously, one that is mandatory viewing for any country-rock fan as well as a dramatic and bittersweet portrait of an artist as a young man.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/20/2006
UPC:
0603497042227
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
NR
Source:
Rhino
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:43:00

Special Features

Interview with the director, Gandulf Hennig; Biography; Discography; Photo gallery

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel
1. Scene 1 [3:47]
2. Scene 2 [4:38]
3. Scene 3 [2:11]
4. Scene 4 [:39]
5. Scene 5 [1:59]
6. Scene 6 [:46]
7. Scene 7 [1:13]
8. Scene 8 [3:20]
9. Scene 9 [:40]
10. Scene 10 [1:35]
11. Scene 11 [5:32]
12. Scene 12 [4:41]
13. Scene 13 [:47]
14. Scene 14 [1:55]
15. Scene 15 [2:22]
16. Scene 16 [4:19]
17. Scene 17 [5:38]
18. Scene 18 [1:00]
19. Scene 19 [:29]
20. Scene 20 [1:29]
21. Scene 21 [1:49]
22. Scene 22 [3:04]
23. Scene 23 [2:43]
24. Scene 24 [4:30]
25. Scene 25 [1:45]
26. Scene 26 [4:07]
27. Scene 27 [5:40]
28. Scene 28 [4:18]
29. Scene 29 [2:07]
30. Scene 30 [2:40]
31. Scene 31 [5:17]
32. Scene 32 [7:21]
33. Scene 33 [2:12]
34. Scene 34 [1:28]
35. Scene 35 [1:30]
36. Scene 36 [3:13]

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