A whisky in the honor of Sugar Man
- one package of throat lozenges followed by
- an aspirin and rounded off with
- a (small, I assure you!) glass of whisky which you splash around in your mouth, telling yourself that you only have it for medical reasons, to kill off the pesky germs that have taken control over your body.
Then you drift away in a sea of self pity, clinging to your floating device, the thought of comfort: “Only two more days! Two more days before the weekend!”
And then it comes to you: the memory from last night and you suddenly feel ashamed over yourself, over how lazy you are, how spoiled you are, how you’ve given up hope and ambition for – what? Aspirin and whisky.
It’s time to have a serious conversation.
“Sugar Man!” you say to yourself.
“Sugar Man! Don’t you remember? You’ve got to stop whining!”
You recall the feeling you had as you left the theatre last night after watching Searching for Sugar Man. You remember how you sparkled, how you wiped a few tears from your eyes and how you smiled. It was as if you had come truly alive for the first time in God knows how many years, ready to embrace the world, ready to become what you were supposed to be, ready to shine.
And you reach for your smartphone, entering “Sixto Rodriguez” at YouTube and as the music starts playing it all comes back to you.
You’re done feeling sorry for yourself, done making out with your coach. You have writing to do. It’s time to start spreading the world. You need to tell the world – or -well – at least the poor few fellows who visit your blog – that they ought to look up this film.
You start writing and then you stop and push the “delete” button, firmly. You can’t say THAT thing and certainly not THAT thing either. And no, you probably shouldn’t even mention THIS fact. And then you tear your hair. This is a documentary for heaven’s sake, not a crime mystery! But actually it’s just as spoiler sensitive.
So you decide to say as little as you possibly can. This is what you decide to say in your blog post:
“Here’s the storyline according to IMDb: ” Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock ‘n’ roller, Rodriguez ”
I had never heard of this guy before watching the film and you probably haven’t either.
Good for you. Let it stay that way, whatever you do. Don’t look up anything at all about Sixto Rodriguez or about this film before you have watched it. Just trust me on this: watch it as blind as you can. You’ll thank me afterwards.”
And then you stop. That’s not much of a review. You need to say more than that. But what?
Should you talk about what a brilliant storyteller the Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul is?
Perhaps you should mention that you don’t need to be particularly interested in music to enjoy it? It’s just as much about working class life in Detroit, about what it was to live inside the walls of the apartheid regime in South Africa, a film about poverty and empowerment, a film about how things that we do that seem meaningless might make a way bigger difference than we ever imagine.
Or should you say something about the wonderful music or the beautiful editing or the cinematography? What argument to watch it would they listen to?
Then you shrug and decide not to worry. Maybe this film will, maybe it won’t find a huge audience right now. But even if it won’t – there’s no reason to despair.
“Here’s to Sugar Man!” you say, raising your whisky glass before the final few drops enter your body, starting their hunt for intruders.
It’s time to go to sleep. Tomorrow will be better.
Searching for Sugar Man (Malik Bendjelloul, SWE, 2012) My rating: 5/5