GFF 2013: Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me
Nothing Can Hurt Me tells the story of Memphis power pop icons Big Star in a very conventional music-doc manner, complete with all the expected genre hallmarks: musician fans pop up to sing the band’s praises (with talking heads including REM’s Mike Mills and Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor); archive footage strives to give a sense of why so many still care so deeply; and those party to events (including members Jody Stephens and the late Andy Hummel) offer first-hand testimonials that together build a portrait of the band’s successes and failures.
But while the format is routine, the execution is first-rate, skirting hagiography and comprehensively essaying not only Big Star’s all-too-brief existence, but also the band’s extended family tree – from frontman Alex Chilton’s time in the Box Tops through to his perplexing solo ventures; from cowriter Chris Bell’s early steerage to posthumous masterpiece I am the Cosmos. The results should satisfy both long-term acolytes and those newly curious of Big Star’s timeless artistry. [Chris Buckle]