While there aren't many films shot on Super 8 anymore, It's About You, a documentary that isn't really about John Mellencamp's 2009 No Better Than This tour, doesn't make the case that moviegoing is missing anything because of that.
The title It's About You is something Kurt Markus claims Mellencamp told him when he commissioned the film. With the elder Markus' self-important, egotistical narration rarely shutting up, it was a fairly prophetic remark.
May 8, 2013First you must realize this a documentary. Second, you will probably be watching it because you enjoy John Mellencamp. And finally, you tendFirst you must realize this a documentary. Second, you will probably be watching it because you enjoy John Mellencamp. And finally, you tend to watch rock n roll artists perform live. Well, this movie will help you realize all three in it's relatively short 86 minutes. So here's what makes it "better than the average" rock star documentary. John is so down to earth in life and certainly maintains his own character during the film. He challenges Kurt Markus to film the documentary. Markus had never done a feature film. To make it even more of a challenge, but in the name of simplicity, John wants it on 8mm film and tells Kurt that the film is "All about you." So Kurt hires his 21 hear old son Ian to help him and off we go.
The journey takes you on tour with Mellencamp as he performs old hits as well as songs from the album, "No Better Than This (2010)". But what makes this movie simply wonderful is not just the music but Kurt Markus's narration. He admits that he has all this photography and audio equipment, but all he wants to do is write. It's his 62 years and mission to please John that he tells a story that allows his word and John's music to enhance the photography instead of the film attempting to enhance the music. It's sincere, passionate, and you feel his chills as they play in historic venues that represent the origins of rock, blues, and Americana. The moments spent at Sun Records in Memphis alone gave me goosebumps when Mellencamp gets excited about standing on the "X" where Elvis stood and recorded. And hearing John get all grumpy in the scene where he and the gang are recording in the same room as Robert Johnson.
I did two things after watching this movie. I went in and pulled up songs by Robert Johnson and T Bone Burnett just to hear them play. Then the rest of the evening, I just listened to John Mellencamp. In my opinion a good documentary leaves you want to know even more this one earns my 8.… Full Review »
Jun 29, 2012It's About You, a doc following one of John Mellencamp's tours while he records a new album isn't so much a concert movie (which have beenIt's About You, a doc following one of John Mellencamp's tours while he records a new album isn't so much a concert movie (which have been springing up more and more so in recent) as it is a trip across western America. Now I, who had little knowledge of Mellencamp before viewing the film, found the movie's focus to be directed much less on him and more on the grayscale shots of the trip shot through a Super 8 camera, which both makes it distinctive and hurts the documentary. It's About You is mostly not too bad otherwise, save for the narration by Markus. He comes off as humbled by the task before him, but also a bit too self-focused and uninteresting. If he had let the film play out without him, featuring only an opening narration, and focused solely on John, the film would have played out more audience-pleasing. It really shouldn't have been about him.… Full Review »