Monday, April 29, 2019
Nate Hood's 400 words on All I Can Say (2019) Tribeca 2019
Hoon himself was as much Gen X martyr as Kurt Cobain, emptying himself of his fears, self-hatreds, and anxieties while slowly self-destructing both on and off stage. Much like Cobain, Hoon kept a diary through his active years as a musician. But whereas Cobain’s was a physical journal, Hoon’s took the form of a collection of Hi-8 footage in a sprawling home-video archive shot from 1990 to 1995.
In All I Can Say, filmmakers Danny Clinch, Taryn Gould, and Colleen Hennessy curate this footage into a portrait of depression, loneliness, and Clinton-era ennui. We watch as he escapes a dead-end life of blue-collar drudgery in rural Indiana for sunny Los Angeles, forming a band of like-minded musicians who make such an immediate impression they get a record deal with Tower Records while only having five recorded songs. The joy of their success deteriorates as they begin an endless succession of touring, interviews, video shoots, and recording sessions, their soft-spoken lead singer devolving into a drug-fueled mess, doing smack and LSD before shows, urinating on concert crowds, and running around onstage naked.
The footage reveals a pained introvert, one who talked to his camera directly as a confessor, confidant, and conspirator. He was a man of deep feelings, equally affected by witnessing the aftermath of a young woman’s suicide after a show as the news of Jerry Garcia’s death. Both elegy and unintentional suicide note, the film is one of the most devastating archival collages playing this year’s Tribeca festival.