Courtesy: Virgil Films
Four years ago country music legend Glen Campbell made one of the most difficult announcements of his career if not the single most difficult. The announcement in question was that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Those that know someone with Alzheimer’s or that have known someone with Alzheimer’s know the emotional pain that comes with such an announcement. Knowing that there is no cure for the disease, Campbell decided that he would not go quietly into that good night. Rather, he wanted to go out with a bang before the disease took control of his mind. He went on from there to release one final album and embark on a farewell tour to thank his fans for their years of support. Now thanks to Virgil Films Campbell’s fans can relive that final tour and everything that came with it in the form of the tour documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me. The main reason that this is such a standout documentary is that it isn’t presented like every other tour documentary out there. Rather it is presented more as a tribute to the life and legacy of one of the music industry’s titans. That is just one reason that audiences will find it so compelling. The interviews with Campbell’s counterparts throughout the entertainment industry make the documentary even more intriguing. It isn’t just because his counterparts come from so many different realms of the industry either. The surprising reveal of each celebrity interviewee’s link to Campbell makes the program in whole even more powerful. The final reason that viewers and fans alike will find this presentation so touching and powerful is its editing. The editing is spotless from beginning to end, making for an emotional impact that will move even the strongest person emotionally speaking. It is thanks to the work of those that edited the documentary and prepared it for its release that the interviews and collective footage presented here is so powerful. It brings everything full circle and proves famed Chicago Sun Times writer/critic Richard Roeper completely right in his sentiment that Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me is “one of the most remarkable documentaries in recent years” and that “You do not want to miss this movie.”
Every year, there is any number of new music documentaries distributed to stores and online outlets for viewers to choose from. The problem is that most of those documentaries are little more than space fillers used as to hold fans and fulfill contractual obligations with record labels. Luckily though, for all of those poorly put together pieces, there are the occasional diamonds in the rough that manage to somehow shine through. Virgil Films’ new documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me is one of those diamonds in the rough. This presentation is not just another run of the mill tour documentary. It is a tour documentary. But it is more than that. It is a tribute to the life and legacy of one of the music industry’s titans. That is the central reason for its success. While it does follow Campbell on his final nationwide tour, it offers audiences more than just a presentation following Campbell on said tour. It also follows Campbell off of the road. Viewers get to follow Campbell and his wife as they check in with the doctor to find out how much the disease has progressed. They also get to follow Campbell as he tries to face the reality of his diagnosis within his daily life. What audiences get here is the picture of a brave man; a man who refuses to just give up and give in. Rather, as viewers will see, he chooses to face it head on with a smile and all of the laughs and love that he can give. This includes some of the most difficult times as the disease progresses. The end result of the presentation will have viewers (including even the strongest viewers) both laughing and crying throughout. By the program’s end, viewers will agree that Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me is not just another tour documentary. It is a powerful, moving tribute to a legend that will potentially inspire others with family and friends suffering from that terrible disease.
The overall presentation of Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me makes the documentary stand out head and shoulders above every other music documentary that has been released so far this year. That is because it isn’t just a run of the mill tour documentary churned out to satisfy some label’s contractual obligations. It is a tribute to the life and legacy of a great talent. It’s just one reason that this presentation is such a memorable and moving work. The interviews with Campbell’s family, friends, and counterparts across the entertainment industry make the documentary even more powerful. The interviews in question are with Campbell’s family, friends, and counterparts throughout the entertainment industry. Those counterparts include well-known figures from the country music world such as Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, and Keith Urban as well as some of the rock world’s biggest names including: Bruce Springsteen, Chad Smith, and The Edge among others. Even former President Bill Clinton gets some face time along with famed actor/comedian Steve Martin and other well-known figures from the realms of television and movies. The list of people interviewed throughout the program is within itself plenty of reason to watch the documentary. But it is what the interviewees have to say of Campbell that makes each individual’s discussion so important to the whole of the documentary. Every one of the feature’s interviewees speaks with such reverence for him. They also speak with an increasingly noticeable emotion. The reason for that emotion is revealed in the program’s final minutes. Not to ruin it for anyone but it is revealed that the individuals interviewed for the documentary each had a connection to somebody that was either suffering from Alzheimer’s or that had suffered. So it makes sense that they would each get somewhat choked up in discussing the topic as it related to Campbell. It just brought up memories of their own friends and families. It is that heartfelt emotion displayed by each of the interviewees that really makes each separate segment so powerful. In turn, each of the segments combined makes the presentation in whole that much more moving for viewers.
The interviews collected for Virgil Films’ new Glen Campbell documentary are extremely moving to say the very least. They are so moving not because they feature some of the biggest names from the entertainment world and that of politics, but because of the heartfelt sentiment shared by each individual in discussion what Glen Campbell means to them and how his condition relates to them personally. They, along with everything else presented in this documentary, paint a picture that every person should see regardless of their familiarity with Glen Campbell the man and the musician. Of course without the work of those charged with editing and assembling the presentation ahead of its release, none of that would matter. It is the work of those individuals that rounds out the reasons that audiences will so appreciate this work. Their efforts present Campbell as a strong yet still fragile individual. The footage of Campbell in his childhood set against that of him as an adult, raising his family adds even more of an emotional impact to the overall presentation. Seeing Campbell slowly begin to struggle through his tour yet still fight through it and put on the best show that he can ups that emotional impact even more. Add in the expert balance of each element from beginning to end and viewers will find themselves not wanting to turn off the movie. Like a really good book or any other really good movie, the work of the editors makes this presentation’s near two-hour run time pass by with ease. Viewers won’t realize at all just how much time has passed by the time the movie has ended. They will also find themselves moved possibly deeper than they ever had by any fictional feature released in recent memory. In coming to such realization, audiences will agree that those charged with editing this documentary have succeeded to the highest degree in their jobs and have in turn helped craft what is one of the best music documentaries to be released in many years; a documentary that every viewer should see regardless of their familiarity with Campbell’s body of work.
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me is one of the best music/tour documentaries to be released in recent memory. The work of the movie’s editors coupled with its interviews and the overall approach to the presentation make it a presentation that every viewer should see regardless of their familiarity with Campbell’s body of work. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from Virgil Films’ online store at http://www.virgilfilmsent.com/store/product.php?pid=716. More information on this and other titles from Virgil Films is available online now at:
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