Cinema Signal:

Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?:
The Carter Family and Their Legacy in American Music

. "A Mighty Wind"

It's not for nothing that this is being called a "mockumentary." It's comedic spoof; mockery, documentary style, but as a vehicle to mock a phenomenon of the 60's there's considerable affection and accuracy here for that decade's folk craze. For the comedic palate of Christopher Guest who brought us another mocking documentary, "Best in Show" which won an academy award, this one centers on aging troubadours in a revival of their best years of public support.

Those who lived through those years will have more to appreciate in this send-up of folk types, but the dry, straightforward satire suggesting a momentary come-back has laughs, guffaws and nods even for the uninitiate who will recognize a rich comedy when they see one.

The recent death of a folk impresario (Irving Grossman) inspires a reunion of his groups to honor his memory. The event is produced by his son Jonathan (Bob Balaban) and includes such luminaries as the Folksmen (Michael McKean, Guest and Harry Shearer), the commercial New Main Street Singers, and a duo with a lingering emotional legacy (if not baggage), Mitch and Mickey (Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara), which brought to my mind, Sonny and Cher.

The cast sings the songs, archly conceived and written for the satire, suggesting some of the hits of the period but with decidedly less meaning and expression of the times. The cast takes it all as seriously as required to realize the comic intent behind some considerable silliness, but not without some joy at the performances and regard for the phenomenon, if not the material itself. Clearly, mockery is not the operative inspiration here, despite the allusion to a lot of wind in the title.

The cast also mightily includes John Michael Higgins (formerly of Ally McBeal fame), Ed Begley, Jr., Jane Lynch, the inimitable Parker Posey (on banjo) and a Guest mainstay, Fred Willard.

This singular style of invention, patented by Christopher Guest (co-written by him and Eugene Levy) for our amusement and joy, has brought us another bellyfull of hilarity in a sly mode of lampooning understatement. And, in this instance, he evokes the store of sentiment all us folkies remember and retain. We who lived through the craze salute his wit and (hopefully) support this film.

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                                      ~~  Jules Brenner  

The Soundtrack album
1. Old Joe's Place - The Folksmen
2. Just That Kinda Day - The New Main Street Singers
3. When You're Next To Me - Mitch & Mickey
4. Never Did No Wanderin' - The Folksmen
5. Fare Away - The New Main Street Singers
6. One More Time - Mitch & Mickey
7. Loco Man - The Folksmen
8. The Good Book Song - The New Main Street Singers
9. Skeletons Of Quinto - The Folksmen
10. Never Did No Wanderin' - The New Main Street Singers
11. The Ballad Of Bobby And June - Mitch & Mickey
12. Blood On The Coal - The Folksmen
13. Main Street Rag - The New Main Street Singers
14. Start Me Up - The Folksmen
15. Potato's In The Paddy Wagon - The New Main Street Singers
16. A Kiss At The End Of The Rainbow - Mitch & Mickey
17. A Mighty Wind - The Folksmen,Mitch & Mickey,The New Main Street Singers
18. When You're Next To Me - Mitch & Mickey (Video)

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Valeria Golino
Italian mother and wife with troubles

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