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Following Sean (2004)

tomatometer

90

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

73

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 947

My Rating

Movie Info

A child's perspective on the Haight-Ashbury counterculture of the 1960s informs filmmaker Ralph Arlyck's film concerning the perceptive and precocious four-year-old and his unique perspective on the chaos that was sweeping a nation. A student at San Francisco State University at the time when police in riot gear flooded the campus and revolutionary-minded idealists waxed poetic in the streets, Ralph Arlyck was befriended by a young boy named Sean who would occasionally come down from his

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

Mar 27, 2007

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All Critics (25) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (3) | DVD (4)

Part of the film's charm lies in its evocation of a generational mural that includes old Marxists, flower children and the progeny of red-diaper babies.

May 18, 2006 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What emerges from Arlyck's musings is a penetrating cinematic essay on how generations in the last century struggled to take hold of history and reconfigure the shape of daily life.

May 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
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Arlyck spends more time following himself and his own lefty family than checking up on Sean.

May 3, 2006
New York Post
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Ralph Arlyck's ruminative essay film picks up the trail of Sean Farrell, the former child of San Francisco hippies and the subject of his 1969 short film Sean.

May 2, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Arlyck's compulsion is to our great fortune. Patient and elegant, his film is a quietly devastating meditation on family, work, and the unrelenting passage of time.

May 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Arlyck's new film is an honest and thoughtful examination of the people and events that most influenced his adult life and what the '60s really meant to the bigger picture, viewed with the benefit of hindsight.

April 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While the film is ostensibly a "49 Up" style look at how Sean the child grew into the man, what it really is is a penetrating look at how Arlyck the young man grew into an old one.

April 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

A confused and ridiculous home movie.

April 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

In what has become rather epidemic among U.S. documentary filmmakers, Ralph Arlyck's Following Sean is ultimately more about Ralph Arlyck than its ostensible title subject.

April 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

An uncommonly perceptive look at the counter-culture and the difficulties of preserving a sense of freedom and integrity in American society.

March 30, 2007 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

The people in this film are so genuine, so real and familiar, that the story maintains power even if the form occasionally vexes.

June 16, 2006 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Arlyck is as pleasant and self-effacing a guide as one could ask for through this meandering but still focused work.

May 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Aryck lightly but complicatedly distills our existence into a series of dichotomies (rich/poor, idle/mobile), using his available subjects to tap into the source of what stunts us emotionally and separates us as philosophical beings.

April 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

It's a must-see for documentary lovers.

March 23, 2006 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

... we may see something of our own journey reflected in [the documentary].

January 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Following Sean is an almost shapeless film. But it's clever enough to know that its multiple reflections eventually reveal something profound.

January 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for Following Sean

I HIGHly reccomend this doc to everyone.
August 11, 2007
tsigur

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In the 1960's filmmaker Ralph Arlyck lived for a time in the legendary Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. While there, he befriended a 4-year old boy, Sean Farrell, who he made a documentary about. "Following Sean" is a documentary Arlyck made about his return to San Francisco thirty years later to find out whatever happened to Sean. And the results are not pretty, least of all because Arlyck rips off the "7-Up" series in the process.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]In love with his own droning voice, Arlyck is bitter about his whole experience in San Francisco(he reveals too much about his personal life which only makes him seem a little pathetic) where he was present for history as it was being made, some of it he caught on film.(C'mon, man. At least, admit you had a little fun.)The fact that Sean turns out to be so well-adjusted destroys Arlyck's thesis that the 60's had a toxic legacy.(I do respect him for not romanticizing the era but this is ridiculous.) So, he turns his anger against Sean's father who is a bit of a drifter and takes him to task for his lack of a work ethic. But unless you are a public servant, your life will not be defined by your job.(I would love to sit on a beach all day and write hideously bad poetry but I am too materialistic for my own good.) [/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
November 29, 2007
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Amazing doc. It's got plenty of subjects to examine. Now I wanna see 'Sean'
July 14, 2010
KLFilmmaker

Super Reviewer

interesting perspective on the late 60's and what came out of it.
February 9, 2008
jackamaku

Super Reviewer

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