Mayor of the Sunset Strip (2004)
Through the glitter and the grunge, from The Monkees to Coldplay, Rodney Bingenheimer--a.k.a. "Rodney on the ROQ"--has reigned over the Los Angeles music scene for over two decades. A constantly evolving fixture as rock fan, journalist, promoter, club owner and radio DJ on KROQ, Bingenheimer has helped advance every adventurous rock mutation--California pop, glam, punk, goth, new wave, alternative--since he first hit the Sunset Strip during its psychedelic 1960s heyday.
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Critic Reviews for Mayor of the Sunset Strip
Has a commercial reach that goes beyond local hero worship thanks in part to an all-star lineup of interviewees, including Cher, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Gwen Stefani and Courtney Love, to name just a few confirmed Rod-heads.
Captures Bingenheimer in all his celeb-fondling glory. But it's a forlorn sight, one the film doesn't turn away from as it arcs from giddy inclusion to lonely pathos.
Feels like an elegy for an aging rock pixie.
At first a wryly comic study of a real-life, shag-topped Zelig ... Hickenlooper's nuanced documentary shifts into far deeper and darker emotional territory once it starts revealing Bingenheimer's heart-wrenching backstory.
Occasionally laughable, often sad, and profoundly evocative of the way we live now, adrift in a culture saturated with celebrity and obsessed by fame.
a great doc but sad as hell
A film that critiques our obsession with celebrity while simultaneously exploiting it.
Wisely switching from film to DV when the setting demands a more subtle camera situation, it's a mature documentary from a veteran of the form.
By the end, I felt neither happy nor sad for Rodney. I enjoyed being in his presence for 90 minutes, but I can't exactly agree that he has a magnetic personality.
Hickenlooper is admittedly not an obsessive rock 'n' roll fan, which is an advantage and a problem. He's able to see the subterranean L.A. demimonde through fresh eyes ...
If Hickenlooper's wistful documentary starts with a short subject, heavier concerns drum in the background.
...a nostalgic merry-go-round. It's quaint, charming, and often entrancing. You're riding the best horse on the ride. And the music couldn't be better.
Fans of rock music will likely be enthralled by the movie's look at various musical movements.
[The movie,] by exploiting its subject's celebrity contacts, runs counter to the unassuming way Bingenheimer cultivated those contacts over the years.
Worth seeing because its odd, self-effacing subject is satisfying by reason of his very emptiness, and more than a little pathetic.
Bingenheimer seems to have outlived his usefulness. Yet, his life stands as a testament to the idea that an average-looking bloke with a can-do attitude and a dream in his heart can rub shoulders with the folks the rest of us only get to read about.
By the time George Hickenlooper's Mayor of the Sunset Strip is over, you won't know whether to envy or pity the subject of this oddly compelling documentary.
Fascinatingly probes society's obsession with celebrity through the lens of one semitragic figure.
A fascinating and sometimes sad documentary about a curious little man and America's obsession with celebrity.
Audience Reviews for Mayor of the Sunset Strip
Rodney Bingenheimer is more of a 'lucky charm to the stars' rather than a 'fame-fucker' like the detestable sexual vampire that is Pamela Des Barres or the egomaniac with a questionable past that is Kim Fowley - Although I quite like Fowley, he's just not as nice as Bingenheimer. Bingenheimer has both the temperament and mannerisms of Andy Warhol and he also is the epitome of Warhol's philosophy, 'famous for 15 minutes' if you will. This is an interesting look into the world of a man who hung around with music legends and possibly influenced them to a degree. It's hard not to like the film because Bingenheimer himself is just so likable.More
what an odd duck of a doc.
Following around this odd charactor who somehow managed to get in with the in crowd back in the 60's - full of so many flat moments (the father and stepmother scenes are enough to make you grind your teeth to nubs; and yes I understand that it is a juxtaposition shining a light on social whatsits - but a little goes a very long way!).
I'm sure that patching together all the archival footage of Rodney hanging out with EVERYBODY who was somebody was a daunting task - but really, these glimses and interviews with the famous are the only interesting bits.
Following Rodney to England as he castes his mother's ashes to the sea, and then the final "what do you want the ending of the film to be" question, are just.... too personal and really not rewarding at all - kind of like the film itself.
There are too many moments where the camera focuses on Rodney as he says... nothing! The scenes with his girlfriend (who stares at the camera as if it's her mortal enemy) are creepy - he talks about her as if she isn't there, and then when she finally speaks it's to inform one and all that she and Rodney are just friends and that she has a "boyfriend" - it all comes off so shallow, especially in light of how the film set her up as the light of his life.
The insights about the music/radio business were just perfect however - what a dog eat dog industry - and I will give Rodney credit that, in this day and age where it's all about payola (money given by the record companies to get air time for a band), he seemed to rise above it - creating superstars simply because he liked what he heard - altruistic and the way it should be - but sadly is not.
It's sad how he now seems to be religated to the back burner - as if the scene has passed him by - the corporate scene perhaps, but not the musical one - and that's what he apparantly is staying true to.
An odd film about an odd man.
This is a haunting documentary about Rodney Biggenheimer's life on the fringe of some of the greatest musical artist's careers from the 60's up through the new millenium.After seeing it the first time,I became transfixed by this odd,tragic little man whose life has centered around connecting with celebbrities and particularly musical icons. I watched it mesmerized many,many more times and remained transfixed by his story.
He was abandoned by his mother as a young teen-actually dropped on the doorstep of a famous actress-to get her autograph.He made his way to the Sunset Strip groupie scene in the 1960's and engratiated himself to some of the most influential musical artists -Bowie,The Rolling Stones,The Monkees,Oasis,No Doubt- the list goes on and on.
One viewing will blow your mind-as the musical backdrop is so rich and varied-encapsulating decades of the evolution of Rock.Subsequent viewings are recommended to explore the psyche of this man-child who is actually credited with bolstering the careers of some of the most influential musicians in rock music.
A poignant,unbelievable story of a little nobody who spent his whole life defining himself in relation to the celebrities with whom he associated.
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