Mayor of the Sunset Strip (2004)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: A fascinating, poignant look at the cult of celebrity.


Movie Info

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.

Rating: R (for sexual content/nudity, language and some drug references)
Genre: Musical & Performing Arts , Documentary
Directed By:
Written By: George Hickenlooper
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 17, 2004
Runtime:
First Look Pictures - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Mayor of the Sunset Strip

All Critics (85) | Top Critics (33)

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.

August 10, 2004
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 21, 2004
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Creepily entertaining.

Full Review… | May 6, 2004
Slate
Top Critic

Feels like an elegy for an aging rock pixie.

April 30, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | April 30, 2004
Toronto Star
Top Critic

a great doc but sad as hell

July 5, 2008

Audience Reviews for Mayor of the Sunset Strip

½

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.

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SirPant
Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

½

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.

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maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

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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alush1
Audrey Lush

Super Reviewer

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