Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt (2005)
Steve Earle offered to "stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots" to declare him the world's greatest songwriter. In concert, Lucinda Williams often dedicates "2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten" to him. Artists, as diverse as Emmylou Harris and The Meat Puppets, have recorded his songs. The late Townes Van Zandt was the kind of artist who is always more famous dead than alive. Born into wealth, Townes was an outsider from the get-go. Clinical depression steered the ragged course as did his appetite for drugs and alcohol. Determined to be a success, Townes eventually had a hit. The royalty checks were welcome, but this mainstream cameo seems to have been awkward for him, and there's tangible discomfort and detachment from it all. … More
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Critic Reviews for Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt
[An] honest, sobering and poignant tribute to a tortured talent who died young and left behind a treasure chest of songs.
A documentary that in its spirit and feel catches some of the vulnerability and naive optimism of its subject, Van Zandt.
A less-than-satisfying examination of the country singer's art, career and demons.
Rather than connecting all the chronological dots, Brown has fashioned Van Zandt's balm-to-the- brokenhearted legacy into potent cinematic poetry.
A sobering but compassionate look at a man who ultimately might have been even more troubled than gifted.
While the film lacks polish, there's enough good material and good performances to keep everything on track.
Loving but unflinching documentary on celebrated singer and songwriter Townes Van Zandt.
He may not have been a good guy, but fellow musicians tend to focus on his work and they can't say enough good things about his talent. They sing his praises and sing his songs.
Van Zandt comes across as humble, witty, empathetic, sympathetic and very, very gifted.
Manages a pretty fair portrait of Van Zandt and his personal demons, pressures and joys.
Brown weaves together audio footage and taped interviews that show a man whose proximity to death had calcified into a sharp blade of self-deprecating wit.
...required viewing for Van Zandt fans, probably required for country music fans, and even of interest to those with no great affection for either.
Unlike many music documentaries, this is not a drab, talking-heads affair but a portrait assembled from evocative images and songs.
Vivid yet impressionistic, Margaret Brown's film tribute to the singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt brings the late musician and his career into rare focus.
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