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The Holy Modal Rounders: Bound to Lose

The Holy Modal Rounders: Bound to Lose (2006)


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Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0



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Movie Info

Filmmakers Paul Lovelace and Sam Wainwright Douglas invite viewers to follow the tale of two true American originals in this documentary detailing the collaboration between fiddler Pete Stampfel and guitarist Steve Weber -- aka the Holy Modal Rounders. It was during "The Great Folk Scare" of the early 1960s that these two eccentric souls collided in New York's Greenwich Village, and their partnership was soon solidified thanks to a mutual appreciation for American roots music and early

Nov 4, 2008

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All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (0)

As much the chronicle of an era as of a band, The Holy Modal Rounders ... Bound to Lose casts an affectionate eye on the kind of hedonism no one is meant to survive.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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They [Rounders] stand as perhaps the truest heirs to the Harry Smith Anthology's wild and woolly Americana‚"a point Sam Wainwright Douglas and Paul C. Lovelace's affectionate doc makes with a minimum of fuss and lots of bawdy hilarity.

December 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
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A truly mad tale of a band that began as a loose amalgamation out of the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early '60s and managed to keep getting back together for reunions and revivals until 2005.

November 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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Charged with alternating currents of affection, exuberance and ineffable melancholy, The Holy Modal Rounders ... Bound to Lose offers an intriguing overview of the cult-fave combo.

January 31, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The humor and eccentricity of the band members should prevent a "Who cares?" response, and the twist that occurs in the final section of the piece will keep every viewer mesmerized.

December 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Another "what ever happened to" type documentary. Always fascinating to see how personal flaws and the corrupt star-making machinery of the capitalist entertainment industry present obstacles to fame and fortune.

December 8, 2007 Full Review Source:

Among the recent wave of music documentaries on the marginally infamous, this video history gets its juice from a love-hate affair with the vibe of a graying boho remake of The Sunshine Boys.

December 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

It might be the first movie about the psychedelic generation told from the point of view of the doddering seniors they have become.

November 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Audience Reviews for The Holy Modal Rounders: Bound to Lose

I suppose as a definitive history of the band, this fails on several levels. But, as a portrait of where the members of the band are now, and as a small tribute to their talent and influence, this is as good as it gets. I remember just about wearing out an early copy of the Moray Eels Eat the Holy Modal Rounders back in the day, and it was fun seeing who was responsible for that wonderful piece of subversive electrified psychedelic folk-rock mayhem. Even as decrepit as Steve Weber appears, the man can still pick a mean guitar and chew through the intricate lyrics of some real Rounder chestnuts. This was fun. They can't sing, they're not very good looking, but man can they put a smile on the face! If you aren't familiar with their music, or that of their earlier band, The Fugs, you might not find this as rewarding as this viewer did, but I would encourage anyone who appreciates old-time country and counter-culture folk to give them a listen, and a look-see. The bonus material was terrific. Nearly an hour of mostly live performances, with a little commentary thrown in. Artistes to you, you punk chumps!
January 9, 2009
Mark Abell

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