Projections - Movie Reviews

Rock School

Rated: R
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: June 3, 2005 Released by: Newmarket Films

Jack Black's Dewey Finn from The School of Rock would get a kick out of Paul Green and the new quirky, often hilarious documentary Rock School. This exuberant headmaster who molds the minds of nine to 17 year-olds has quite a personality who can joke and play act with the best of teachers. He is the antithesis of someone like John Houseman's attorney professor in The Paper Chase, but can induce the same result.

Don Argott's intriguing chronicle could be a nice companion piece to the well-received Richard Linklater film. In Green's own School of Rock, he pushes the aspiring musicians, sweating, scolding, and cajoling with them. He wants them to be able to handle the complex arrangements of musicians like Frank Zappa and Black Sabbath. It reaches a rousing climax with Green and some of his best charges playing in Germany's Zappanale festival with Zappa wannabes and cover bands.

Rock School has an emotional edge from what Green does to teach and showing him as a loving father and husband and a musician for a short time. But the nimble camerawork makes the kids wailing away at their instruments (or vocalizing) something quite engaging. Among the standouts are Madi, an aspiring singer, Will, a depressed wisecracker who finds sanctuary in the school, and young twins Asa and Tucker who are supported by their mother when doing covers for Ozzy Osbourne.

Argott has made a small film with a big, often loud heart that highlights atypical methods that translate into images that make hard work and dedication something special that a parent would cherish in their archives.

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Rock School       B       B

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