Life. Support. Music. Sad. Story. Bad. Movie.
The material covered in the documentary Life. Support. Music. could bring any stoic to convulsive tears. The film's subject, Jason Cringler, was a 34-year-old LES clubrock fixture, sought-after session axeman, and expectant father when, at a gig one night, he had a big ol' brain-bleeding aneurysm, leaving his body curled and clenched like a Pompeii victim. The grinding struggle to regain the simplest motor skills was recorded by Jason's medical personnel. Entrusted with this deeply private, wrenching footage, software-happy filmmaker and family friend Eric Daniel Metzgar (previous credits include James Blunt in Kosovo) has made a not-very-good movie marked by his consistent inability to let the material speak for itself. Photos of a young Jason are accompanied by a slightly creepy telegraphic litany of coming-of-age moments ("Parents' divorce. Guitar lessons. Euphoria.") When Jason goes back onstage for a neighborhood crowd, Metzgar voice-overs a streak of purple prose instead of letting the man's playing speak for itself. ("Something exceptional and quite indescribable occurred"—well, you don't need to describe it if you've got the feed from the sound boards.) Jason, for his part, consistently comes off as a low-key guy who, faced with the worst possible of circumstances, chinned-up and did what he had to do, as ever: "We did the gig."
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