Directed by: Wes Schuck
Premise: A documentary about a group of bands crossing the country in an attempt to get to a musical showcase in the spring of 2006.
What Works: The Curse of the Blessed is at its best when the film focuses on the journey of these musicians and delves into their desire to create music and live the rock and roll lifestyle. Andy Carroll, vocalist and bass guitarist for Big Brother Bad, makes some very astute comments about life as a struggling musician and the film could use a lot more of this. Many of the musicians are likeable enough and they provide a sufficient amount of humor as the musicians make light of their situation, like when one gives an impromptu tour of one of the band’s RV.
What Doesn’t: If any one weakness prevails in The Curse of the Blessed, it is the film’s haphazard organization. The film lacks a coherent narrative that strings its sequences together, and viewers who do not know anything about the bands will likely be lost because it is unclear who these people are, where they are going, or why. The film attempts to mend this with a fictional narrator known as The Muse, but he speaks in a half drunken, burned-out-hippie dialect that doesn’t give him much credibility as an omnipotent spirit. The Curse of the Blessed also has too many tangents that don’t lead anywhere, such as an extended sequence at the beginning where band members decide who will ride where. As a result, the journey does not steer the audience toward a climax. Once the bands do arrive at their location, the journey does not have much of a pay off. The scenes of the bands playing, although well shot, are truncated and end the film on a dubious note, despite some of the interesting interviews with band members in the latter part of the film.
Bottom Line: The Curse of the Blessed is a flawed film. Its goal is to introduce the audience to some new bands and explore life on the road. For the most part, the film accomplishes that, but its hit and miss organization hurts it too much.
Episode: #166 (November 11, 2007)