All I Can Say is an intimate portrait of a rock star who died with much still to say

Rock band Blind Melon emerged from the Los Angeles smog in 1990 and were part of the West Coast grunge scene that birthed Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Their stoner-branded blues, neo-psychedelic-folk rock capitalized heavily on the lyrics and vocal talents of Indiana-born frontman Shannon Hoon, whose frail, Neil Young-esque lilts inspired them with the single No Rain, a trembling anthem by 1993, brought to global prominence for the ordinary they would never surpass.

Hoon’s death from a cocaine overdose in October 1995 at the age of 28 came 18 months after Kurt Cobain’s suicide, which rocked the band mid-tour and set off the spirited Hoon’s self-destructive spiral; Her second album, Soup, peaked at number 28 on the US Billboard chart. They were essentially dumped by industry. And yet, for some grunge fans, the band is a cult legend, while Hoon is a straggly-haired hippie prophet whose influence is sorely underestimated by the music press.

The documentary All I Can Say unusually claims Hoon as one of its directors. The reason is simple: most of it was shot by him, from 250 hours of camcorder footage he shot against himself and his bandmates between 1990 and 1995. This type of video diary was not necessarily intended to chronicle the band’s rise to fame, but rather served a more private function: there are many moments of loneliness on Hoon’s part, such as B. brushing your teeth or just hanging out with your dog at home. He urinates often.

It takes us to just hours after his death, when on a phone call with his girlfriend Lisa in a New Orleans hotel room, he sprawls: He mentions their daughter Nico and his fear of being gone when she could say the word for the first time .

The other three renowned directors, Colleen Hennessy, Taryn Gould and Danny Clinch, have pulled off an impressive feat here. No intrusive significance needs to be attached to Hoon’s departure, as the portrait they build – oddly with his complicity – gets us there. Her technique, which embraces the perturbations of the Hi8 material in moments of rupture and even the blueness of a blank volume, is skillfully impressionistic; the storytelling is sure-footed through all of the band’s ups and downs.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/can-say-review-intimate-portrait-rock-star-died-much-still-say/ All I Can Say is an intimate portrait of a rock star who died with much still to say


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