1. The Doors ‘ (Oliver Stone, 1991)
A young Jim Morrison sits on a desert highway in the back of his family’s car. They pass an indigenous American man who dies along the roadside, which has a huge impact on Jim. We see him vaguely reappearing alongside Jim throughout the film.
The movie begins with Jim’s days at the UCLA, where he screens one of his films. Shortly thereafter he meets Ray Manzarek who introduces him to Robby Krieger and John Densmore. The doors have been born.
Jim meets Pamela Courson who was with her boyfriend at a party. Jim follows her home and goes up a tree to her balcony – she soon gets enthralled by his poetic charms. Highly interested in psychedelic drug-induced effects and inspirations, Jim tells his band mates to visit Death Valley. Some people experience their journey better than others such as Krieger, who seems to suffer all the way through.
With their first songs like Light My Fire and The End they’ll take the stage on the Sunset Strip and build a large fan base in no time.
2. `Walk The Line´ (James Mangold, 2005)
Walk The Line opens up to Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix), who sits behind the stage and waits for his infamous gig at the State Prison of Folsom. Sitting next to the table, he’s reminded of his infancy and his brother’s death, Jack.
Jack was trained to become a pastor, but died from the injuries of a chainsaw accident. This made Johnny’s relations with his father Ray even more strained and, as a result, he joined the American Airforce.
When Cash purchased his first guitar in 1952, while still on the base, he began writing songs. After his discharge, he moved with his wife Vivian Liberto to Memphis, Tennessee, and they started a family. Here, he created a band with which he listened to the owner of Sun Records, Sam Philips.
They enter into a contract and start touring like Johnny Cash & The Two. He then meets the singer, June Carter, who was then married to Reese Witherspoon. They spend a great deal of time together, but Johnny doesn’t seem to gain her heart and falls deeper into the downward spiral of drugs and alcohol.
The two of them have been dancing around a Ring of Fire for several years; although June obviously likes Johnny, her misguided actions put her off wishing to establish a serious relationship with him. It turns out, the couple had to walk up and down before meeting finally in the middle, when Johnny proposes to her on stage again and she finally accepts this time.
3. Movies that are Similar to `Almost Famous´
What was your favorite moment Almost Famous? Maybe you don’t want to recognize it, because it was an obvious cheese factor, but I bet it was all their singing to Tiny Dancer in the bus!
If you are looking for something more fun and a little more cheese, however, watch Katie Noonan and David McCormack at the Alex Proyas Garage Days.
Who knows, if they are booted off stage, you might shed a little tear!
4. ‘The Runaways’ (Floria Sigismondi, 2010)
The band film of Floria Sigismondi is a story about its origins.
Kristin Stewart portrays Joan Jett as bandmate Cherie Currie, with Dakota Fanning, as they fight to form a band together.
This is a newborn film with a rock and roll side that goes beyond the adoration of the naive journalist to become a desperation to live in every aspect of life style.
5. ‘Velvet Goldmine’ (Todd Haynes, 1998)
Thinly covered David Bowie stand-in, Brian Slade, fakes the passing of his alterego (a cross between Ziggy Stardust’s lyric death on the homonymous album and his Hammersmith Odeon onstage ending).
However, we only get to know the character when a musical journalist (and a fan of many years) decides to work together through interviews with friends, family and insiders in the record industry.
Cameron Crowe’s cult film features 50 songs and more than doubled Hollywood’s standard music budget.
The ode to glam rock of Todd Haynes doesn’t really meet these levels, but it has many hits from Roxy, Brian Eno and T. Rex.
6. This Is Spinal Tap’ (Rob Reiner, 1984)
There is more to this film than the white suit of John Travolta and a soundtrack of BeeGees (although let’s face it, they’re all really major parts).
Beside the shiny disco lights, on the downside of the Brooklyn Bridge Saturday Night Fever is all about the tough realities of life. Disco gives dancers like Tony Manero an escape, making them an element of something brilliant and exciting, but maybe shaking those problems isn’t easy.
7. This is the backbone tap (Rob Reiner, 1984)
I can’t help giving a mockumentary tour nod
It’s spinal tap. Made in 1984, but it looks like the decline of a so-called legendary 1970s band.
It is inspired by real incidents like Cameron Crowe’s film and somehow captures a mixture of ambition and chaos that dominate the Almost Famous tour.
Instead of finding disappointment, here we can only laugh because the disappointments of the band are not very good. As one critic put it, ‘What day did the Lord create Spinal Tap and on that day he couldn’t rest too?’