Blaze – Sydney Underground Film Festival Review

'Blaze' 'Blaze'

“I don’t want to be a star,” Blaze Foley says as he rides in the back of a pick-up truck with his girlfriend toward the big city. “I want to be a legend.”

The difference between the two is that stars burn out. But legends, they live forever.

It’s stereotypical and cheesy, but it’s genuinely Blaze Foley; a country blues singer who died just as his career was starting.

Was he a star? Maybe he was building up to be. But in the eyes of his peers, his friends and his lover, he was a legend in more ways than one.

Large and imposing on the outside, his heart is as big as his talent in this biopic, which is based on a biography by his wife Sybil Rosen, who he met while in an artist’s commune.

She was a budding actress and he was a man with a guitar. Within moments of meeting their love blossomed and she became his muse. They moved into a secluded treehouse to hone their talents, finally taking to Texas when his music was ready for the world.

Hardships follow as the internal struggle of an artist trying to make it big weadles its way onto the small stage. Director Ethan Hawke crafts it all with due care, paying homage to the man with a film as gritty as the bars Blaze plays and as thoughtful as the drawl that spills from his mouth.

But he’s not to be outdone by newcomer, Benjamin Dicky who does an impeccable job conveying the teddy bear within Blaze. He’s profound in his words and tender in his relationships, supporting Sybil in her action pursuits and staying loyal to his friends and to the music until the end.

Sydney Underground Film Festival takes place at Factory Theatre from 13-16 September.


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