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The Rainbow Man/John 3:16
The Rainbow Man/John 316
Actors: Diane Lane, Laura Dern, Ray Winstone, Paul Cook, Paul Simonon
Directors: Sam Green, Sarah Jacobson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
NR     2005     1hr 10min

Millions of Americans have seen Rollen Frederick Stewart, a.k.a. "Rainbow Man", who achieved notoriety during the late 70's by appearing in the crowd at thousands of televised sporting events wearing his trademark rainbow-...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Diane Lane, Laura Dern, Ray Winstone, Paul Cook, Paul Simonon
Directors: Sam Green, Sarah Jacobson
Creators: Federico Salsano, Sam Green
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Drama
Studio: Other Cinema
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 01/25/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 10min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
Edition: Collector's Edition
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

"Society is bigoted towards Jesus Christ and I'm their scape
Dymon Enlow | 02/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Short (41 minutes) and very interesting documentary about how strange life can really be.

Rollen was born into a crappy family and later after a crappy marriage he began smokin' lots of weed and decided to make himself into a celebrity by acting like an ass while wearing a rainbow colored afro wig at nationally televised sporting events. Strange thing is it worked, kinda.

For eight years Rollen drove back and forth across the country 60,000 miles a year living in his car and begging for free tickets. Sometime along the way the lonely Rollen saw a late-night religious program about the apocalypse and replaced his Rainbow Man shtick for the John 3:16 shtick.

Driving all those miles, Rollen must have hit one too many potholes and knocked a screw loose cause he became convinced that the rapture was gonna happen soon (like this week) and that he needed to warn as many people as possible now. And what's the best way to get a large audience fast? Why set off some bombs then kidnap a hotel maid and hold her captive you silly goose!

Sentenced to three life sentences Rollen doesn't look too good and his eyes look a little blank, but man he sure can spout off some hilarious jibber jabber."
Tears Of A Clown
R. Epstein | USA | 08/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you've ever wondered if television, particularly religious programming or reality TV, could actually brainwash people, well ... here's the proof. Of course, the mind must be ripe for it. A life of loneliness and exclusion can lead to intense feelings of alienation. The more alienated one feels, the more one needs to have an identity and purpose that makes one's separation from society seem as though they are supposed to be different from everyone else for a reason. That need and sense of heightened reality can become almost pathological when mixed with drugs or TV. Enter Rollen Stewart, a man desperately searching for an identity and a purpose. The identity came via being a TV star. What better way for the world to notice you than by making yourself appear in the background of every sporting event? The way Stewart decided to call attention to himself was by being a clown. Harmless enough. The sense of purpose unfortunately, was sparked by an evangelical TV show decrying the end of the world. The clown persona gradually turned into an angry prophet, who now is in a state prison still waiting for the end of the world. His crime (which you'll see in the film) was not terribly bad, since no one was hurt. What's sad is that the man should be in a mental institution instead of a prison. What's more sad though, is the fact that someone with such sensitivities and audaciousness might have found a healthy path for himself had he not been exposed too much drugs, too much TV and too much negative religion. The documentary is formidable in the way it packs a great deal of thought and energy into a mere 30 minutes. By the end, I kept thinking of "Bowling for Columbine", where Moore showed how the media (especially the news and reality TV), can create a world that's extremely vile and threatening. It's enough to overwhelm anyone into despair!

Included in the DVD are three short films by the same filmmakers, and they are also extremely well-made. The first film focuses on a movie about an all-girl punk band in the early 80s (I saw it a long time ago and remember liking it). The second film is a brief look at a guerilla street theater group in 1969 who attacked patrons of the San Francisco Film Festival with pies (how I wish they'd do that at Sundance!) - a great jazz score on that one. The third film is a very brief but interesting look at passengers on a night train in the sickly, aqua-green glow of a hermetically sealed society. Also, there's a trailer for "The Weather Underground", a documentary that I saw last year and is definitely worth renting! I'm very anxious to see what else these guys come up with!
Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 02/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)


If you're a certain age, you may recall watching sporting events on TV and suddenly noticing a guy in the stadium with a rainbow colored Afro wig. THE RAINBOW MAN/JOHN 3:16 (Facets/Other Cinema) is Sam Green's fascinating look at the troubled life and crimes of Rollen Frederick Stewart aka "Rainbow Man."

What started out as a freaky, self-promoting stunt at hundreds of televised sporting events, morphed into something else when Stewart became a "born-again" Christian and started wearing a T shirt with "John 3:16" stenciled on it.

In the stands and on the sidelines at thousands of events, he watched a battery powered TV so he knew when to drop a banner from a rail or dance on his seat at just the right time and place to be televised.

Stewart's intrepid, single-minded pursuit of the TV camera as a means of spreading "the message" of Jesus' love became an obsession about an approaching apocalypse. Stewart, who watched TV preachers, news and reality type shows like "Cops" and "Hard Copy" when he was off camera, believed time was running out for mankind. He left his marriage, lived out of his car and roamed the country making his gonzo TV appearances where millions of viewers saw him. In one case his life was threatened by a TV producer.

In desperation, he bungled a kidnapping and held a hotel maid hostage demanding hours of network TV time to spread a final warning before he would release his captive. He was captured and sentenced to three life terms.

Stewart speaks directly to the camera in what appears to be a prison interview. His rant remains the same: "The end of the age has arrived." There's a resigned look on his face but a glint of the true believer remains his eyes. As I watched this strangely compelling documentary, I kept thinking: The world is crazier than ever -- what if Rainbow Man is right?