Wow Is That Guy Full Of Himself??????????????
Bopplayer | MN | 12/14/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's sad to see kids berated by a goon who is in love with himself. I'm not saying these kids should be babied, but this guy is ridiculous. I'm a twenty year working musician and i've met a thousand Paul Greens."
Zappa fans, check this out!
P. Flannigan | Edgewater, Colorado | 02/15/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I rented this movie under the advice of a coworker and was a little bothered at first because it seemed to drag on with no real direction. One thing I did like was that the teacher set Frank Zappa's music as the highest bar to reach at the school. In the end the kids get to go to Germany and play at a Zappa fest called "Zappanale". Napoleon Murphy Brock joins the kids (between nine and seventeen years old) for "Inca Roads". And they do a fantastic job! If you are a Zappa fan I think you would probably enjoy this movie as much as I did. Just stick with it to the end."
"I'm probably not qualified to teach, but...I'm a really goo
Connoisseur Rat | 02/04/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So says Rock School founder and tyrannical teacher Paul Green, and for the rest of this documentary we are left to determine just which part of that statement we think is more true. Thankfully, the filmmakers help us by providing plenty of evidentiary "exhibits" on both sides of the argument, from which we the audience/jurors can make a final judgment.
And to his credit and/or detriment, Paul Green himself has certainly not suppressed any of the evidence. Early on, he states: "As this movie will show, I'm not that good at editing myself when people with pens and recording devices are around," in what is simultaneously a nice moment of self-awareness as well as The Understatement of the Year.
Because by this point in the film, we've already seen him tell a demure teenaged girl that she looks like "a future heroin addict," another girl that if she messes up he'll "punch her in the face" and repeatedly ask a young boy if he "loves Satan" (the correct answer apparently being "yes"). And we're not even halfway through the picture yet!
Thus, when early on we meet a frail, sickly student who has already by his own admission attempted suicide many times and describes himself as "barely alive," one can't help but think, "Should someone as seemingly unbalanced as Paul Green really be this much of an influence on children, let alone fragile kids like this one?"
Such is the set up and narrative tension of the film, and I found it to be quite compelling and even somewhat suspenseful. We wonder what will happen to some of these kids as they prepare for a big gig in Germany playing the complex music of Frank Zappa.
A lot has been made of Paul's behavior in reviews of the film (and rightfully so); frankly, the fact that he uses the f word in front of nine year olds is the least of the problems. Even worse, to me, is that he injects toxic mini-doses of sexism and homophobia into his teachings. He tells guitarist CJ, when playing, to not "look at your fingers - only girls look at their fingers." And, in one of the deleted scenes featured on the DVD, he tells a girl singing a George Michael song to pretend, "Your dreams have come true - you have boobies now. And now you can sleep with straight men, which is what you like to do anyway." Lovely.
Cataclysmic behavioral indiscretions aside, what made Paul's behavior fascinating for me was trying to figure out his motivation - is he like the frustrated ex-athlete dad berating his kid at Little League, desperate to vicariously recapture or transcend former glory? Or does he genuinely care about these kids?
When he says, "my only interest in these kids is to get them to be as good as possible and then to get them in front of as many people as possible," does he want that for them or for him? And do the kids themselves come out better or worse from having been exposed to his influence and this experience?
Though some my answers to those questions have been made apparent in this review, I think what proves this to be a well-made documentary is the fact that I have read such wide-ranging opinions of the man and his methods in the reviews of this film. And to me, that indicates that the filmmakers have truly struck a skillful balance in their portrayal of Paul, his school and his students. It's a compelling yet unbiased presentation of facts and scenes, from which many conclusions can be drawn.
So strap yourself in for this sometimes-turbulent ride, and have fun making up your own mind."