Directed by: #JustinConnor
Written by: Justin Connor
The Golden Age Movie Review
Heavier and loaded with more pathos than your average rockumentary, filmmaker Justin Connor's musical The Golden Age is as meditative as it is tragic. Far from the outlandish antics of This Is Spinal Tap or the mile-a-minute crudeness of Get Him to the Greek, Connor takes us on a journey through one man's existential crisis.
Connor plays the lead role of Maya O'Malley, a singer-songwriter whose rise to fame is quickly followed by pariah status after making controversial comments about religion. We see the toll that popularity, success, and failure have on Maya as he attempts numerous ways to find inner peace, including, somewhat ironically, religion.
There is a contemplative atmosphere which settles on The Golden Age fairly quickly and refuses to ease until the final credits roll. Once audiences realise this piece is more sombre than silly, and that the jokes are not going to be rolling in, they can instead prepare themselves to be immersed by Connor's narrative of personal tragedy and intimate drama. By exploring themes of loss and father issues using both dialogue and performances, Maya's story gets relayed as an ethereal tapestry of his soul rather than just talking head interviews (which are also present).
The #filmmaking is used to further enhance this multilayered approach to the #biopic structure. Connor is playful with his use of multiple screens, many of which simply contain Maya making a single noise that contributes to a larger musical piece that is building in the background. This is expertly done throughout the film and provides viewers with numerous musical numbers to be enraptured by. It was a shame the plot felt a little underwhelming in the final third but this was a tale of self discovery and self healing rather than any rags to riches loop.
Quite literally a one-man-band, Justin Connor proves himself to be capable of playing pretty much every instrument (literally and figuratively). And it is wonderful to say that this extraordinary amount of involvement with the film, filling so many roles, does not detract from the overall enjoyment factor. The Golden Age doesn't go to extreme lengths to discuss the central character's vulnerability or tragedy. There are no exploitative rehab scenes or excessive hijinks from Maya. We are swept away on a fairly safe and predictable melody but with few bum notes and an infusion of captivating highlights.