Los Angeles Times: John Mellencamp It's About You Movie Review
Los Angeles Times By Gary Goldstein
For someone who's never directed a movie before, Kurt Markus sure has the eye of
a filmmaker. His past as a successful photographer, whose work has appeared in
Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and in ad campaigns for BMW and Nike, serves him
extremely well in the evocative
Mellencamp: It's About You," co-directed by Markus' son, Ian.
In 2009, the Markus men, armed with Super 8 and still cameras, followed
singer-songwriter John Mellencamp on a concert tour and on album recording
sessions across the South and Midwest. Although they kept a respectful distance
from Mellencamp (a kind of you-do-your-thing-I'll-do-mine arrangement was
seemingly struck), the Markuses nonetheless captured a unique intimacy with the
gruffly charismatic rocker.
The result is an unhurried, visually compelling look at a man and his music — as
well as of a bygone America filled with shuttered downtowns and the ghosts of
such late musicians as
Elvis Presley and blues pioneer Robert Johnson. For Mellencamp fans, there
are stirringly rendered performances of such hits as "Pink Houses," "Small Town"
and, especially, "Crumblin' Down."
Ultimately, Kurt Markus, whose low-key narration punctuates the journey, seems
to have learned as much about himself as about his titular subject — while
enjoyably enlightening viewers about both.