RockWrite Blog: It's About You Opens In LA January 6 - Review

Rockwrite Blogspot By Robert Kinsler

I can think of few music-minded documentaries that have left me thinking as much about the fusion of art and fame, the frailty of America – and even life itself – as It's About You, a fascinating look at so much more than its subject, singer-songwriter John Mellencamp.

It's About You opens in New York today, and in Los Angeles on Jan. 6, 2012.
Directed by acclaimed photographer Kurt Markus and his son, Ian Markus, the film chronicles Mellencamp on tour in the summer of 2009 and during those already-legendary recording sessions for his outstanding 2010 album No Better Than This.

And while the film has previously been shown as a kind of opening act at some of Mellencamp's concert dates and at the SXSW festival in 2011, It's About You is an important film that will likely divide fans of both independent film making and Mellencamp so is worth exploring here on Rock 'n' Roll Truth.

This is a 79-minute documentary with virtually no interviews. Indeed, the project began as a kind of creative duel between Mellencamp and Kurt Markus, with the legendary rocker insisting that the film be about Markus, and the legendary photographer (Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, GQ, The New York Times Magazine) adamant that the documentary be about Mellencamp.

In the end, the film sheds its light and shadows on both men and discerning viewers are the better for it.

During his stage performances, as well as in those magical recording sessions around a single microphone at Sun Studios in Memphis, the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia and in Room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas where bluesman Robert Johnson recorded in the 1930s, it is Mellencamp who takes center stage.

But elsewhere via his articulate narration, powerful black & white photographs, and the wealth of beautifully grainy 8mm footage capturing decaying cities, dying small towns and lonely highways in America's heartland, it is Kurt Markus' voice that emerges loud and clear.
Life is an adventure to be lived.

It's About You is now playing at the IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue at West Third Street in New York. Click here for more information, including showtime and ticket price information.

Beginning Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, It’s About You (not rated) is showing at Laemmle’s Music Hall 3, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA. Call 310-478-3836 or visit visit for more information.