Official Description: Alan Rickman stars as legendary NYC club owner Hilly Kristal, who during the 1970s, wanted to create a venue for country, bluegrass and blues music (thus the name CBGB). When those acts became difficult to book, he shifted the club’s focus to local bands playing original music, launching the careers of Patti Smith, Blondie, the Talking Heads and the Ramones and helping to define New York’s punk scene and changing the face of music.
Unofficial Description: With the recent passing of Alan Rickman, I found myself wanting to watch some of his movies and saw this one on Netflix. I’m glad I did. Such a great movie.
Rickman plays a very deadpan character in Kristal. I’ve no idea if that’s how the man actually was, or if it was something Rickman decided to do, but it worked for me. I love how this movie unfurls slowly, starting with us learning about Kristal’s previous two attempts at owning/running a bar, and then taking us through how he created a club that became legendary. The ‘discovery’ of band after band who we all know and love today, was fantastic. “We’re The Talking Heads… and we live across the street…” The music plays a huge part in this movie, and it’s done really well.
The actress playing Deborah Harry (pictured in the lower left of the dvd cover image above) was probably the only low point for me. I don’t know why, but she just annoyed me. Everyone else, including Ron Weasley as a member of the Dead Boys, rocked.
The music is fantastic, the story compelling – well worth your time.