A.K.A. DOC POMUS (William Hechter, Peter Miller). 98 minutes. Sunday (June 16), 1 pm.
NXNE FILM FESTIVAL tonight (Thursday, June 13) through Sunday (June 16) at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (504 Bloor West) and various other locations. NXNE wristband, NXNE Film wristband, NXNE Priority Pass or $10 per screening. nxne.com/film. Rating: NNNN
Born in 1925, Jerome Solon Felder was a beefy Jewish kid from Brooklyn, forced to use crutches as the result of a childhood bout of polio. Felder took the name Doc Pomus when he sang in blues clubs in the 40s so his mother wouldn't be embarrassed. He never really broke out as a performer, but he found great success as a songwriter, penning early pop hits like A Teenager In Love, This Magic Moment and, with his frequent collaborator Mort Shuman, Save The Last Dance For Me and Viva Las Vegas.
A.K.A. Doc Pomus is a standard rockumentary that employs talking heads, still photos and archival footage (including several TV interviews with Felder, who died in 1991) to track his impact on decades of rock and roll history.
The music is terrific, and the story almost as compelling. And any doc that puts the stellar There Must Be A Better World back in circulation deserves the highest praise.