SONG SUNG BLUE (D: Greg Kohs, U.S.). 87 minutes. Friday (April 18), 9 pm, Bloor; Sunday (April 20), 7:15 pm, ROM. Rating: NNNNN
This fascinating, mesmerizing shambles of a movie is a portrait of the delirious love between Michael and Claire Sardina, who performed as Lightning and Thunder for 17 years. He impersonated Neil Diamond, and she sang the occasional Patsy Cline number. They were world-famous in Milwaukee and played with Pearl Jam (sort of) at a 1995 music festival, though real fame eluded them. The set-up sounds like a conventional up-from-obscurity rockumentary -- you know, the one where nobodies play with Pearl Jam and then end up becoming happy and successful. But this one goes in an entirely different direction. It digs deeply into the psychology of the marginal celebrity and explores the way dreams of glory can blind people to the realities of day-to-day life.
Also, Eddie Vedder gets a lifetime pass for the empathy and kindness he shows here.