CINEMA: ‘A Heavy Metal Grey Gardens

TIME OUT CHICAGO: Like a heavy-metal Grey Gardens, the film depicts the scraggly-headed and scabby-armed singer as a ghost forever haunted by drug abuse and an arena glory that never was. But in a happy twist, the underground metal legend has exorcised enough demons to revive his band and spellbind a new generation with darkly poetic confessions, bug-eyed stage antics and seminal, doom-ridden grind. MORE

INQUIRER: Don Argott and Demian Fenton’s Last Days Here is a rock documentary by the Philadelphia filmmakers who created the Barnes Foundation argument-starter, The Art of the Steal. Their new film focuses on Bobby Liebling, leader of the 1970s doom-metal cult band Pentagram. It starts with scenes shot in 2007, when the now 58-year-old Liebling is a crack-addicted, frizzy-haired waste product living in the “sub-basement” of his parents’ suburban Maryland home. We meet Liebling with Sean Pelletier, a decades younger superfan. Pelletier sees the early 1970s recordings of Pentagram, which one metal maven describes as “a street Black Sabbath” in the movie, as the work of a visionary who “speaks truth that not many people see or know.” After discovering Pentagram’s obscure but abundant oeuvre on old vinyl LPs, the mutton-chopped Pelletier – nicknamed “Pellet” – finds Liebling. He befriends him and becomes his manager, dedicating himself to cleaning up the also heroin-addicted rocker, and getting him back to making music. It’s a dirty job, but one that Pelletier is, at least at first, happy to take on. “I was obsessed with this band,” Pelletier says. For him, working with Liebling “is like being a devout Christian and walking down the street and bumping into Jesus.” MORE


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