August 29, 2008

Townes Van Zandt wants you to be here to love him

And by “here” I mean in front of your computer, because now you can watch the entire 2004 film for free from those SnagFilms folks (like the Dandys/BJM one). Rad.

Perhaps one of the most underrated songwriters of the last century, Be Here To Love Me chronicles the fascinating and often turbulent life of Townes Van Zandt with a simple unpredictability that mimics the way the artist lived his short life. Directed by Margaret Brown, this haunting and lyrical film combines emotional interviews with Van Zandt’s immediate family and such luminaries as Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle and Guy Clark with rare footage of Van Zandt at home and on the stage.

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  • It is a very good film. I enjoyed it especially in that it seemed to provide a real glimpse of the “tortured artist”. I also think it helps give a real sense of the body of work Townes left behind and the amazing influence he still has on musicians and songwriters.

    Luke — August 29, 2008 @ 10:49 am

  • Thank you so much for posting this. Such a talent, people should know.

    Ruralgurl — August 29, 2008 @ 4:53 pm

  • If you have never seen “Heartworn Highways” track it down and buy it on DVD. It’s a DVD of a documentary shot in the mid 70′s in Austin, Tx. You have Townes and Steve Earle etc. when they were you young and playing their music because that is what they did. Some of that footage is in this movie, Trust me watch Heartworn , it is amazing to see the talent from back then so raw and real. It is like a time machine back to all that was right with music back then…There is even a drunken xmas patry from 74′ with all these great musicians playing by candlelight.

    kurt — August 30, 2008 @ 2:16 am

  • I have to hate AOL's restrictions for Europeans. It's not possible to watch it over here. !#&T/"%!#"&#

    Anonymous — August 30, 2008 @ 6:40 am

  • A fantastic film that I’ve watched repeatedly.

    Brian — August 30, 2008 @ 11:52 pm

  • I found the film to be a very frustrating portrayal of a alcoholic who slowly destroyed his career and severely damaged loved ones that supported him throughout his brief life. In saying that, I highly recommend folks view this film if they haven’t. Townes Van Zandt was a brilliant songwriter, but a songwriter who at best wrote compelling, simple, heart wrenching songs very early in his career. I also feel that Townes has been anything but “underrated“. Closer to “overrated”, for me! . This is coming from a fan of the man’s music for nearly two decades now. A personal concert hi-lite for me was seeing Townes open up for the Cowboy Junkies in Scottsdale, Arizona many years back. Dressed in a blue suit, looking very Abe Lincolnesque, Townes was brilliant that night. But from what I’ve read many nights, he wasn’t. Townes early albums showcase his brilliance, but for far to many years later he produced very little because of the so-called, “tortured artist” burden weighed heavy on his shoulders. The tunes came fast and furious his youth, but dwindled to a snail pace and mediocrity for many, many years later. Seems like the bottle always won out in the end. To bad, becasuse he just may have became the greatest, ever.

    Kevin — August 31, 2008 @ 11:53 am

  • This is definitely among my favorite documentaries from recent years. The other obvious recommendations:
    “You’re Gonna Miss Me” and “The Devil and Daniel Johnston”.

    I also enjoyed last year’s Danielson film. But without being familiar with their material, it was a little harder to relate to.

    Lance — August 31, 2008 @ 4:43 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

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