City Cinema Mobile

Blaze

Rated 14 Accompaniment

(Coarse Language, Substance Abuse) 129 minutes

Dir: Ethan Hawke, US
Ben Dickey, Alia Shawkat, Charlie Sexton

“Ever heard of Blaze Foley? I hadn’t. But Ethan Hawke has, and he wanted to make sure the rest of us did. Hawke’s new movie Blaze reconstitutes the late country singer – who died in 1989 at the age of 39 – through three different lenses. We see him in his relationship with girlfriend Sybil Rosen; we watch his final concert before his untimely death; and we drop in as his friends remember him in a long radio interview. One of those friends is Townes Van Zandt, who’s played by musician Charlie Sexton, which lends a fluid meta texture to this biopic. After stellar performances in First Reformed and Juliet, Naked, Hawke closes out a banner year with this compelling directorial effort, which spins the clichés of the self-destructive celebrity narrative into an honest exploration of a man who couldn’t behave himself to save his life. In his first screen performance, singer/songwriter Ben Dickey inhabits the role of Foley with a restlessness that feels authentic; he’s a genuine find... Blaze might be telling a story we’ve seen before, but it does so from an angle that offers a few surprises, including a collective cameo by Sam Rockwell, Steve Zahn and Richard Linklater, and Hawke’s own engaging presence as the unprepared DJ conducting the interview that frames the film... The guy’s grown into a real filmmaker. This should be encouraged. Go see Blaze.” - Norman Wilner, Now Magazine