Monday, September 19, 2011

26 Films: Scenes from the Goldmine

Scenes from the Goldmine

            The music industry is a heartbreaker, so is the movie industry. Scenes from the Goldmine is the story of Debbie DeAngelo, an singer who is looking for a band. Niles Dresden and the Pieces are looking for a keyboard player and she lands the job, bringing not only her playing to the band but her voice and her songs.           

To be honest this film is a bit of a mess and while there is an effective scene here and there, it seems to be a patchwork of moments… but those moments. Starting with a lovely panning shot of Catharine Mary Stewart’s amazing legs and ending with her singing, Goldmine is a collection of moments strung together.

Stewart is one of those 80s actresses who, despite having rolls in some big films – Weekend at Bernie’s and The Last Star Fighter – and having a great girl next door quality never got the kinds of roles that were going to make her an A lister…. Which is too bad, because she is so likable a presence on screen. She’s beautiful, but never projects a hint of crassness. She sings her own vocals in the film and is solid belting out mid 80s commercial hard rock, that while never reaching the skill and power of Joan Jett, is as good as any number of half forgotten vocalists of the era.

            The rest of the cast have their moments, Steve Railsback as the bands manager wears a series of jackets hat have to seen to be believed, and Jewel Sheppard looks great as always, but never seems to have a real purpose in the film. In her autobiography she wrote about her part being cut a lot because of issues behind the scenes.  Cameron Dye, playing singer Niles Dresden the heel of the film is very good, and also provided vocals for his part. He’s effective and if the film had been better marketed and promoted he might have had an nice music career.

I should also mention that the songs are quite good. Nothing earth shattering, but as good as anything used in other music industry tales of the decade…. Ok maybe there isn’t an Over on the Darkside or an I Can Dream About You, but Play to Win and a few of the others are catchy enough to have had a life outside of the film.

 It looks like the whole film is on youtube for anyone that wants to check it out...

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