Not Fade Away [Blu-Ray] David Chase

Not Fade Away [Blu-Ray] David Chase
7
Following the first global postwar economic crisis in the late '50s, the U.S. was faced with mass unemployment and excess capacity. In economic terms, this meant that machines and labour laid idle allowing production to increase in proportion to demand. In human terms, this meant that the "dream" wasn't as readily achievable to the masses who were in a position of limited future prospects, which, in the context of David Chase's Not Fade Away was exacerbated by the onslaught of the Vietnam War. While the benefits of a war economy would aid the supply and demand chain—the boom eventually occurred, albeit through tax cuts and a less dramatic utilization of capacity on the Vietnam and Cold Wars—the vague anti-communist agenda of it all led to disillusionment in an already alienated youth populace. Here, having only college or military enlistment to look forward to the interchangeable New Jersey teens depicted in Not Fade Away see their dreams and ideals reignited by the appears of scrawny, unattractive geeks with guitars on television. Not being jocks or brains, music was their way to achieve the dream that the United States purported through commercial propaganda, which is where the heart and disappointment of this partial love letter to rock and roll factors. Douglas (John Magara) leads his garage band of disheveled idealists, gaining enough notoriety to earn the affections of Grace Dietz (Bella Heathcote), the local rich girl that didn't even know who he was before the advent of the rock star. But, as the title suggests, Chase isn't interested in regurgitating the banal mantra of determination paying off, instead showing how mediocre people are perpetually led to believe that they too can achieve greatness. Throwing out jabs about syncopation and shifting around power alignments and band structures, these minor local New Jersey celebrities eventually succumb to the realities of a world indifferent to their performed uniqueness. Some enlist in the military, others become drug addicts and others simply fade away. Even the harsh reality and end result of "winning" the hottest girl comes into play, with Grace's tendency to gravitate towards the alpha-male, regardless of self-confessed altruism, perpetuating. And while the economy jumped back into an upswing after these bland, mostly uninspiring teens grew up and faced the middle or lower class quotidian, what Chase's film reminds us of—considering the similarity in a modern U.S. economy—is the cyclic behaviour of culture. American dreams are rebuilt and redistributed in different forms in each generation but very rarely are the stories of the many that never made it told. The Blu-ray includes extensive supplements on the music, discussing how they originally intended to cast musicians that could act. Once they realized the unlikelihood of this, they simply taught actors how to play instruments, which worked to the effect of the film, since the band isn't supposed to be particularly amazing anyways. (Paramount)