Rock School Don Argott

Paul Green used to be in a band. When he didn't become a star, he decided the next best thing was to teach kids how to rock, so he started the Paul Green School of Rock Music. Though Green says in this documentary that his career move is not a case of a bitter, failed guitar player deciding to teach because he had no other option, it is clear that the glory he may have hoped to reap from the stage he now experiences vicariously through his disciples. Nevertheless, it is also clear that he loves teaching these kids, and for those who respond well to his unorthodox teaching methods, which includes screaming at kids and telling them they suck to motivate them to practice more, learning from him is a priceless experience. The documentary follows a group of students as they learn rock songs of varying degrees of difficulty and perform them for live audiences. While the younger, less experienced students play shows like the Black Sabbath tribute, the ultimate goal for any student of Green is to learn the songs of his God, Frank Zappa. When the school is invited to play a Zappa tribute concert in Germany, the kids get a chance to play with Zappa's sax player, Napoleon Murphy-Brown, a man Green regards as a hero in his teaching. Besides seeing the kids play, which is mind-blowing, particularly when 12-year-old C.J. Tywoniak plays his intricate guitar solos, the most entertaining part of the film is watching Green interact with the kids. As much as the kids' parents claim that he talks to the kids on their level, to say that he brings them to his level is more accurate. He talks to them like they are his buddies, telling them that in order to play Sabbath you must become friends with Satan, and threatening to tell them the story of how he lost his virginity if they don't do as he says. Watching this makes one wonder how he can find this many open-minded parents to allow their kids to learn under him, but it also makes you so glad that he did. If you were ever a kid who liked rock music, this film will make you wish you lived in Philadelphia and your parents sent you to see Paul Green. Plus: director commentary, deleted scenes. (Alliance Atlantis)