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Charming, intelligent and iconoclastic, Ben Lee is an Australian singer-songwriter whose creative growth since his early adolescence has undergone almost relentless media scrutiny. This is a playful yet deeply intimate portrait of Lee, exploring his meteoric rise to pop stardom and the issues of celebrity and spirituality that arise when launched into the spotlight.
Ex-girlfriend Claire Danes and long-time friends Jason Schwartzman, Michelle Williams, Mike D, Thurston Moore, Zooey Deschanel, and Winona Ryder give insight into Lee's almost impenetrable public persona, as well as to his private hopes and insecurities. Extended interview segments and additional footage provide more material to contextualize and explore this fascinating artist and individual.
I really don't have much to add to the synopsis, what is written above pretty much tells what this film is about and it's up to the person to decide if it interests them or not. The story pretty much covers most of Ben's life. From when he first found interest in music at a very young to the rise to fame as a teenager and to his inevitable fall. No one in the industry stays on top forever, it's just a fact but it's how you handle the sudden loss of celebrity that defines you. Some fall into drugs, others go broke from poor financial decisions and others look for some peace which is what Ben did.
I have to admit I never heard of him before seeing this documentary and I am sure many others out there haven't either but the film does have appeal outside of Ben. It's a look at the industry and what it's like to be adored one minute and forgotten about the next, so any fan of music can enjoy the film. Like I already said the film follows Ben through the good times and the bad plus it has interviews with such celebrities as Claire Danes who he once dated and friends like Jason Schwartzman, Michelle Williams, Mike D, Thurston Moore, Zooey Deschanel, and Winona Ryder who give you more insight about the man rather than the musician.
After watching the film I truly believe that Ben is a good man with the same drive most singers have but Ben has handled the ups and downs very well which is nice to see considering we are always reading about some star getting into trouble.
Shot over the course of many years "Catch My Disease" follows Ben along as he gives us an in-depth look at his life before and after his stardom. Like I said before I never really heard of the man before this film but after watching the film I can truly say that I like the guy, he seems to be a down to earth person with goals and visions yet he seems to keep himself focused on what life is all about and never gets too caught up in the bad things. I give him a lot of credit for being the person he is, when I first heard about this film I wondered to myself why they would do a documentary on someone many have never heard about before but after watching the film I can see why. Ben Lee is a unique singer/songwriter that is trying to find his way in a very fickle industry but he's much more than that. He's also a grounded individual with a sense of realism you rarely see from stars today. If you know him I don't have to say to pick this up but even if you haven't it's still a must see not only to check out who the musician is but it's also worth checking out for the man himself, plus it also gives you some good insight on this cut-throat business.
The DVD comes with Special Features that include:
Commentary from Director Amiel Courtin-Wilson
You can order the DVD HERE.
Released by Strand Releasing
*** 1/2 Out Of *****