The Daddy of Rock 'n' Roll (2002)

Genres - Music, Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Performance Art, Social Issues, Vocal Music  |   Run Time - 59 min.  |   Countries - Canada, USA  |  
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Canadian filmmaker Daniel Bitton directs The Daddy of Rock 'n' Roll, an hour-long documentary portrait of schizophrenic street musician Wesley Willis. The film opens with an introduction to his music with superimposed handwritten lyrics, followed by long monologues of the artist's stream-of-consciousness ranting. Through interviews and a loose cinéma vérité style, Bitton showcases Willis' unique talents as well as his survival skills. With help from his supportive network of friends in his home town of Chicago, IL, Willis has managed to live an independent artistic life despite his mental illness and history of abuse.

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Keywords

independent-music, lyricist, schizophrenia, street-musician