The Treasures of Long Gone John (2006)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Biography  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Nathan Southern

The eccentric American icon Long Gone John continues to weather a myriad of labels and roles; Gregg Gibbs's reverential documentary The Treasures of Long Gone John examines multiple facets of John's life, with a tripartite emphasis. Gibbs first explores John's work as an indie music mogul and the founder of the seminal Sympathy for the Record Industry - the grassroots record label that beget such mainstream bands as The White Stripes, The Lazy Cowgirls, and (very briefly) Hole; to this end, the picture's soundtrack packs in recordings by several Sympathy-produced artists, including: Shag, Coup, The Pizz, Dave Pressler and The Poubelle Twins. The film's second touchstone explores John's hobby as a collector of pop culture memorabilia, ad nauseum -- amassing everything from Ed Wood's script for Plan 9 From Outer Space, to pill bottles of noted personalities, which he obtained by sorting through celebrity garbage cans. And finally, Gibbs explores John's accomplishments as progenitor of the "lowbrow art movement" - the school that, per its name, takes objects and creations deemed ugly or pedestrian by connoisseurs and reassigns them with exorbitant cultural value and worth, by virtue of their lack of it. In addition to standard visits with John and glimpses of his collections and creations, Gibbs also works in time-lapse and animated sequences.