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'Beware of Mr. Baker'

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Reviewed by Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW Film

Beware of Mr. Baker

Documentary Feature Competition
D: Jay Bulger

It's not for nothing that the sign perched outside Ginger Baker's home in South Africa reads "Beware of Mr. Baker." The legendary drummer, for years regarded as a lovable rogue, great virtuoso, demented drug abuser, and epic madman, is captured in this film's opening sequence attacking the filmmaker with his cane and gashing open his faithful Boswell's nose. It's a miracle that this movie got made at all, considering such provocations from its subject; that Beware of Mr. Baker is terrific (it won South by Southwest's Documentary Grand Jury Award this week) is delicious icing on the cake. Now in his 70s, Baker is best known as the drummer for the meteoric groups Cream and Blind Faith, whose rapid, spectacular triumphs are only outmatched by their hastier, messier implosions. Dotted with dramatically effective animation sequences and revealing interviews with Baker's various family members, fellow musicians, and former bandmates (among them, Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts, Femi Kuti, Jack Bruce, and Steve Winwood), this film holds a Baker's dozen of treats.


Saturday, March 17, 7:30pm, SXSatellite: Alamo Slaughter

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