Reviewed by Josh Rosenblatt, Fri., March 27, 2009
American PrinceDocumentary Feature, Special Screenings
D: Tommy Pallotta
In 1978, Martin Scorsese released a legendary but little-seen documentary about Steven Prince, an ex-heroin-addict, former road manager for Neil Diamond, and heavyweight raconteur. For 55 minutes Scorsese gave his friend the floor to tell stories of his hectic life (some of which would later make appearances in films by Quentin Tarantino and Richard Linklater). "American Boy," which saw a limited release and is all but unavailable now (it screened at South by Southwest 09), has become a sort of holy grail for Scorsese fans: his "lost movie," a myth spoken of in hushed tones. More than 30 years later, director (and former Austinite) Pallotta found Prince and convinced him to do it all again, this time pulling back the curtain on the making of "American Boy" and the wild, indulgent, drug-fueled, gun-crazed, sex-addled days he spent with Scorsese in late-Seventies Hollywood. Prince is so engaging as a storyteller, so brimming with experience, so full of life, that Pallotta's film can't help but move by in a flash: Close your eyes, and an hour has passed. Best, however, not to close your ears.