Following Sean

"Good"

Following Sean Review


In what has become rather epidemic among U.S. documentary filmmakers, Ralph Arlyck's Following Sean is ultimately more about Ralph Arlyck than its ostensible title subject.

Arlyck made a 15-minute short documentary called Sean in 1969, when he was an admittedly burned-out hippie living in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. The subject, Sean Farrell, was four years old and already opinionated, offering platitudes on (most notably) drug use and the fuzz. Now that 30-plus years have passed, Arlyck decides to try to catch up with Sean -- along with everyone else he hung around with during the counterculture era -- to see how things have panned out for them. It shouldn't be all that surprising: The adult hippies of the era stayed hippies, while Sean grew up and realized that jobless and stoned wasn't going to be all that satisfying a life.

For a while, Arlyck's film shows promise, as he subtly captures the vague disillusionment of the hippie life which few of its adherants are able to put into words. Burned out and underemployed, they're caricatures still clinging to failing communes and deep-woods property (though it's now worth a fortune). Then Sean (finally) comes into focus: He's neither a burnout nor a stockbroker, as alternately foretold in 1969. He's a union electrician, has an immigrant girlfriend, and just wants to live his life. He seems like a really cool guy, actually (and he apparently lives around the corner from me), and I am happy he managed to shrug off the chains of a communist/hippie family to make a life for himself, start a family. Alas, that doesn't make for great footage, which sends Arlyck hunting for footage of random events like tearful airport farewells or driving cars in the mud in northern California. And this is relevant how?

While I feel like I got to know Sean somewhat in this 87-minute affair, the person we really get to understand is Ralph Arlyck. Arlyck's personal fears, relationships, family (his kids are no longer amused by the camera constantly in their faces), career path, politics... boy, there's not a facet of Arlyck that isn't touched upon in this documentary. That might not be so bad, but Arlyck lived in the same hippie apartment complex as Sean, and his life has had a pretty obvious path since 1969 as well. No surprises here, I'm afraid.

The DVD includes additional footage, an interview with Arlyck, and the full Sean short film.



Following Sean

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th January 2006

Distributed by: Docurama

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Fresh: 19 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Ralph Arlyck

Producer: Ralph Arlyck, Malcolm Pullinger

Starring: Ralph Arlyck as Narrator, Sean Farrell as himself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Advertisement
Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.