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

New Movies

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Advertisement
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

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.