Desert Age – Documentary Film Review

Director Jason Pine makes his full feature length debut with Desert Age – an attempt to closely illustrate the history and legacy of the desert/stoner rock scene that emerged in California as far back as the 1970’s. Along with co-producer Trevar Cushing, production assistant Joaquin Tay and cinematographer/soundman Beaux Mingus, Pine aims to give fans of the scene what many of them have long awaited – an honest, accurate look back at the making of the scene which has now become legendary.

The crew set up an IndieGoGo campaign with a goal of raising $10,000 to help them cover costs including travel, post-production, crew, licensing music and finishing touches and packaging. Within a month they had surpassed this amount, raising a total of $11,589. So, it is clear from this that Desert Age is something fans of the genre want to see. There have been short documentaries, countless online interviews and live performances but never before has there been a feature length documentary film that aims to go into so much detail, promising to show fans never seen before footage and music.  

 Pine has made sure to include as many of the desert rock contributors as possible including Joshua Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Mario Lalli (Fatso Jetson), Sean Wheeler (Throw Rag), Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator) and Brant Bjork (Kyuss). What is perhaps the most interesting thing about this scene however, is the amount of collaboration and freedom that’s involved. The band names after each musician just mentioned are meant only as a point of reference. All of these musicians have been in other bands too. The desert is a melting pot of musicians and it really does feel like its one big family, all coming together to create music like nobody else can. They are famous for their freestyle approach to things, for example the generator parties that they used to host far out into the desert. A band would take out their equipment, plug it into generators and play all night to whoever decided to turn up for the party. The musicians themselves never thought their music would be heard outside of the desert but collectively they tapped into something very special which is becoming more and more legendary as time goes by.

With support from UK label Dissension, who have worked with Jesse Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal, the crew has been able to reach a bigger audience and make their campaign more successful. On Saturday March 19th 2016 the filmmakers will be hosting a sold out world premiere party for Desert Age at the Camelot Theatre in Palm Springs, California, where after the screening there will be Q&A sessions with some of the desert musicians including Mario Lalli and Sean Wheeler, raffles and a gallery reception. The film has also been selected for the upcoming Newport Beach, Bellingham Music and the Arizona International film festivals.

For more information follow the links below.

Written by Ben Hughes

Sources:

http://www.desertagefilm.com/
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/desert-age#/

https://www.facebook.com/desertage

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