Coming to DVD tomorrow, Friday, October 21: MORPHINE: JOURNEY OF DREAMS
Mark Shuman’s chronicle of the alternative band made its bow at the Austin Film Festival in 2014. Screenings followed at IFF Boston, IndieLisboa, and Salem, among other events.
Boston-based band Morphine emerged during the explosion of the indie rock scene of the early 1990s. Characterized as “low rock,” their distinctive sound, under frontman Mark Sandman, led to surprising success, moving from small record deals to major label recording contracts and international touring. Shuman’s fairly conventionally-constructed film painstakingly reveals Morphine’s development and the impact of instant fame on their creative process, offering the reflections of fans, associates, loved ones, and band members – but not Mark Sandman. As reverentially detailed here, in the middle of a performance in an idyllic Italian outdoor concert in 1999, Sandman succumbed to a heart attack. A decade later, the band reunites in Italy to commemorate his passing. While offering a primer to Morphine for the uninitiated, the film remains primarily of interest to pre-existing Morphine fans.