New to DVD this week:
UNFINISHED PLAN: THE PATH OF ALAIN JOHANNES
In-Edit Chile 2016
A portrait of a respected but largely under-appreciated musician and how he has coped with great loss.
Alain Johannes has collaborated with heavier hitters in the music world since the early 1990s, most notably Soundgarden, but his own ventures have seen more modest successes, never cracking through into the mainstream. His longest lasting endeavor, Eleven, was in collaboration with his soulmate Natasha Shneider. Gárate’s workmanlike film traces Alain’s musical career, with particular emphasis on his work with Natasha until her sudden and unexpected death from cancer in 2005, and on Alain’s hard time dealing with her loss, finally exorcised in some small way through new music he creates in her memory. Alain also connects with his long-absent father, a musician in Chile, returns to Chile after four decades, and plays for his fanbase there – but then must contend with the deaths of his mother and his newly rediscovered father within weeks of one another. While this project will resonate with die-hard music fans, it’s doesn’t particularly work those who do not already know Johannes. Gárate spends far too much time spotlighting Johannes’ music, treating him like he’s a household name, rather than highlighting the emotional elements of his story that would engender more universal connection.