I'm Not Dead Yet: Music documentary's role in asserting and celebrating artistic independence and resilience
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Studies in Australasian Cinema, 2014, 8 (1), pp. 44 - 55
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© 2014 Taylor & Francis. Music documentaries are often released as virtual eulogies for musicians, genres or musical traditions after they have passed on. In the case of I'm Not Dead Yet (2011), independent Australian film-maker Janine Hosking plays with the form to present the career and music of the still alive, and still very musically active, elderly independent country musician, Chad Morgan. As the film's name suggests, Morgan's profile in mainstream Australia is infamous but marginalized. This music documentary explores the politics and character of a strong arm of the Australian music scene, and while its content first appears to be very regionally specific, the music documentary form used to tell this story provides access points for a variety of audiences. The Australian country music scene in the 70s was like the American country music scene in the 50s, where you weren't allowed to have extra wives, you weren't allowed to cheat, and if you did, they tried to ostracize you as they did with Hank Williams. Chad Morgan got ostracized by the establishment, but he still had a huge fan base that the establishment couldn't stop. (Dave Dawson, Australian Country Music Journalist) If you're recording for the mainstream, you've got to do what the recording company and the publicist tells you. And of course, I don't and I wouldn't. I wouldn't conform to their rules. (Chad Morgan, Australian Country Musician).
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