Was Larry Norman a messenger of God, or was he a dick? This Sunday is the world premiere of Fallen Angel, a documentary about the controversial father of Christian rock, right here in San Jose at the Cinequest film festival. (Update: I posted my Fallen Angel movie review.)
Larry was the original Jesus rocker. Nowadays “contemporary Christian music” is a freakin’ industry. Scanning the radio, it’s pretty easy to recognize the Christian music stations because they have such a uniform “positive and clean!” sound, even the supposedly “alternative” station. Of course, “Positive and Encouraging!” is self-fulfilling, because such radio stations don’t play the other kinds. You know, songs about the struggles of trying to live a life of faith in a crappy world, and maybe struggling with faith itself. If you don’t like such songs, I advise you not to read the Psalms.
So, about the question at the beginning… Of course, I haven’t seen the film yet. It’s by the same writer/director/producer as the documentary about Lonnie Frisbee — which I also haven’t seen (but would like to). But I did read a very interesting interview with the producer, and it seems his answer to the question is, “Both. You know, like those folks in the Bible?” I take hope from this in two ways:
- The story of God continues to this day. It’s not ancient history.
- God continues to use mixed-up, broken people. Maybe even me!
But others are angry at what they perceive to be an agenda to smear Larry Norman’s name. What do you think? I’d like to hear your thoughts, both before and after seeing the movie; post them in the comments below.
Anyway, the show is this Sunday at 4:00 at the San Jose Repertory Theater (Facebook event). Tickets are $10. (There are also other showings during the week. And it will also be showing at the Newport Beach Film Festival in April.) Shoot me a line if you plan to go! I don’t like doing things by myself and may not go unless I have company.
Update: The movie was moving, troubling, and inspiring. I don’t want to say any more than that until the week is over and others have had a chance to view it. …OK, now my movie review is up.