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TRIBUTE

USA, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Documentaries)

Director: Rich Fox, Kris Curry

What the hell do you do? You're a Kiss tribute band called Larger Than Life. Your 'Gene Simmons' goes crazy two weeks before a $5000 gig, is taken away in a straight jacket, shaves his head and finds Jesus. You quickly audition two replacements: one is incapable of even rehearsing without flipping his drool-dripping tongue all over the room. The other is too fat to fit into the groin-enhancing codpiece and so bald you have to superglue a wig onto his head... but at least he can sing.

Tribute is rockumentary genius. An obsessive, down, dirty and unstoppably hilarious investigation of the bizarre phenomenon of professional LA tribute bands. Amongst the earnest fakers profiled are acts regurgitating the music of Judas Priest, Queen, The Monkees (who, astonishingly, break up due to creative differences!) and the aforementioned Kiss.

Tribute was executive produced by Steven Soderbergh who obviously recognised the immense talent of husband-and-wife filmmaking team Rich Fox and Kris Curry. Their window onto a world of bitter rivalries, delusion and psychopathic fans would be bewildering if it wasn't so damned funny.

First-time filmmakers Rich Fox and Kris Curry met while working on seminal reality TV series The Real World. Three and a half years, hundreds of hours of footage and a wedding ring later, Tribute made its debut at the AFI Los Angeles Film Festival.

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