Danny Says DVD Review
“Danny Says” is an uneven documentary.
The name Danny Fields may not be known to everyone, but he is certainly a legend when it comes to the music and art scenes of the past. In the documentary film “Danny Says,” director Brendan Toller attempts to spotlight the man’s life by digging into his childhood, his sexuality, his hard partying habits, his publishing work, his time in NY, his stint as a publicity director, and his time as the manager of The Ramones. Over the course of his varied career, he worked and hung out with the likes of Andy Warhol, The Velvet Underground, The Doors, The Stooges, and Patti Smith. In some cases, he even had a hand in discovering these talents. The film is basically told through the POV of Danny Fields as he narrates/relays incredible stories of the past. Archival photos, photo stills, and interviews with other folks such as Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop and Judy Collins are also scattered in throughout.
“Danny Says” is an odd documentary film. While there is unquestionably a great story here about a man who discovered great artists and was essentially at the right place at the right time on numerous occasions, the construction of the film leaves a lot to be desired. The overlong film suffers from a somewhat repetitious nature as Danny Fields basically talks about meeting someone or a job he held on repeat. All of the stories from the out of control Stooges to Jim Morrison meeting Nico are all very interesting, but you can’t help but shake the feeling that all of this material be would be better suited for a novel. Not only would a book be able to explore the stories in more depth, but it would give us a better idea of who Danny Fields really is as a person instead of the vague version we get here.
On the subject of Danny Fields, he’s quite the character to say the least. One moment you’ll be in rapt attention as he talks about MC5 or the Beatles cover story that created such a controversy and the next you’ll find yourself a bit weirded out by his sometimes awkward frankness.
Presentation: 1.78:1. How does it look? “Danny Says” looks like a standard documentary with newly shot interviews, photos and archival footage.
Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? The interviewees and music make this track stand out.
* Magnolia trailers and a “Danny Says” trailer.
* An interview with director Brendan Toller. He talks about Danny Fields, “Danny Says,” music, etc.
* “Danny Fields and Byron Coley Q&A At Amherst Cinema”- A 52 minute 2015 interview in which Fields talks about his life, “Danny Says,” loss, music, artists and much more.
* “Danny Fields And Lou Reed Audio Recording”- A taped conversation between the tw from 1975.
* “Michael Alago On Danny Fields And Henry Rollins Interview Outtake”- Alago tells a very brief story about him and Danny Fields meeting Henry Rollins.
* “Justin Vivian Bond And The Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat Interview Outtake”- Justin tells a story about Danny giving him a hat from Edie Sedgwick.
* “Nico, “Evening Of Light” Elektra Promo Film Featuring The Stooges”- The title says it all.
Overall Thoughts: “Danny Says” has a lot to say about music history, but not as much to say about its subject.
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