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| 24 April 2013 | Reply

Directed by Ian Darling
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Paul Kelly - Stories Of Me Movie

Alongside Mick Thomas, Paul Kelly is arguably Australia’s most important singer/songwriter, and this fascinating and emotional documentary does it’s best to drill into the core of what makes this enigmatic man tick.

It’s not easy: ex-wives, friends, friends, family and bandmates all concur that Kelly is not the caring-sharing sort where his emotions are concerned, stressing that he delivers those emotions largely through song.

Wisely, then, filmmaker Ian Darling understands that Paul Kelly’s truths lie in his lyrics, and they lovingly take centre stage throughout this movie. The camera pans over hand written notes, those lyrics pop up on the screen throughout live footage, and whilst the man himself is an enigmatic sort at times, his lyrics and the stories behind them (as told with great affection by family, friends, journos, bandmates and more) reveal much about the man behind the music.

There’s plenty here to evoke tears, whether it be for love lost, disjointed parenting, personal loss or social awareness, Kelly shies away from nothing in his quest for “the next song” – a quest which has always driven him, and which scares him still.

After 40 years, 22 albums in an eclectic array of styles, and over 350 published songs you might be forgiven for thinking that he could relax, that he might know that the next song is never far away. But no, the prospect of finding the well dry scares him still.

Stories Of Me is the tale of a prolific, outstanding, complex man; a poet and musician who can’t stop challenging himself; and a man who has changed the Australian landscape through his music and who isn’t done yet by a long shot.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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