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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

John Roecker’s “They’re All Out Without You,” A Green Day “Punk Opera” (29’35”)

From the Vimeo link: “Based on the Characters from Green Day’s Grammy Award Winning Album American Idiot. John Roecker who directed the soon to be released documentary “Heart Like a Hand Grenade” (“HLAHG”) about the making of Green Day’s best selling album to date—”American Idiot”—brings you his take on the characters as originally visualized from AI, what many consider to be the first true “punk rock” opera. John’s longtime friendship with Billie Joe Armstrong, (the lead singer and guitarist of Green Day) gave him insight into the band’s creative vision, and put John at ground zero… in the recording studio along with the band. John’s task seemed simply really, to document the creative process as it unfolded – honest, uncensored, and real. What emerged The American Idiot Album, now considered by many to be Green Day’s greatest musical achievement. As John continued to document the layers of creativity behind the music of AI, he started to visualize who the characters were, and what they were truly meant to be.

Two main characters created within the songs of AI are “Whatsername” and “Jesus of Suburbia” … they are the basis for the story of “They’re All Out Without You”—A Tale of Dark and Light, a Twisted Modern Day Romeo & Juliet Story. The footage for TAOWY (originally intended as a part of “HLAHG”) went missing for many years, until it was recently discovered by John hidden away in a vintage 1940’s lunch box. John enlisted HLAHG editor Dean Gonzales to assemble the lost TAOWY footage to reflect the story and image that both John and Billie had originally intended several years before. When this footage was shot, nobody could have known just how wild a ride the success of AI would be for Green Day—About 18 million copies of American Idiot have been sold to date world wide, with far too many Grammy’s, AMA’s, MTV, Billboard, and other awards to mention. Most recently, the AI album became the basis for the creation of a Tony Award Winning Broadway Musical version of American Idiot. This footage is raw, and intense, as it is the very first vision of these troubled characters. Much of the world knows these characters in their various forms, but TAOWY was filmed at the very peak of the creative process for American Idiot – TAOWY is a beautiful yet tortured snapshot of a creative time long before the dozens of awards, before Green Day’s “second wave of success” and well before “Punks” were a hit on Broadway. “They’re All Out Without You” is a true punk rock vision, now rediscovered for the world to see.”

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“I think [technology has[ its made my life faster, it’s made the ability to succeed easier. But has that made my life better? Is it better now than it was in the eighties or seventies? I don’t think we are happier. Maybe because I’m 55, I really am asking these questions… I really want to do meaningful things! This is also the time that I really want to focus on directing. I think that I will act less and less. I’ve been doing it for 52 years. It’s a long time to do one thing and I feel like there are a lot of stories that I got out of my system that I don’t need to tell anymore. I don’t need to ever do The Accused again! That is never going to happen again! You hit these milestones as an actor, and then you say, ‘Now what? Now what do I have to say?'”
~ Jodie Foster

“If there’s one rule Hollywood has metaphysically proven in its century of experimentation, it’s that there’s no amount of money you can’t squander in the quest for hits.

“Netflix has spent the past couple years attempting to brute-force jailbreak this law. Its counter-theory has seemed to be, sure, a billion dollars doesn’t guarantee quality but how about three billion dollars? How about five billion dollars? Seven?

“This week’s latest cinematic opus to run across no-man’s-land into the machine-gun emplacements has been the Jared Leto yakuza movie ‘The Outsider.’ Once again, debuting on Netflix, another thing called a movie that at one glance doesn’t look like any kind of movie anyone has ever seen before, outside of off-prime time screenings at the AFM.

“If you’re working at a normal studio, you have one or two of these total misfires in a year and people start calling for your head. How many is Netflix going on? Fifteen? Twenty? This quarter? Any normal company would be getting murdered over results like that.”
~ Richard Rushfield