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Almost Famous

By Tammy Diaz,2014-06-17 23:26
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Almost Famous ...

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    Almost Famous

    (Biography/Comedy) (2000)

    ? 2001 by Raymond Weschler

Major Characters

    William Miller……………………………………..Patrick Fugit

    A sweet and very smart 15 year old kid (in 1973) who wants to

     be a rock‟n‟roll critic and write for Rolling Stone magazine.

    Elaine Miller………………………………………….Frances McDormand

    William‟s very nervous and conservative mother, a college professor, who

    is always worried that her children are going to take illegal drugs.

    Anita Miller……………………………………………Zoey Deschanel

    William‟s older sister who decides to leave home when she is still

    very young because she can no longer accept living with her mother.

    Russell Hammond…………………………………..Billy Crudup

    The guitarist and most well known musician in the (fictional) hard rock

    group Stillwater, which is trying to become a superstar group even though

    their music is fairly typical and not very good.

    Jeff Bebe…………………………………………………….Jason Lee

    The lead singer for Stillwater, who is convinced that rock music

    in general, and his group in particular, is deeply important.

    “Penny Lane” (Lady Goodman)……………….Kate Hudson

    A 16 year old fan of the group who is in love with Russell, who travels

    around the country when they are on tour. Girls like her are usually called

    “groupies,” but she prefers the term “Band-Aid.”

    Sapphire……………………………………………………Fairuza Balk

     A friend of Penny and one of the Band-Aids following Stillwater.

    Lester Bangs……………………………………………….Phillip Hoffman

    A well-known rock critic who writes for Cream magazine, who is

    convinced that great rock‟n‟roll is being killed by bad groups like

    Stillwater, and record companies who only care about making money.

    Ben-Fong Torres………………………………………..Terry Chen

     A well known editor for Rolling Stone magazine

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    who hires William to write an article on Stillwater.

Dick Roswell……………………………………………..Noah Taylor

     Stillwater‟s inexperienced British manager.

Dennis Hope……………………………………………..Jimmy Fallon

     A new more experienced manager that Stillwater‟s

    record company hires to help lead the group.

Plot Summary

This film is the story of a sweet and very smart kid who loves rock music, and

    whose dream is to be a rock music writer. Most of the film takes place in 1973,

    when William Miller is 15, and when he sets out to write an article about an

    increasingly popular rock group called Stillwater. They are typical of the hard

    rock groups of that period, in that they are loud and seductive, but not nearly as

    good as the classic 1960s groups that came before them (such as the Beatles and

    the Rolling Stones). Regardless, Stillwater is a fictional group, although they are

    very similar to such real 1970s bands as Bad Company or Grand Funk Railroad.

    And in fact, William himself is really Cameron Crowe in real life, the writer and

    director of this film, who began writing for Rolling Stone magazine in the early

    1970s when he was just 15.

While trying to get an interview with members of Stillwater, William meets

    several young female fans who travel around the country with the band. Most

    people would call them “groupies” because they sleep with the band members,

    but they like to think of themselves as “Band-Aids.” One of these Band-Aids is

    Penny Lane (a nickname taken from the Beatle song), who is in love with Russell,

    Stillwater‟s lead guitarist. As William joins all of them on the road, he soon learns

    that rock stars are not always as “cool” as they seem to be, and that if girls like

    Penny are not careful, they can be easily hurt by the stars that they love.

This is an excellent look at the “rock‟n‟roll scene” of the early 1970s, and as such,

    captures a time when the ideals and dreams of the 1960s had passed,

    and music was in the process of becoming a very big business.

    A note on Lester Bangs and Ben-Fong Torres: These two are in fact real people, and both were well known writers who were considered among the first

    important rock critics.

    Some Rock Names You should Recognize: The following are rock stars from the 1960s and 70s that are referred to in the film.

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Simon and Garfunkel

    The Doors/Jim Morrison

    Iggy Pop

    The Guess Who

    Lou Reed

    David Bowie

    The Faces

    Black Sabbath

    Led Zeppelin

    Bob Dylan

    Cream

    John Coltrane

    Bad Company

    The Who

    The Rolling Stones/Mick Jagger

    The Beatles

The Stillwater Tour: William follows the group around the United States, as they

    visit both small towns and big cities. In approximate order, they go the following

    locations:

San Diego, California

    Los Angeles, California

    Tempe, Arizona

    Phoenix, Arizona

    Topeka, Kansas

    Greenville, Tennessee

    Cleveland, Ohio

    Boston, Massachusetts

    New York City

Some Words and Expressions that You May not Know

    1969: William’s mom and sister fight the 1960s cultural wars….

Atticus Finch; He stands up for the right thing.

    “Atticus Finch” is the main character in the movie “To Kill A

    Mockingbird,” about racism in the American South (Atticus‟ daughter is

    named Boo Radley). “To stand up for” something is to support it in words

    and actions, even if it is unpopular or difficult to do.

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She killed everybody else so that her son Tiberous could

    inherit the throne---just like Nixon. It‟s awfully common.

    “To inherit the throne” is to become King or Queen, after the current one

    has died. “To inherit” something is to get legal rights to it after the

    previous owner dies. A “throne” is the legal word for the power

    associated with being a King or Queen. “Awfully” is a widely used adverb

    which means very.

Soy cutlets?

    “Soy” is a healthy vegetable substance, but it is almost never served as a

    “cutlet,” which usually refers to a big cut of meat, such as pork chops.

You‟ve been kissing…..I can tell.

     Note that the verb “to tell” is often used to mean know or sense.

It is about drugs and promiscuous sex. :: Simon and Garfunkel is poetry.

     A reference to sexual activity outside of one‟s principal sexual partner.

    A person who is promiscuous usually sleeps with many people.

Honey, they‟re on pot.

     A common way to refer to the drug marijuana.

Bologna.

     A type of cheap sliced lunch meat, popular with school children.

    Celebrating Christmas on a day in September because it‟s too commercialized? What else are you going to ban?

    If a holiday is “commercialized,” it has become an excuse for buying lots of

    gifts, instead of celebrating the original meaning. “To ban” something is to

    prevent it or make it illegal. A key verb in politics.

You want to rebel against knowledge; I‟m trying to give

    you the Cliff‟s Notes on how to live life in this world.

    “To rebel” against something is to fight or rise up against it (often people

    rebel against a government). “Cliff‟s Notes” are well known study guides

    that summarize books and other materials for students.

    You use knowledge to keep us down. I‟m a „yes‟ person and you‟re trying to raise us in a „no‟ environment.

     “To keep a person down” is to limit their freedom or oppress them.

    The second sentence is Anita‟s way of telling her mom that she is a person

    who needs more freedom than her mom is willing to give her.

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Sweetheart, don‟t be a drama queen. :: Feck you!

     “Sweetheart” is a very common term of affection. A “drama queen” is

    a person who acts with great emotion, or too dramatically. Note that Anita

    is too scared to say “fuck you” to her mom, but does say “feck you,” which

    doesn‟t exist.

Mom, pull over. Tell him the truth.

     “Pull over” is the phrasal verb you use to describe the act

    of slowing down and stopping a car on the side of the road.

They call him “the narcbehind his back.

    A slang term for a narcotics officer, who is a much hated secret

    police officer who tries to catch students using illegal drugs.

    To do something “behind a person‟s back” is to do it when they

    cannot hear or see it being done.

Come on, you guys. It‟s no big deal.

    “Come on” is the most varied phrasal verb in English, meaning everything

    from hurry u