Music movie

’40 Years of Making: The Magical Musical Film’ Reunites an Obscure Colorado Jam Band

If you were the co-creator of two and a half men and a leader of The Big Bang Theory, you can check your bank statement and maybe buy a yacht or two. Or you could do what Lee Aronsohn did and make one of the warmest, friendliest vanity projects I’ve ever seen. From a certain point of view, 40 years of creation: the magical musical film is a commentary on how far money can go to recapture the spirit of one’s youth. Aronsohn (who is present as a narrator) attended the University of Colorado at Boulder in the 1970s. The biggest band performing was Magic Music, an acoustic folk harmony band Crosby, Stills, and Nash. They were good! But for some reason they never even released an album. After six years, the guys went their separate ways, but Aronsohn (and other Colorado hippies of the day) never forgot the tunes. At his request, the group reformed.

The first half of 40 years uses talking head interviews and old photographs to detail the personnel changes and living conditions of this very dedicated ‘back to nature’ outfit. The second half attempts to resolve decades-long schisms using the most basic reality show techniques. But the big finish (a reunion concert, of course) is surprisingly effective. Only a monster would blame Aronsohn for putting it all together. It doesn’t hurt that Magic Music really has chops.

40 years of creation: the magical musical film
Directed by Lee Aronsohn
Paladin
Debuts August 3 at the Village East Cinema

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