Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I trust Kiefer Sutherland to market me

Ever wondered what Kiefer Sutherland does in his spare time (when he's not saving the world as Jack Bauer?) I doubt you'd ever guess it would be touring Europe as the manager of a struggling rock band - but it's true. That's the impetus of the fascinating documentary I Trust You To Kill Me (released on DVD yesterday) that follows Sutherland and his dream to help break a band he greatly admires: Rocco Deluca and the Burden.

Sutherland and his partner singer-songwriter Jude Cole run an independent label called Ironworks, and Deluca is their first artist signed to the label. While on holiday break from shooting 24, Sutherland sets off with the band on a short tour of Europe, working ostensibly as their manager. He coordinates with the venues, does phone interviews with radio stations and even carries equipment - he's the Jack Bauer of roadies, if you will.

Every Jack Bauer needs a Chloe O'Brien, but in this enterprise, there's not one to be found. As a result we're treated to scenes of Sutherland losing his phone, his wallet, and even paying customers to the show in Dublin. Upon arriving to the Irish metropolis, it's found that they have exactly two tickets sold, so Sutherland calls up an old friend and they do a pub crawl giving away free tickets, leading to several exchanges that go much like this:
Sutherland: "Hey, you want to go to a free rock show tonight?"
Fan: "Don't I know you from somewhere? What's your name?"
Sutherland: "I'm Kiefer... Kiefer Sutherland"
Fan: "No your NOT!!!"
Other fan: "We're drinking with Jack Bauer!"
While the documentary spends a lot of time with the band and their music (probably too much, to be truthful,) Sutherland's journey is the heart of the film - and really, it's the reason to watch. To see him inebriated and tackling a Christmas tree is worth the admission alone, but it's also the quiet moments of reflection, that give you a glimpse not normally seen of an actor of his stature.

There's an underlying sadness that's hard to shake, none more so then Sutherland's look of hurt whenever someone doesn't react favorably to the band. If Deluca and his band were more kick-ass good, this probably wouldn't seem as sad. That's not to say they're terrible, they just come off a bit too derivative (Led Zeppelin, The Cult, Jeff Buckley,) to deserve such devotion from the star of 24. Sutherland even gets a tatoo of the band's album title (and, of course, the title of the film) on his forearm (written with Icelandic symbols.) It's this willingness to look ridiculous in front of the camera that makes Sutherland somehow come off both cool and sympathetic at the same time.

Album: Rocco Deluca and the Burden - I Trust You To Kill Me

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Anonymous said...

I saw him on Leno talking about this the other night. He was talking about what a bad manager he really was and how the band started doing alot better once he was no longer doing it. He seemed like an excited little kid. It was really sweet. Have to check the band out. Didn't know about the tattoo. Eep!

drake leLane said...

You can hear more at their myspace page:

The dvd's worth renting if for no other reason then watching Sutherland try to figure out why he's letting the cameras catch him with his pants down.