STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 18743-VHS116 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: VHS video Video resource
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
In both progressive rock and heavy metal, Rodney Matthews provides images that literally encapsulate Rodney's album sleeves and posters which have affected generations of music lovers. Now this riveting video brings the artist as well as the art into focus as it explores the heart, mind and faith of Britain's premier rock culture designer. Shot at a number of settings it moves effortlessly from Rodney chatting art with John Cleese at an exhibition; Rodney playing drums; stacking firewood with his son; popping into a Rick Wakeman soundcheck; and a dozen more locations. What holds the whole thing together is a fascinating, warm-hearted voice over where Rodney raids the memory banks to describe his early days as a starving graphics designer, his struggle with the big questions of life and his eventual Christian conversion. Liberal use is made throughout of Rodney's stunning artwork and whether it's those nightmare images of Revelation apocalypse or haunting landscapes of far and distant lands, one is continually drawn into the imagery by the warmth and integrity of the man. There is no hint of pretentious Art Talk, neither any trace of banal evangelical sloganeering. What this 45-minute documentary does is take the viewer inside the world of a unique rock culture visionary. In doing so it causes us to ponder such heavy questions as the Wind Up Of The Age. Utterly recommended to anyone who has ever been entranced by a Rodney Matthews sleeve, poster or calendar.
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