In the feature-length documentary “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon,” Mike Myers makes his directorial debut by chronicling the fascinating life of one of Hollywood’s most fabled raconteurs and charismatic talent managers.
Using candid interviews with Gordon’s peers and friends — Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Alice Cooper, Willie Nelson, Steven Tyler and others — Myers weaves behind-the scenes anecdotes with archival footage to provide an eye-opening glimpse of how celebrities achieve fame.
Gordon is most famous for using carefully crafted media manipulation to steer the career of a then failing musician, Cooper, into an icon of teenage rebellion and massive success. He freely admits to hiring photographers with no film in their cameras to trail Cooper through the streets and once called the cops to try and get the shock rocker arrested for indecency — all just to drum up some much-needed publicity.
Gordon comes off as sincere in his interviews with Myers — especially when he talks about the trappings of fame and how unhealthy it can be.
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“If I do my job perfectly, I will probably kill you,” Gordon says in the film.
Myers’ attempt to balance the narrative of Gordon’s early life of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll with his more subdued current persona are a bit choppy but provide a much- needed contrast. Early on, Janis Joplin introduces him to Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd; later, he spends time hosting genteel dinner parties.
Jeff Albertson: firstname.lastname@example.org