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With: Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle, Steve Shelley, Townes Van Zandt
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Margaret Brown
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 99
Date: 09/13/2004

Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)

The Late, Great

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Margaret Brown's new documentary pays tribute to the late Townes Van Zandt (1944-97), a cult country singer/songwriter with more fans among musicians than among the record-buying public. His best-known songs, "Pancho and Lefty" and "If I Needed You," were cover versions by Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris, respectively. Brown has a wealth of footage featuring the man himself, in interviews, performing, or just messing around. Be Here to Love Me manages a pretty fair portrait of Van Zandt and his personal demons, pressures and joys.

Many of Van Zandt's fans, including Nelson, Harris, Kris Kristofferson and Steve Earle, as well as Van Zandt's ex-wives and children, are interviewed. Steve Shelley, the drummer for Sonic Youth, turns up to tell a sad tale; the two of them attempted to make a record together, just days before Van Zandt succumbed to a heart attack. Personally, I'm not much of a country music guy, and Van Zandt's music didn't inspire me to run out and buy any CDs, but I definitely would have listened to that last one, had it ever been made.

DVD Details: Palm Pictures' new DVD comes with extra performance footage, extra interviews, a filmmaker commentray track and trailers.

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