Sopranos creator David Chase puts the Bada-bing into rock
David Chase's first project since The Sopranos is a "gritty, graceful" portrait of a 60s garage band
GOOD news for the many people living with a Tony Soprano-sized hole in their lives: David Chase, the creator of HBO's hit suburban gangster drama, is about to unveil his first post-Sopranos project.
Not Fade Away, a feature film about a fictional 1960s garage band from New Jersey who want to be the next Rolling Stones, is "a gritty, graceful salute to rock & roll", writes Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. For the Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney it's "a warm, funny, poignant scrapbook that evokes a spirit of youth."
Chase's movie features several key players from his acclaimed HBO drama series. James Gandolfini, who played gang boss Tony Soprano, appears in Not Fade Away as the "disapproving father" of the band's drummer played by John Magaro.
Rock guitarist Steve Van Zandt – who played Silvio Dante, a member of Tony's gang – is the film's producer and musical director. Zandt, a longtime member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, put a lot of effort into making the fictional band in Not Fade Away look and sound like a real group, organising a "rock boot camp" for the actors, says the Daily Telegraph.
Chase's movie is semi-autobiographical: the 67-year-old grew up in New Jersey in the 1960s and was a huge fan of the era's music. "I love rock 'n' roll so much that I really wanted to make a movie about the music, not about the personalities involved, not about the ups and downs or the rise and fall of it," he says.
Variety's Ronnie Schieb says Chase has fulfilled those ambitions because Not Fade Away "injects the past with the nervous energy and exciting uncertainty of the present, devoid of nostalgia or biopic baggage, and infused with all the wicked wit that characterized The Sopranos".
- Not Fade Away opens at US cinemas on Friday, 21 December