The Glamour & the Squalor

In this documentary submitted by the US to the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival, Director Marq Evans delivers a cautionary tale about (closeted) sex, drugs and Rock and Roll. Using a clever combination of archival clips, staged scenes and humorous animation, he guides us through Seattle DJ Marco Collins' up-and-down world of grunge, alternative rock, and electronic dance music. We follow his trajectory from a bullied little gay boy (son of a cop) in small-town Washington, through his exposure in radio stations, his unerring ear for the next hit, and his extraordinary appetite for controlled substances. (At the time of the movie, he has been through rehab seven times.)

We enjoy countless new and old shots of Seattle, including aerial, freeway and street level photos (the Comet, Pike Place Market, Ballard, etc.), plus interviews with and film clips of: Marco Collins, Shirley Manson, Macklemore, Ben Gibbard, Mike McCready, Carrie Brownstein, Eddie Vedder, and archival footage of Kurt Cobain.

You probably recognize some or all of those names. If not, how 'bout the names of these bands: Nirvana, Sound Garden, Sleater-Kinney, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Mudhoney, and Death Cab for Cutie, all of whom feel they owe Collins a debt of gratitude for offering them a timely assist.

This sort of music is NOT my cup of tea, but I enjoyed the story of his failed audition at VH1 and the interviews with his family members, particularly his homophobic father, who has had to embrace a seismic shift in attitude.