by Robert Bell
Nice! The Little Rock Film Festival's Argenta Film Series returns this month with "Searching for Sugar Man," the highly acclaimed documentary about the cult folk-pop artist known Rodriguez.
A native of Detroit, Sixto Rodriguez released two albums in the early '70s — "Cold Fact" and "Coming from Reality" — both of which sank like a stone on release (at least stateside), both of which are excellent. But somehow, he became enormously popular in South Africa. Like, bigger than Dylan or Neil Young big. His records were re-released in that country and sold hundreds of thousands of copies. But in that pre-internet era, rumors of the singer's on-stage suicide were widely accepted. Some enterprising fans began trying to unearth clues about the mysterious figure.
I haven't seen the film yet, but I really dig the records. Reviews of the documentary have been pretty much uniformly positive. The late Roger Ebert gave it four stars, calling the ending "miraculous and inspiring." As with last season, the Argenta Film Series will be free thanks to the William F. Laman Library. "Searching for Sugar Man" screens Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at Argenta Community Theater. RSVP here.
Check out the trailer after the jump.