Thursday, April 28, 2011


This past Sunday in front of a rowdy New York City crowd, the rock documentary "GOD BLESS OZZY OSBOURNE" debuted at the prestigious Tenth Annual Tribeca Film Festival. Vulgar Display of Blog was there! Being at the debut first hand was a great experience as the lively crowd of Ozzy fans, media and music industry types got to watch the film along with the directors and the Osbourne family themselves. Everyone in attendance was given a free GBOO shirt, laminate and poster card. Produced by son Jack Osbourne's Schweet Productions and co-directed by Mike Fleiss and Mike Piscatelli what you see in an hour and a half is the Ozzy story that has never really been told.

Some of the stories in the movie die-hard fans already know. However, if you are expecting a Behind the Music-type expose you are in for a rude awakening. Although music is a central part of Ozzy's life (and almost an invisible extra character in the film) it plays second fiddle to the brutally honest account of Ozzy's nearly forty year struggle with addiction and ultimate recovery the last five years. His early childhood, musical history and significance is examined in the film, but the focus is on his many issues throughout his adult life. His entire immediate family was interviewed including for the first time his children from his first marriage Jessica and Louis, to notoriously press shy Aimee, as well as Sharon, Kelly and Jack. Many of Ozzy's peers such as Bill Ward, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Tommy Lee, Robert Trujillo, Rudy Sarzo, Billy Morrison and Henry Rollins participate to not only honor Ozzy, but corroborate his tale. Ozzy hero Sir Paul McCartney is on hand to give respect to Black Sabbath and admit to being an Ozzy fan! Most of all it is the “Prince of Darkness” himself who gives the most blunt interviews throughout the film by detailing his many years battling himself, drugs and alcohol and hurting all of his loved ones emotionally and in some cases physically in the process. The directors to their credit did not make the mistake that other docs make as the film does not gloss over the many indiscretions. Those films often give way to blind hero worship, but it is not the case here.
Photo used with permission of Tribeca Film Festival
In the end, Ozzy has managed to become and stay sober for the last five years which is truly remarkable. His family life is on firmer ground than ever and he just wrapped up a full year and a half of touring. Many people who listen to rock and metal or play in bands think hard partying is part of the lifestyle we live, but serious addiction can befall anyone as seen by the many casualties. For his part Ozzy is humble (said to be a terminal perfectionist) and grateful to still be alive and kicking ass since many of his friends and peers have passed on. After the film was shown Ozzy, Jack and the two directors held a brief Q&A session with the fans where Ozzy again recounted his happiness today, his regrets over the past and his desire to be better going forward.

There is one more showing this week of God Bless Ozzy Osbourne at the AMC Lowes Villiage 7 in New York City on April 30th at 1 PM. You can find the tickets at the official site of the Tribeca Film Festival here.  

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