Preview by: Jack Foley
IMPRESSIVE indie film-maker, Richard Linklater, is to debut his
eagerly-anticipated new film, The School of Rock, at the Toronto
Film Festival this September, in what should prove one of the
highlights of the gala occasion.
The film reunites Jack Black with High
Fidelity co-star, Joan Cusack, along with Mike White, and
tells the story of a hell-raising guitarist who turns a class
of fifth grade high-achievers into high-voltage rock 'n' rollers.
Black stars as Dewey Finn, an anti-establishment character, who
worships the power of rock and roll (much like his record shop
incarnation in High Fidelity).
With a penchant for stage-dives and 20 minute-solos, he's determined
to lead his rock group to victory at the local Battle of the Bands,
until they fire him!
Unemployed and facing eviction, Dewey wakes up to a phone call
intended for his roommate, Ned (Mike White), and impulsively accepts
a job as a substitute teacher at a prestigious private school,
where by-the-book Principal Mullins (Cusack) watches his every
move like a hawk.
But while Dewey might not have a clue how to teach, he does know
how to inspire confidence in his young fifth graders, and when
he accidentally overhears them performing in an orchestra class,
he decides to mould these young musical prodigies into a rock
'n' roll band that will change their lives.
The film was written by White, who displayed a deft hand for
creating quirky character dramas with Jennifer Aniston's The
Good Girl, and who has already teamed up with Black to pen
With Linklater at the helm, however, the movie promises to offer
a real showcase for Black's offbeat charm, and could actually
help the actor to realise the potential he showed in High Fidelity,
after the disappointment of films such as Shallow
Hal and, to a lesser extent, Orange County.
According to US magazine, Premiere, the bond between writer,
White, and star, Black, was such that the two actually became
room-mates during the shoot - in Manhattan's Tribeca neighbourhood.
The experience proved to be quite profound for White, who told
the magazine: "I felt like I was in a Jack Black movie...
he set a fire once, we had a toilet explode - and it always seemed
to happen when he was in underwear."
Following its Toronto debut, the movie will open in America on
October 13, after which IndieLondon will deliver a round-up of
the US critical reaction.
We're keeping our fingers crossed that it rocks!