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The School of Rock - Preview



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 Orange County.

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!

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