Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer
I first watched Ken Bowser’s film Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune as a rough cut, screened on my laptop in March of 2010. I knew then that making the film had been a long and often difficult journey for the filmmaker. Finally in late May I got to see the finished film projected on a big screen and I was awe struck by the results. This feature length documentary is a stunning account of both Phil Ochs the folk artist and activist, and the generation that embraced him. It doesn’t matter whether you knew a single thing about Phil Ochs. This film is one of those portraits of an artist as a young man that immediately brings you into his world and refuses to let you go without being affected by what you have seen and heard.
I was already familiar with Ken Bowser as a filmmaker as a result of having seen Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood , based on the book by Peter Biskind. That film was first released at Slamdance in 2003 and was instantly recognized as an important documentary about the film industry and a wonderful interpretation of Biskind’s book. I;m sure the same will hold true for Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune.
Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune was produced in cooperation with S2BN Entertainment and debuted October 1st at the Woodstock Film Festival . The film was distributed in 2011 by First Run Features and debuted on television as part of the American Masters series.
Again, the film’s website is Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune.
Posted Sept 23 2010 by Declan Baldwin