Phoenix Film Festival Spotlight: Elise Salomon's Los Wild Ones
Although the Phoenix Film Festival is a locally run event, the movies shown feature talent from all over. It was refreshing to see one film that was made by a local, Elise Salomon. Her documentary about L.A.-area indie record label Wild Records and its close-knit group of artists is a complex story.
Heather Hoch Los Wild Ones has rockabilly style with a lot of soul.
It's happy and sad and goofy and exciting and frustrating all at once. The multi-dimensional look at these musicians is so heart-warming, heartbreaking, and humanizing that you feel like you know them even though you just heard about them two hours ago.
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While the main thesis of the film follows Reb Kennedy, the label's eccentric Dubliner owner, and his difficulty giving up control of some aspects of his business and adapting to the mp3 world, the heart of the movie focuses on his fatherly connection to his talent.
Predominantly Mexican with a rockabilly sound, these bands were mostly ignored until Kennedy picked them up. Though rockabilly acts rarely break through to the mainstream, Kennedy's ear for talent and one shot recording style is legendary in the scene, which is flourishing in Europe.
Between whirlwind tours across the Atlantic where Wild Records bands like The Rhythm Shakers and Luis and the Wildfires are treated like rock royalty and sell out high-capacity venues, many of the artists struggle to support themselves and their families in the non-supportive American market.
Heather Hoch Elise Salomon and some of the large Wild Records crew at the Phoenix Film Festival.