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Be Here to Love Me2005

A Film About Townes Van Zandt

  • 4.3
As a musician, Townes Van Zandt was legendary, perhaps one of the greatest who ever lived, inspiring a range of artists from Bob Dylan to Norah Jones to Steve Earle. As a man, a husband and a father his life was as tragic as the songs he wrote. Van Zandt was an enigma to his family, torn between a deep longing for home and the nomadic lifestyle that was necessary for his livelihood. Director Margaret Brown's BE HERE TO LOVE ME is an artful, expertly directed portrait of both sides of Van Zandt, and displays an insightful look at the sacrifices, challenges and consequences faced in pursuit of a dream. Haunting and lyrical, BE HERE TO LOVE ME combines in-depth interviews with friends, artists and family with never-before-seen of Van Zandt; from rare performance and interview footage to intimate portraits of Van Zandt's private moments.

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"...as broad and rambling as one of [Townes] Van Zandt's story songs [...] but as acute and direct as one of his distinct turns of phrase." - Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle


6 members like this review

Here’s to all the lost souls who wander down that highway made with the words of Hank Williams, who dedicate body and soul to the power and glory of a great song. And here’s to filmmakers who try to shed light on these artists, and show the rest of the world what they’re missing. Margaret Brown’s camera captures the essence of Townes Van Zandt’s songs; raw images are synced perfectly with lyrics in this powerful and compelling documentary.

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Member Reviews (13)

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top reviewer

Here’s to all the lost souls who wander down that highway made with the words of Hank Williams, who dedicate body and soul to the power and glory of a great song. And here’s to filmmakers who try to shed light on these artists, and show the rest of the world what they’re missing. Margaret Brown’s camera captures the essence of Townes Van Zandt’s songs; raw images are synced perfectly with lyrics in this powerful and compelling documentary.

6 members like this review
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To begin with let me say my own life has had almost no experience with the superficial life style of Townes Van Zandt. The only thing I can think of is that my father was like Townes', a corporate lawyer. In University a fellow student living in the same boarding house, and his girl friend took me out drinking. I got extremely drunk. I should have gone to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, but instead waded out a three day hangover. I hardly ever drank again, and I never tried drugs. I seemed to know that being suicidal it would be a very risky thing to do. So with this film, I was sort of watching a life I never knew , and no surprise, I am 74 and Townes died at 52.

In my life some very serious things went terribly wrong. I don't think it would be appropriate to say I was sitting around to die. Then for me Townes' music is totally another thing. I can understand some fan writing in that his music kept them from suicide. I relate to him through his music. I see Townes as this lone figure moving across a barren landscape with only the edge of the horizon lit up by the last of the sunset light. I want to follow him. I trust him. I love him. This is the place I know, not like his superficial life or my superficial life, but a real place, a very clear place, like cold so cold it seems to give you a nosebleed. I feel sorry for the people that suffered from bad experiences with Townes, but I think everyone needs to remember no one ever suffered more than Townes. His son explained this so well, the regret Townes had for the pain he inflicted, but remember this was like a cup running over. It was running over because it was completely full.

I think it is important to listen very carefully to what Townes had to say when he tried to connect his inner world to people moving in the world that he didn't really know how to live in and acted out so badly in. His inner world was a very orderly world. It is not surprising that he liked Mozart. You can really hear Mozart in "High Low and In Between." I wish he was still around for my own sake, to have someone that brave, that courteous , still around, but for him I am glad he has moved on. I still see him as a lonely figure, but he is walking toward a sunrise. The air is still cold, and the land is in shadow, but Townes is moving bravely along, with those long legs of his, true to himself, always that "highway kind". I only hope he has found the reward he deserves for his courage.

2 members like this review
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"days up and down they come/like rain on a conga drum/forget most, remember some/but don't turn none away"

A fitting tribute to this legend of troubadours, a man whose songs have pierced my soul as surely as they rose from his own. I was fortunate to have had him visit me in the radio studios for a couple of hours of rambling stories and songs just a few years before he died. The confessional and guileless nature of a humble, intelligent, if somewhat broken man were laid as bare as if I had known him for years. Quel courage. Watch this film for some insights into a bared soul!

1 member likes this review
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Ultimately a very sad movie. Tragic to watch so much talent self destruct. But a great film,well worth watching, seriously.

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So glad to find this documentary about a musician whose work pierces my soul. It seems to capture who he was -- impressive considering what a fugitive personality -- while avoiding cliches of the 'tortured artist.'

Townes was, still is, one of the greatest. The film does him honor and I adored that clip of Lightnin'

what a tragic tale. it's never worth dying for your art -- it's too hard on the ones you leave behind.

His lyrics reveal vivid life stories... so sad, but so true. Resonated deeply with me.

enlightened me about Townes music.enjoyed it throughly

I was familiar with the name Townes Van Zandt, but didn't know much about him or his music. This documentary made me a fan. Just downloaded his "Best of" album

A careful, carefully paced doc about an important songwriter. Not familiar with Townes' music? Remedy that first; the prep will pay dividends while watching. My favourite album: In the Beginning.

Enjoyable.

Thank you Louis, anyone from Texas that likes music will enjoy this film

Jay Austin, Tx 2015