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Cure for Pain2012

The Mark Sandman Story

  • 4.2
Like his namesake, the mythical creature of European folklore whose sprinklings of magical powder graced children with sweet dreams, independent rock icon Mark Sandman dwelled in a nocturnal shadowland and brought otherworldly visions and no small measure of comfort to his devoted fans. As the leader of Morphine, a remarkably potent band that emerged from the Boston underground music scene and caused an international stir in the 1990s with its unique blend of two-string bass, baritone sax and drums, Sandman cultivated a streetwise yet lovelorn vibe, equal parts film noir intrigue and Beat cool. In a tragic scenario befitting the band's alternately gritty and haunting sound, Sandman died on stage in 1999 during a Morphine performance in Italy. His colorful life and career are recounted in this visually and aurally rich documentary, featuring home movies (the hardships of Sandman's family adds unexpected emotional weight to his story), onstage footage (Morphine induced a near-narcotic high in concert) and reminiscences from admiring musical peers including Ben Harper and Josh Homme. One friend recalls Sandman's desire (sometimes chemically enhanced) to shine a light in dark places where he felt free to experiment with poetry and music. Co-directors Robert Bralver and David Ferino honor this spirit of adventure and while Sandman may have discovered his long-sought-after cure for pain only in untimely death, attuned viewers will find much solace here. - Steven Jenkins

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2 members like this review

This is the rare rockumentary that transcends the genre--but then again, Morphine was a rare band, and this film didn't do much more than interview the people close to the band and play the music. If you understand the band's music, how it moves and what it tries to say, then how could you not be a fan of the movie? It tells the story, presents the myth, and attempts to debunk the myth at the same time. Morphine songs are equally hard to mythologize (fifteen years in a life raft?...really?) But at the same time, how can you not love them when they present themselves so intimately? The beauty is between the lines. This is a movie about a post-modern beat poet who brought his myth to life.

Member Reviews (3)

This is the rare rockumentary that transcends the genre--but then again, Morphine was a rare band, and this film didn't do much more than interview the people close to the band and play the music. If you understand the band's music, how it moves and what it tries to say, then how could you not be a fan of the movie? It tells the story, presents the myth, and attempts to debunk the myth at the same time. Morphine songs are equally hard to mythologize (fifteen years in a life raft?...really?) But at the same time, how can you not love them when they present themselves so intimately? The beauty is between the lines. This is a movie about a post-modern beat poet who brought his myth to life.

2 members like this review

I've been wanting to see this film for quite some time & was not disappointed. I was a huge fan of Sandman's since the late 80s/Treat Her Right days & then saw/spoke to Mark many times at their Middle East shows back in the 90s. I was completely unaware of the layers of the story which was told beautifully in this film. While I loved hearing the story told by this film, just spending a couple hours with one of my favorite bands of all time was time well spent.

good.