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Jobriath A.D.2013

  • 3.9
Seventies glam rock musician Jobriath was known as the "American Bowie," "True Fairy of Rock and Roll" and "Hype of the Year." The first openly gay rock star, Jobriath's reign was brief, lasting less than two years and two albums. Done in by a over‐hyped publicity machine, shunned by the gay community and dismissed by critics as all flash and no substance, Jobriath was excommunicated from the music business. He retreated to the Chelsea Hotel where he died, forgotten, in 1983 at the age of 37 as one of the earliest casualties of AIDS. In the years since his death, new generations of fans have discovered his music through acts as diverse as Morrissey, Def Leppard, the Pet Shop Boy and Gary Numan, all of whom have cited Jobriath as an influence. Through interviews, archival material and animation, audiences can experience the heartbreaking and unbelievable story of the one, the only, Jobriath.

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Member Reviews (4)

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top reviewer

Stylistically, this is a pretty ho-hum documentary. Still, because Jobriath is an enigmatic, talented, and charismatic figure, it's impossible to not be wrapped up in the proceedings.

Sidebar: For me, there's no greater line delivery in pop music history than when Jobriath coolly asserts: "so I'm an elegant man." A dominant yet kittenish balloon pop of confidence and mystery.

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top reviewer

Pretty good. I wasn't that big of a fan about the music: I found it derivative of Bowie (who also made some slighting comments about Jobriath). But I found his story very interesting and sad.

I have mixed feelings on this doc. A little too by-the-book in its formality but the animations that intersperse the interviews and footage are really effective. A disappointing moment in music and promotion, although Jobraith's claim as the first openly gay musical performer is quite a revelation.

An important film for anyone seeking to understand this period in US gay or music clulture