Mayor Of Sunset Strip Review

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Documentary of the bewildered almost child-like LA DJ, ultimate music fan, and championer of new music who's era is fading.


With his stewed-apple complexion, terrified smile and suspiciously dark bouffant hairdo, pocket-sized radio DJ Rodney Bingenheimer has been a fixture on the LA music scene since the '60s.

Now 58 and living in a virtual museum to himself, George Hickenlooper's patchy documentary nails the DJ's Zelig-like attachment to every music phenomenon, from the The Beatles and the Stones, via Bowie and New Wave, to Coldplay and Oasis.

But while Hickenlooper clearly admires his subject, he spends more time psychoanalysing his pathological attraction to fame than saluting his John Peel-esque belief in new music.

The resulting portrait seems cruel at times, and Bingenheimer's little-boy-lost expression can be heartbreaking: the film he thinks he's in is clearly much, much better.

A documentary portrait that seems cruel at times as the director is more interested in the foibles of his subject than the life he's lived.