Welcome, if you can bear it, to Paul Green's School Of Rock, a musical college for the moshpit misfit and hard-of-riffing. Owner, founder and aggravated guru, Green himself claims full citizenship to Planet Rock. Most of his students hail from another solar system. So can the ramshackle gang pull off an intimidating Frank Zappa tribute gig or is it time to bury the axe?
In Paul Green's school of rock, the subject of this hugely amiable, scruffed-up documentary, there are two types of chord: "very devil or not devil." Begone, nylon-haired Pop Idols. If you want to get the grades at Green's anti-talent school, there's only one requirement. Total commitment to the three Zs of rock's unholy trinity: Zappa, Zeppelin and, er, Zabbath. Director Don Argott has captured the sights, sounds and smells of this unique college whose founder's ambition is to raise the next Hendrix. In extraordinary diminutive axe-thrasher CJ (11 next birthday), he may well have him. And the others? Well, remember the kids from Fame? Here are the truants: most couldn't tell a guitar from an ironing board. It's an important contradiction and one that fuels the movie: for, in creating a democracy of talent, the teacher turns tyrant. The main ingredient to School Of Rock's success was Jack Black's uncontainable turn. Its rock reality cousin can claim much the same. By turns amped-up and pissed off, Green gets a rocky profiling, mainly thanks to his shambolic ego. Still, for all his dummy-spitting strop-outs, the kids clearly love him and so does the camera. By the Zappa showcase finale you're cheering on the ringmaster and his rock troupe of mini-Ozzies. Like all great gigs, it leaves you in a volt-headed high.
A rockumentary with it all: tears, hilarity, heavy-duty tantrums and Quaker rappers. Budge over Jack Black: here's a lesson in rock you won't forget.