Searching for Sugar Man

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Searching for Sugar Man
Searching-for-sugar-man--poster.jpg
US cinema poster
Directed by Malik Bendjelloul
Produced by Malik Bendjelloul
Simon Chinn
Written by Malik Bendjelloul
Starring Sixto Rodriguez
Music by Sixto Rodriguez
Cinematography Camilla Skagerström
Editing by Malik Bendjelloul
Studio Red Box Film
Passion Pictures
Canfield Pictures
Sveriges Television
Yle Co-Production
Hysteria Film
Distributed by Studio Canal (UK)
NonStop Entertainment (Sweden)
Sony Pictures Classics (US)
Release dates
  • 19 January 2012 (2012-01-19) (Sundance)
  • 26 July 2012 (2012-07-26) (UK)
  • 27 July 2012 (2012-07-27) (US limited)
  • 24 August 2012 (2012-08-24) (Sweden)
Running time 86 minutes
Country Sweden
United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $6,873,784

Searching for Sugar Man is a documentary film directed by Malik Bendjelloul, which details the efforts of two Cape Town fans in the late 1990s, Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom, to find out whether the rumoured death of American musician Sixto Rodriguez was true, and, if not, to discover what had become of him. Rodriguez's music, which never took off in the United States, had become wildly popular in South Africa, but little was known about him there.

On 10 February 2013, the film won the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary at the 66th British Academy Film Awards in London,[1] and two weeks later it won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood.[2]

Production[edit]

Initially using Super 8 film to record stylised shots for the movie, director Malik Bendjelloul ran out of money for more film to record the final few shots. He resorted to filming the remaining stylised shots on his smartphone using an iPhone app called 8mm Vintage Camera to complete the film.[3]

Release[edit]

Searching for Sugar Man was the opening film at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2012,[4] where it won the Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award for best international documentary. It was released in the United Kingdom on 26 July 2012, and had a limited release (New York and Los Angeles) in the United States the following day.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Critical response for Searching for Sugar Man has been very positive. As of April 2014, the film holds a 95 percent "Certified Fresh" rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.[5]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a glowing four-star review, writing "I hope you're able to see this film...and yes, it exists because we need for it to."[6] The New York Times critic Manohla Dargis also wrote a positive review, calling the film "... a hugely appealing documentary about fans, faith and an enigmatic Age of Aquarius musician who burned bright and hopeful before disappearing."[7] Critic Dargis subsequently named Searching for Sugar Man one of the 10 best films of 2012.[8]

Omissions[edit]

The film's narrative omits that Rodriguez was also very successful in Australia in the 1970s and became aware of it enough to tour there extensively in 1979 and 1981.[9] Some critics have taken issue with this, calling it "myth-making".[10][11] However, the film focuses on his mysterious reputation in South Africa, and the attempts of music historians there to track him down in the mid-1990s. South Africans, and especially the main protagonists, were unaware of his Australian success due to the harsh censorship enacted by the apartheid regime[12] coupled with international sanctions that made any communication with the outside world on the subject of banned artists virtually impossible.[13]

Awards[edit]

  • Searching for Sugar Man won the Best Documentary category at the 85th Academy Awards.[14] Rodriguez declined to attend the award ceremony as he didn't want to overshadow the filmmakers' achievement if he came up on stage with them. Upon accepting his award, Chinn remarked on such generosity, "That just about says everything about that man and his story that you want to know.”[15] However, Malik Bendjelloul also said on stage, "Thanks to one of the greatest singers ever, Rodriguez."[16]
  • The film also won the Best Documentary category at the 66th British Academy Film Awards on 10 February 2013.
  • The Directors Guild of America awarded the DGA Award for best documentary on 2 February 2013.
  • The Writers Guild of America awarded the WGA Award for best documentary.
  • The Producers Guild of America awarded the PGA Award for best documentary.
  • The American Cinema Editors awarded the ACE Eddie Award for best documentary.
  • It won the Guldbagge Award for Best Documentary at the 48th Guldbagge Awards.
  • It won The National Board of Review in New York on 5 December 2012.
  • The International Documentary Association (IDA) awarded "Searching for Sugar Man" Best Feature and Best Music at the 28th Annual IDA Documentary Awards on 7 December 2012 at the Directors Guild of America building, Los Angeles, California.[17]
  • It also won Best Documentary during Critics' Choice Awards – Searching for Sugar Man[18]
  • The film won the Cinema for Peace Most Valuable Documentary of the Year Award.
  • Searching for Sugar Man won the Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award for best international documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. The film also won the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival,[19] the Audience Award at the Durban International Film Festival,[20] the Audience Award at the Melbourne Film Festival, 2nd place Winner Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Grand Jury Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival.[21]
  • At the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam held in November 2012, "Searching for Sugar Man" won both the Audience and the Best Music Documentary awards.[22]
  • Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF) "Searching for Sugar Man" was awarded $50,000 (US) where the film shared the "Best of the Fest" audience award with the Chinese feature film "Full Circle.[23]
  • Best Film - Días de Cine Awards
  • The Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking has nominated "Searching for Sugar Man" for five awards, tying with "The Imposter" for the most nominations. Winners of the 6th Annual Cinema Eye Honors will be announced on 9 January 2013 as Cinema Eye returns for a third year to New York City's Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, New York.
    • Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking – Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn
    • Production – Simon Chinn
    • Graphic Design and Animation – Oskar Gullstrand, Arvid Steen
    • Debut Feature Film – Malik Bendjelloul
    • Audience Choice Prize – Malik Bendjelloul[24]

The film was also the recipient of the Australian Film Critic's Association award for Best Documentary of 2012,[25] beating locally produced musical documentary All The Way Through Evening.[26]

Soundtrack[edit]

Searching for Sugar Man
Soundtrack album by Rodriguez
Released 24 July 2012
Recorded Early 1970s
Length 51:03
Label Light in the Attic / Legacy

Searching for Sugar Man is a 2012 soundtrack album from the documentary containing a compilation of songs by Rodriguez from his two studio albums. As a result of the popularity of the documentary, the album climbed surprisingly high for a soundtrack album in many national album charts. In Sweden, it reached #3 in early 2013 when the Academy Award nomination was announced, and had been in the charts for 26 weeks by the time it received the award in February 2013; in Denmark it reached #18; and in New Zealand it reached #24.

Track listing
  1. "Sugar Man" (3:50)
  2. "Crucify Your Mind" (2:32)
  3. "Cause" (5:29)
  4. "I Wonder" (2:34)
  5. "Like Janis" (2:37)
  6. "This Is Not a Song, It's an Outburst: Or, the Establishment Blues" (2:07)
  7. "Can't Get Away" (3:56)
  8. "I Think of You" (3:26)
  9. "Inner City Blues" (3:27)
  10. "Sandrevan Lullaby – Lifestyles" (6:39)
  11. "Street Boy" (3:47)
  12. "A Most Disgusting Song" (4:48)
  13. "I'll Slip Away" (2:51)
  14. "Jane S. Piddy" (3:00)
Notes
  • Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 14 are taken from the album Cold Fact
  • Tracks 3, 8, 10 and 12 are from the album Coming from Reality
  • Tracks 7, 11 and 13 were recorded for Rodriguez' unfinished third album and were later included as bonus tracks on the Coming from Reality 2009 US re-issue

In anticipation of possible customer questions raised by the film as to whether Rodríguez is properly compensated for this album, the back cover has the statement, "Rodríguez receives royalties from the sale of this release."[27]

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Independent, 10 February 2013: Full list of Bafta award winners. Retrieved 26 February 2013
  2. ^ DocumentaryHive, 25 February 2013: The 2013 Oscars Best Documentary Award. Retrieved 26 February 2013
  3. ^ $1.99 iPhone app saved Oscars film CNN Money
  4. ^ Vulture.com, January 21, 2012: Sundance: The Electrifying Search For Sugar Man. Retrieved 26 February 2013
  5. ^ "Searching for Sugar Man". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (8 August 2012). "Searching for Sugar Man". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Dargis, Manohla (26 July 2012). "Searching for Sugar Man". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Dargis, Manohla (14 December 2012). "Against the Odds, Smart Films Thrive at the Box Office". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  9. ^ Watt, Andrew. "International man of mystery". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Stewart, Rebecca L. "Searching For Sugar Man: myth-making at its best?". The Vine. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  11. ^ Cody, Bill. "'Searching For Sugar Man' – True Story or the Making of a Myth?". Rope of Silicon. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  12. ^ Davis, Sue. "Music that impacted anti-apartheid struggle". Workers World. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  13. ^ Rohter, Larry. "A Real-Life Fairy Tale, Long in the Making and Set to Old Tunes". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  14. ^ McCollum, Brian (10 January 2013). "Sixto Rodriguez rides the wave of 'Searching for Sugar Man' success". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  15. ^ Reuters, Sapa-AFP. "Sugar Man takes Oscar". DailyNews. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  16. ^ Germain, David (25 February 2013). "Oscars 2013: 'Argo' Takes Home Best Picture at 85th Academy Awards". Moviefone. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "IDA Documentary Awards 2012 | International Documentary Association". Documentary.org. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  18. ^ Associated Press – Fri, 11 January 2013 (11 January 2013). "Affleck, Argo win big at Critics' Choice Awards". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  19. ^ Gallo, Phil (25 June 2012). "Rodriguez Doc 'Searching for Sugar Man' Wins Audience Award at L.A. Film Fest". Billboard. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  20. ^ "Durban International Film Festival: All the winners | Welcome to The Movies". Themovies.co.za. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  21. ^ "34th Moscow Int’l Film Festival Award Winners | Filmmaking in Russia". Russianfilm.biz. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  22. ^ "Winners of the IDFA 2012 Awards announced". Amsterdam, Netherlands: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "Doha Tribeca Film Festival". Doha Film Institute. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  24. ^ "The 2013 Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking". Cinemaeyehonors.com. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  25. ^ Krausz, Peter. "AFCA Award Winners". 22 Feb 2013. AFCA. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  26. ^ Media, Subculture. "AFCA 2012 Nominees". 22 Feb 2012. Subculture Media. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  27. ^ "Rodriguez – 'Searching For Sugar Man (The Soundtrack)' (Audio CD)". Ughh.com. 
  28. ^ "Soundtrack / Rodriguez – Searching For Sugar Man". Australiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  29. ^ "Soundtrack / Rodriguez - Searching For Sugar Man" (In German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  30. ^ "Soundtrack / Rodriguez – Searching For Sugar Man" (In Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  31. ^ "Soundtrack / Rodriguez – Searching For Sugar Man" (In French). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  32. ^ "Soundtrack / Rodriguez – Searching For Sugar Man". Danishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  33. ^ "Soundtrack / Rodriguez – Searching For Sugar Man". Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  34. ^ "Soundtrack / Rodriguez: Searching For Sugar Man" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  35. ^ "Soundtrack / Rodriguez – Searching For Sugar Man". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  36. ^ "Artisti - Classifica settimanale WK 13 (dal 24-03-2014 al 30-03-2014)" (in Italian). FIMI. 3 April 2014. 
  37. ^ "Soundtrack / Rodriguez – Searching For Sugar Man". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  38. ^ "Soundtrack / Rodriguez – Searching For Sugar Man". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  39. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLIS - Official Retail Sales Chart" (In Polish). OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  40. ^ "Soundtrack / Rodriguez – Searching For Sugar Man". Spanishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  41. ^ "Soundtrack / Rodriguez – Searching For Sugar Man". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  42. ^ "Soundtrack / Rodriguez – Searching For Sugar Man". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  43. ^ "Rodriguez Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Rodriguez. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  44. ^ "Rodriguez Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Folk Albums for Rodriguez. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  45. ^ "Rodriguez Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums for Rodriguez. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  46. ^ "Rodriguez Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Top Rock Albums for Rodriguez. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  47. ^ "Polish album certifications" (in Polish). Polish Producers of Audio and Video (ZPAV). Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  48. ^ "Veckolista Album – Vecka 20, 17 maj 2013" (in Swedish). Swedish Recording Industry Association. 8 May 2013. 

External links[edit]