July 17, 2014 6:24 pm

Supermensch: the Legend of Shep Gordon – film review

Comedian-turned-director Mike Myers’ new documentary is a fawning fan job about his manager

What a week for documentaries: we get the omega as well as the alphas (see Finding Vivian Maier and I Am Divine). Supermensch: the Legend of Shep Gordon is comedian-turned-director Mike Myers’ fawning fan job about his manager. For a while we hope the film is a gag. It isn’t. Only in the other sense of gag. Gordon, a man with the charm of a lizard chilling on a bordello balcony, begins as a notionally loveable rogue – drugs, drug-selling, backstage parties with groupies – and grows, in his story’s telling, into a warm and giving human being, if a bit over-giving with his own career facts.

Gordon recalls launching into movie production with Ridley Scott’s The Duellists which “won the 1977 Cannes Film Festival”. (It didn’t. Padre Padrone won the Palme d’Or. The Duellists won a subsidiary best first feature prize.) He recalls co-founding a film company with Carolyn Pfeiffer, “the first female to run a studio.” (She wasn’t and it wasn’t.)

Perming his legend, the man who also manages Michael Douglas and Sylvester Stallone, both recruited to ra-ra to camera, mellows with age into a messiah of Make-Believe Town. Dating Sharon Stone, he discerns “her amazing depth of spirituality”. He nursed car-crashed singer Teddy Pendergrass, he tells us, back to health and showbiz: saintliness from the saint’s own mouth. He also opened his Maui manse to Mike Myers for two months of spiritual self-repair. Ah, so that’s it. Now we get the movie’s point. Debts repaid. Schmooze mission undertaken and completed.


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