The way that some document their exsistence, can be fraught with barriers. From the careful use of prose in a diary, to the avoidance of words in audio recordings. ALL I CAN SAY, the documentary on the life of Blind Melon singer Shannon Hoon, uses his own self recorded videos to narrate his life journey. These are all set in chronological order and then filmed on Hoon’s handheld video recorder. A stuttering set of images, clips, chats, some dubious documenting of band mates talking while he is off screen. All charting the band and focusing on their best known single ‘No Rain’. They were formed in 1990 in Los Angeles and Hoon was the central voice for the band. He was also a multi tasker with Guns N’ Roses’ during their Use Your Illusion recording sessions. Blind Melon lifted off and toured. Then for Hoon, came success and a baby, drugs and death.

This is the sort of trajectory of the piece. A film that runs straight toward its prize without really looking at the sides, nor asking questions of its film matter. This could be or should I say mean, that the content is just there for us to passively take in. Or it could be that we are the judges and jury of his life. I think the former is more where the film makers are targeting. To be honest, it is all handled in a non exploitative or exhubrent way, with little underpinning of a life that skirts into the dive of rehab and drug dependancy. Instead it lands itself on soft ground, revealing slight touches of Hoon as a creative force, a loving partner and, just a little dubious of character. He is a man from nowhere, going somewhere but often aware of his own exsitence inside this void. There are no ‘Rock and Roll’ lifestyle scenes. His drugs are never brought to the forefront mind. It is spoken of in the background, which dampens the effect of his death and some of his more, excessive, actions. Hoon, the day he died on October 21, 1995, still had the camera running and though it happened on tour in support of Blind Melon’s sophomore album, Soup, he left behind a lot of questions. Which ALL I CAN SAY, doesnt answer.

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