Of course, comparing David Chase's big screen offering 'Not Fade Away' with his magnum opus 'The Sopranos' would be futile, though many will be unable to sit through the saga of mobsters and violence in New Jersey without sparing a thought for James Gandolfini and Tony Soprano; partly because Gandolfini stars in the new movie.
The movie - which premiered at the New York Film Festival this week - is essentially a coming-of-age story set in the early 1960s, when rock music and rebellion became truly intertwined. The plot centers on an aspiring singer-songwriter named Douglas (John Magaro) and his traditionally minded father, played by Gandolfini. The 51-year-old isn't the only Sopranos alumni to join Chase on 'Not Fade Away' - Steve Van Zandt served as music supervisor on the movie and taught the actors to play hits by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks during a three-month musical "boot camp", reports Reuters. Van Zandt, a guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's famed E Street band, played mobster Silvio Dante on HBO's hit television series, which ended five years ago. Speaking at a press briefing in New York, the musician said of the cast, "They're a band now. They could perform at a party tonight.It took me, like, 10 years to learn what they learned in three months."
Early reception to the film has been positive, with The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney writing, "In his first feature, David Chase returns to the New Jersey suburbs to cast a bittersweet glance back at the rock-fueled restlessness of the Sixties." ScreenCrush's Matt Singer focused his praise on filmmaker Chase, calling him, "the total package: a visual storyteller with a great ear for dialogue."