School of Rock Screen 7 articles

School of Rock

2003

School of Rock Poster
  • Cute as the youngsters are, The School of Rock is basically The Jack Black Show, and while his performance scarcely deviates from the demented-slobbo persona he's established elsewhere, his manic energy and droll overenunciation ("Any questions?" "Yeah, when's llllunnnch?") score laughs from even the most banal material. Sardonic and heartfelt, innovative yet familiar, this is commercial filmmaking par excellence. As Dewey says, "It will test your head...and your mind...and your brain."

  • No one in this PG-13 world is particularly dazed and confused, but everyone has his or her inner rock god—even Joan Cusack's amusingly nervous principal is a closeted Stevie Nicks. Piloted by Black's endearingly obnoxious true believer, School of Rock successfully navigates between the sentimental Scylla of Dead Poets Society and the cloying Charybdis of The Bad News Bears.

  • Broadly speaking, this is Richard Linklater’s French Cancan – that is to say, a humanist’s joyful exploration of the musical in which the actors’ personalities resonate as much as the characters they play. Or maybe it’s what Jean Renoir might have come up with if he’d remade Don’t Knock the Rock and cast 12-year-olds as the musicians.

  • A second look at any of Linklater’s other works would have made this somewhat obscure object unmistakable. School of Rock is far more than the sum of its more traditional components, and, though it might sound ridiculous, I’ve often wondered if it might not be the most perfect distillation of Linklater’s ideas yet.

  • In its vision of rock music as consensus, SCHOOL OF ROCK is something like an inversion of SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL: in Linklater's movie, the fragmented rehearsals suggest the slow stirrings of creation. These unostentatious but fluidly masterful sequences form the backbone of the film, real-time demonstrations of collaboration and outstanding classroom management in action.

  • Much in the same way that “Before Sunset” builds and expands on the ideas brought into play by “Before Sunrise”, “School of Rock” looks back and the basic building blocks of “Slacker” and “Dazed and Confused” and tries to assemble them into something more mature a decade-plus on.

  • Linklater invests the specifics of the conceit . . . with freewheeling energy and rowdy humor, with sardonic wit and authentic longing. Plus, it has lines that quickly became part of our everyday talk (“Cel-lo!”) and music that entered the household vernacular (not the hard-rock classics that were covered but the originals).

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