CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: More Questions Than Answers in ‘Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon’
CHICAGO – Not much is really revealed about the subject of the documentary “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon,” co-directed by comedian Mike Myers. Shep is a rock star agent, Shep gets rich, Shep shares his Hawaiian beach condo with big stars, Shep represents gourmet chefs, Shep likes to cook and Shep strangely wants kids, despite being in his sixties and not being able to maintain any domestic relationship. There is no there in this film, only the spoils of good representation.
There are definitely more questions than answers by the end of this film, regarding what is revealed about Shep Gordon – and more importantly, what isn’t revealed. He seems a nice enough guy on the surface, but a “super-mensch”? You really have to back up such a title with some real humanity, not getting multi-million contracts and having a nice beach condo. There is no doubt that Shep Gordon is a good friend to Mike Myers and the other celebrities that are profiled regarding him, but what was revealed about him – even in his fostering of a family – wasn’t enough for the super-mensch title and to sustain a documentary treatment that is released in theaters.
Fresh out of college in the late 1960s, Shep Gordon lucked into a situation that began him on a path as an agent for rock groups and singers. His main client becomes Alice Cooper, and it is Shep’s guidance that creates superstardom for the rocker. And since this is the 1970s, he also picks up acts like Anne Murray, Luther Vandross and Teddy Pendergrass.
When the money starts rolling in, Gordon buys a condo in Maui, where he becomes known as a great host and escape hatch for clients, friends and stars. He meets Mike Myers on the ‘Wayne’s World’ set in 1991, and Myers becomes one of his house guests. Around the same time he originates a whole new type of celebrity, when he begins to represent chefs. Despite all the trappings, he desires to have a family of his own, but can’t seem to get to that point.
The Title Subject Has an Awesome Hawaiian Beach House in ‘Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon’
Photo credit: RADIUS-TWC