A hilarious cautionary tale tracing documentarist Broomfield's efforts to film the genesis of a glitzy stage show, to be produced in Munich by singer/impresario André Heller, reflecting the diversity of black musical experience. The budget for the associated documentary film is slashed from $1.4 million to $300,000, and a fictional subplot is introduced against Broomfield's will. Efforts to salvage the Fame-style feature founder, and fearing the collapse of the whole project, Broomfield continues on the understanding that he is allowed to film everything. The New York auditions give a first hint of the show's likely quality, a synthetic showbiz extravaganza incorporating a mish-mash of calypso, gospel, rap, tap, ballet and breakdance. More captivating by far are the off-stage machinations, including surreal conversations with neurotic scriptwriter Joe Hindy, a clandestine meeting between Broomfield and his producer in a broom cupboard, and crisis discussions conducted in financial double-speak. Several memorable characters emerge as Broomfield struggles to keep things in focus, his intrusive camera revealing artistic compromise, fragile egos, and a great deal of unintentional humour.
Cast and crew