CULTURE VULTURE: “Dear Governor Cuomo” @ The Linda, Albany, 12/7/12

December 14th, 2012, 3:00 pm by Greg
Jon Bowermaster and Alan Chartock

Jon Bowermaster and Alan Chartock

Review and photographs by J Hunter

By traditional standards, Jon Bowermaster’s film “Dear Governor Cuomo” is a logistical miracle: The idea for the film – and the all-star concert living inside it – was hatched in March of this year. Nine months may be a long time in politics, but even in this age of flash mobs and YouTube, that’s basically the blink of an eye when the task is to make a movie that looks this good and flows this well. There are flaws, but none of them have to do with the film’s overall message: “Governor Cuomo, don’t let this happen here!”

The promotional literature calls this film a cross between “The Last Waltz” and “An Inconvenient Truth”; in the Q&A following the screening at The Linda, Bowermaster copped to coining that comparison. While “Cuomo” isn’t as star-studded as “Waltz,” some of the artists’ involved (Medeski Martin & Wood, the Felice Brothers and Me’Shell Ndegeocello, to name three) definitely have cachet in the alternative-music world, and the involvement of legends like Joan Osborne, John Sebastian and concert musical director Natalie Merchant rings bells for those of us with silver in our hair. A closer political parallel would be the 1979 film “No Nukes,” although Bowermaster rejects that comparison because Nukes “was almost pure music, and didn’t have any other information other than ‘Nukes are bad.’” He’s wrong, but more on that in a bit.

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