Fleeting Star

Published June 26, 2013

ABOVE: ANDY HUMMEL, JODY STEPHENS, CHRIS BELL AND ALEX CHILTON IN BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MAGNOLIA PICTURES.

For many music fans, Big Star is a band you hear about before you actually ever hear them. Formed in 1971, the Memphis group ultimately became one of rock’s most profoundly mythologized, misunderstood, and influential bands. As it turns out, Big Star’s backstory is just as sweetly heartbreaking as their all-too-brief back catalog. Drew DeNicola’s documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me details the origins of the band and the fraught relationship between founding members Chris Bell and Alex Chilton, the latter of whom would go on to become an adored cult figure, while Bell would die in obscurity in a 1978 car wreck. Drawing on firsthand accounts from surviving band members, rare live footage, and testimonials from the band’s famous devotees, the film helps secure—once and for all—the legacy that somehow eluded Big Star during their heyday.