Review: 40 Years In the Making: The Magic Music Movie

A '70s Cult Favorite Finds New Life

   As the writer and creator of shows like Murphy Brown, Two and a Half Men, and The Big Bang Theory, TV sitcom king Lee Aronsohn is a master of the snippy, cynical put-down. But it turns out he's a mushy sentimentalist when it comes to the music of his young adulthood — and he finds surprising power in that reservoir of nostalgia in this tuneful documentary. 

As a student at the University of Colorado Boulder in the early 1970s, Aronsohn fell in thrall of a group called Magic Music — a quintet of canyon-dwelling hippies who would roam down from their school bus homes to perform on campus and in local venues. The group never released an album, but through vintage recordings Aronsohn resurrects their sound: lyrical songs that evoke the glories of nature, lifted  with  transcendent harmonies. They sounded a lot like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, but even from this sampling  it's not hard to imagine them at some point surpassing that supergroup in spirit-soaring creativity. 

The group disbanded in 1977, having squandered their repeated chances at commercial success, but Aronsohn never forgot them. For his film, the director seeks to reunite the players for one last concert, 40 years after their last gig. 

The Magic Music Movie divides itself into two parts: Part one is  (FULL REVIEW)

 

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