Do you remember how hard it was to not hear something about Maya O'Malley six or seven years ago? I mean, it was unheard of how quick he sprang from nowhere - and even more unheard of how fast everyone turned on him it seemed. Even in the music industry, such a change of fortune so fast, is just crazy talk usually. Right? Justin Connor's rockumentary, "The Golden Age" chronicles O'Malley and the musician's ups and downs; his talent and beliefs. And for those who have never heard of this man, or listened to his music - don't worry. The reason you can't remember all the hoopla surrounding him six or seven years ago, and why his rise was so unheard of, is because it never actually happened. "The Golden Age" is a mockumentary rockumentary. Following the life of a fictional character created by Justin Connor. But damn, you would never know it when watching.
That's right folks, it's all fake. Every shot, every interview, every everything. But don't for a second think that Connor's piece falls into the category of cheesy, crappy, indie fake doc. This film is as well done and interesting as watching an episode of Bio about your favorite star. Even the large troupe of actors, including a real-life rock star, treat this project as if it were an honest to God real doc about a real person. Displaying the appropriate emotions along the way. And in case you're wondering, yes reader. There's is plenty of music for your listening pleasure along the way. Live stage performances, studio sessions, and apartment jams are all included in the edit - even better? They're actually performed by Justin Connor AKA Maya O'Malley and the musicians he hangs with. The end result? This really feels like a real documentary, that is definitely not mocking or funny in any real way. O'Malley's life views, friendships, relationships, and troubles are all treated as if they were real - as if he were real. And the film is all the more entertaining because of these aspects.
When it comes to the production elements themselves, let me cut straight to the chase. This film looks and sounds great. From the visually interesting editing, right through to the excellently recorded audio and soundtrack, "The Golden Age" is a winner through and through. If you just happened upon this film while surfing your favorite television channel, you'd not only very quickly become captivated, but also be asking yourself a few choice questions. Such as, "Was I under a rock a few years ago? Why is it I've never heard of this guy or his music?" This would probably be followed by a quick Google search revealing that you never really missed anything. Maya O'Malley never existed. Yet from the look, sounds, and interviews in this show you are seeing, you'd swear this was a real documentary. What's more? Essentially it is. The look and acting aside, I'm willing to bet a lot of O'Malley is actually just a rebranded Justin Connor. Complete with real musical talent and stories to tell. It's no wonder this film works so well.
Things are not one hundred percent perfect however, there is a slight winded feeling I got during the third act. Nothing that made me want to hit the stop button, but noticeable none the less. I can't say for sure how long this feeling persisted, but probably only a few minutes before it passed into oblivion.
At the end of the day? Bravo. "The Golden Age" is full of itself in all the best ways. It's a shame this man truly wasn't real. A real throw-back to another era of music. I smiled at O'Malley's lyrical classicism, and his use of near anything to produce a great sound. I also loved his quirkiness and imperfections. It is a real shame he's not real - but the truth is that when on your screen, he is real. As real as any true-life musical celebrity can be. A solid four stars. PS - That last song? What a great way to end the film.