I Trust You To Kill Me

Manu Boyer's documentary follows L.A.-based, blues-tinged band Rocco DeLuca and the Burden — the first band signed to actor Kiefer Sutherland's independent label, Ironworks — on their first international tour, a 2005, four-city series of gigs in London, Dublin, Reykjavik and Berlin. Sutherland appointed himself the band's tour manager, apparently...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Manu Boyer's documentary follows L.A.-based, blues-tinged band Rocco DeLuca and the Burden — the first band signed to actor Kiefer Sutherland's independent label, Ironworks — on their first international tour, a 2005, four-city series of gigs in London, Dublin, Reykjavik and Berlin. Sutherland appointed himself the band's tour manager, apparently as much because he was desperate for a complete change of scenery after months of shooting 24 as because he wanted to support the band. "Organization is not his middle name," an associate worries, but Sutherland — though a dilettante by any definition — proves surprisingly willing to stump tirelessly, give out free tickets to fill the house, hump luggage from place to place, and stay in hotels that are clearly nothing like those to which he's become accustomed. He also loses something at every stop (he's especially aggrieved about his cell phone), does his share of carousing and has a problem getting up on time. The angst is DeLuca's department, but since the tour generally goes smoothly, and since DeLuca and bandmates Ryan Carman, Greg Velasquez and Dave Beste are generally serious, responsible and either have no serious vices or keep them under wraps, the film never achieves the heights of the classic road-wreck rock docs. There are occasional hiccups: A fax dealing with both event flyers and inexpensive accommodations results in flyers touting the appearance of "Rocco DeLuca and Cheap Hotel"; a New Year's Eve show in Berlin is booked in a club with tables on the floor, so DeLuca sulks that he's putting on a rock show, not dinner theater. Boyer dutifully follows Sutherland and the band around hotels, and documents a series of shows, devoting generous screen time to DeLuca's tormented repertory, but overall the drama stays between the lines. DeLuca alludes briefly to the fact that both he and Sutherland were raised by largely absent fathers. Sutherland, in an Icelandic tattoo parlor having "I Trust You to Kill Me," the title of one of DeLuca's songs, inked on his arm in runic script, explains that the phrase sums up his feeling that you have to follow your own interests and instincts because someone will criticize you no matter what you do. Unfortunately, Boyer wasn't on hand to record Sutherland's getting fired as tour manager, but since Rocco DeLuca and the Burden remain with the Ironworks label, even that must have been a relatively minor crisis. Who knew the rock 'n' roll life could be so mild?

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