Reviewed by Marc Glassman
Mother of Rock: Lillian Roxon
Paul Clarke, director
With: Roxon, Danny Fields, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Germaine Greer
A gifted and passionate journalist, Lillian Roxon blazed a path in New York, where she lived for the last 15 years of her brief but influential life. The Italian-born Jewish Australian wrote constantly for papers in Sydney and New York, chronicling a period when feminism, rock and “out” gay artists were making a revolutionary impact on mainstream cultural thought.
Roxon wrote a brilliant Rock Encyclopedia, which inspired a new breed of journalists to embrace the music and take it on critically. She espoused the music of Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop and the Velvet Underground—dark pre-punk figures, who were creating a new counter-culture to that of the hippie idealists. She publicized and worked closely with Germaine Greer during the crucial period when she wrote and launched The Female Eunuch. Roxon hung out with Andy Warhol and his whole gang of arty sexual provocateurs.
Mother of Rock catches this astonishing character, who has receded into obscurity. I predict that this very well made doc will resurrect her writing and put her back on the cultural map. The wildly talented, asthmatic, overweight, sexual—and cultural–adventurer should finally be restored to her proper place in the royalty of the Sixties and Seventies. This, too, is a film that TIFF goers should embrace.