Creator of "Sopranos" back with rock'n'roll tale

Mon Oct 8, 2012 6:52pm EDT
 
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The creator of the popular "Sopranos" is back, this time on the big screen with a new saga set in the New Jersey suburbs filled with teenagers and rock 'n' roll instead of mobsters and violence.

David Chase's cinema debut, "Not Fade Away", which premiered at the New York Film Festival, is a coming-of-age story set in the early 1960s, centered around a group of teens who form a band and taste the entwined allures of rock music and rebellion.

At the core of the story is Douglas, played by John Magaro with the sleepy eyes and curly mop of a young Bob Dylan, who aspires to become a singer and songwriter.

Along the way come friendships and conflicts among the band members and growing tension with Douglas' traditionally minded family, particularly his father, played by James Gandolfini.

Joining Gandolfini, best known as mobster Tony Soprano, in the making of "Not Fade Away" is another "Sopranos" alumnus, Steve Van Zandt. Van Zandt played mobster Silvio Dante on the hit HBO television series, produced and written by Chase, which ended five years ago.

A guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, Van Zandt served as music supervisor for "Not Fade Away" and taught the actors to play hits by Buddy Holly, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Kinks in a 3-month musical studio "boot camp," he said at a press briefing in New York.

"They're a band now. They could perform at a party tonight," Van Zandt said. "It took me, like, 10 years to learn what they learned in three months."

Chase, 67, said the movie is immensely personal, but he stopped short of calling it autobiographical, despite his stint playing drums in a band as a teenager.   Continued...

 
John Magaro as Douglas (L), Brahm Vaccarella as Joe Patuto (2ndL), Jack Huston as Eugene and Will Brill as Wells (R) are pictured from a scene in the film "Not Fade Away", from Paramount Vantage and Indian Paintbrush in Association with The Weinstein Company, in this handout promotional photo. The creator of the popular "Sopranos" is back, this time on the big screen with a new saga set in the New Jersey suburbs filled with teenagers and rock 'n' roll instead of mobsters and violence. REUTERS/MMXII Paramount Vantage, A Division of Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush Productions LLC./Barry Wetcher/Handout