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Cannes’ Jerry Lee Lewis Documentary Avoids His Gross Pedophilia and Incest

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What can even be said about Ethan Coen’s hilariously anonymous, cheerfully banal documentary about Jerry Lee Lewis? You’ve seen hundreds of these things screening on any TV channel at 8:30 pm on a Tuesday, prompting your grandfather to observe: “He was lively, wasn’t he? That Jerry Lee Lewis. What was the name of his song? Turn the sound up.”

Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble In Mind is nominally “by” Ethan Coen, but readers are hereby defied—defied!—to find a single instance of the singular brother’s personal input. Sift through the endless archival footage of Jerry playing a rousing boogie-woogie on a variety show, or sitting sideways to his piano at home and reminiscing about Sun Records, or playing another slice of hair-raising boogie-woogie in concert, or reminiscing about his switch to country music, or playing some more boogie-woogie, and try to find the influence of the man behind half of The Big Lebowski. You can’t. There is a confounding lack of viewpoint on display here, in almost........

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