“Searching for Sugar Man,” a film that was shot on the Sony PMW-EX1 XDCAM camcorder and documents the search by two South African fans for legendary musician Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, is nominated for a Best Documentary Academy Award tonight. Rodriguez is an enigmatic music artist from Detroit who entered the music scene in the 1970’s with two albums, Cold Fact (1970) and Coming From Reality (1971). After both albums met with disappointing sales, Rodriquez disappeared from the music scene into the shadows amidst rumors of an on-stage suicide.
Both albums resurfaced in South Africa during that country’s anti-apartheid movement, and were eventually banned by the South African government. He remained virtually unheard in America, but elsewhere around the world, Rodriguez grew as popular as Elvis or the Rolling Stones, as revered as Bob Dylan or the Beatles. “Searching For Sugar Man” brings Rodriguez face-to-face with a nation of fans he didn’t even know existed, while introducing a whole new generation of listeners to his music.
Some of Rodriguez’s songs like “Sugar Man,” a dark paean to the drug-addict-pusher relationship, and “Crucify Your Mind,” an inquiry into the nature of consciousness, capture and illuminate urban realities, while other tracks–like “I Wonder” or “I Think of You”–reflect a breezy, if leery, romanticism, the ruminations of a man who knows what love is, and what it is not and is able to put it all into poetry that rings as true as streets of Detroit, as real as today. You can find the rest of the songs on the “Searching for Sugar Man” soundtrack here.
The film opened the 2012 Sundance festival–where it won a World Cinema Audience Award (Documentary) and a World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Prize for its Celebration of the Artistic Spirit. It premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, and also at a screening hosted by Alec Baldwin at the Hamptons International Film Festival’s Summer Docs series.
“Searching for Sugarman” is the latest high-profile doc shot on Sony’s PMW-EX1 XDCAM camcorder. For more info on the EX1, visit www.sony.com/xdcam.
Tune into The Oscars, Live on Sunday 7PM Eastern, 4PM Pacific, to see if “Searching For Sugar Man” takes home the award!