West Coast Premiere
Directed, edited and written by Amiel Courtin-Wilson
Australia, 2012. In English. 86mins.
At the age of 14 a nice Jewish boy from Sydney, Australia became a rock star, and at 16, an international pop star. His name is Ben Lee, and, like his music, he’s still evolving. The transition into stardom began with a self-produced fourtrack demo recorded in Lee’s bedroom that brought his band Noise Addict to the attention of Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and the Beastie Boys’ Mike D. After his band broke up, Ben, only 16 at the time, moved to Los Angeles and embarked on a solo career, belting out spunky indie pop hits like “Something to Remember Me By” and “Catch My Disease.” He dated actress Claire Danes,and the young lovers were soon inseparable as fame continued to bombard them. Their breakup a few years later left Ben in a fragile state, which led to a reexamination of his life and what was truly important to him. Featuring interviews with friends Winona Ryder, Jason Schwartzman and Michelle Williams, candid home videos of pre-stardom life in the Sydney suburbs and intimate footage of Lee’s marriage to actress Ione Skye in India, Ben Lee: Catch My Disease goes beyond the typical biodoc and becomes a profoundly moving portrait of an artist’s evolution. Subject Ben Lee in person in San Francisco.