Note to readers: The following is a biased review from a guy whose favorite band is the subject of the film.
An amazing roughly shot 16mm time-capsule into the private lives of The Doors which is a must for any major fan. It plays out like a series of private videos strung together with some concert footage in-between. While watching this 50 minute love letter you can’t help but feel that you are getting a very rare look into the mind that was too distorted for his generation and the three band members that accompanied him into the void in search of meaning and understanding. Jim Morrison was never to return from the void that held all of the answers he was looking for, which is why to many of us the iconic leading man of The Doors is still a mystery. Every facial _expression holds a clue to what may or may not be going on inside his head.
The film begins with footage of The Doors inside of a car being mobbed by fans. The Policeman says to Jim “wait a while, don’t get out yet!” Following his simple admonition, Jim gets out of the car immediately only to be swarmed by fans and seeming very overwhelmed by the attention and wanting nothing more than to move away.
Some amazing cinematography in this piece that no amount of money in the world could ever capture again or duplicate. The beauty of this film is its untreated and unrefined imagery. With eye-catching shots of individuals in the crowd of an outdoor concert, a conversation between Jim and Pastor Fred L. Stegmeyer ‘Minister at Large’, security having to tame a crazed crowd all the way to Jim screwing around on the piano in private, this is a series of small moments in a time that gave birth to the greatest rock band the World has ever seen.
“Feast of Friends” was put together by the key crew involved in the rare Kerouac inspired short feature “HWY: An American Pastoral” (1969) starring Jim Morrison as The Hitchhiker searching for meaning on a lonesome trip across the highways and back roads of America. The crew comprised of Paul Ferrara and Frank Lisciandro who attended UCLA with Manzarek along with an old friend of Ferrara’s, Babe Hill.
There is so much more to say about this film which sends that bubbly ethereal feeling to the pit of one’s stomach. Unfortunately only words have definitions and occasionally you can use those words to express your feelings but every once in a while something so special comes along, that nothing can communicate that sensation. It is a point where you can’t separate your mind and heart. I felt that with “Feast of Friends”.
There has still never been an official release of this documentary 36 years after its completion. To any impartial viewers, “Feast of Friends” will come across as an incoherent mess which is why its appeal is limited to fans of The Doors.