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An Affair of the Heart(2012)
No synopsis for An Affair of the Heart.
For more about An Affair of the Heart and the An Affair of the Heart Blu-ray release, see An Affair of the Heart Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on July 17, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Rick Springfield
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An Affair of the Heart Blu-ray Review
Portrait of the artist as regular guy.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, July 17, 2013
We live in such a celebrity obsessed culture that it shouldn't be any big surprise that some people take their real or imagined connections with stars pretty seriously. Case in point: this video, which rather ironically has catapulted its fairly hysterical "star" into his own version of celebrity after his plea went viral, attracting literally tens of millions of hits. A cursory glance at the magazine aisle in any given supermarket or a quick flick of the channels on any of the many entertainment oriented cable channels will prove how insatiable the public's appetite is for celebrity "news", reports that ostensibly hope to give viewers an up close and personal view of their favorite stars. Reality television is certainly no stranger to this same phenomenon, though anyone who has ever watched one of these purportedly "unscripted" enterprises soon becomes aware just how unreal these shows typically are. (The latest to enter the reality television sweepstakes is none other than Lindsay Lohan, who will have a short form series debuting soon on Oprah Winfrey's troubled OWN Network, perhaps a sign of just how troubled the network may well be.) But buried in the "fake" news of celebri-tainment that gluts our current culture are occasional oases of actually decent people who just also happen to be stars. Such seems to be the case with Rick Springfield, erstwhile General Hospital heartthrob and major 1980s music star, one of the few celebrities of that era in fact who was able to chart considerable success both in television and in music. Springfield walked away from his music career in 1990, and as An Affair of the Heart makes clear in its opening moments, most thought he had kissed that part of his multifaceted career goodbye for whatever reason. But around a decade later, Springfield emerged with new tunes and a new desire to tour. What An Affair of the Heart also makes clear is that Springfield has an unusually rabid fan base, one which patiently waited out his fallow years and which now ardently enjoys his reemergence as an affable pop-rock god.
MTV famously started its broadcast history by playing "Video Killed the Radio Star", but MTV itself helped maked Springfield a major pop phenomenon in the 1980s, regularly playing his music videos and making him a beefcake pinup in those halcyon days of magazines like Tiger Beat. Ironically, though, Springfield was dismissed at the time, including on MTV itself, as being something of a lightweight in the nascent world of arena rock. One of the original MTV video jockeys, Mark Goodman, is on hand throughout An Affair of the Heart, perhaps ruefully looking back on his own mistaken impression that Springfield was nothing other than a "pretty boy" who had little to offer from a musical perspective. But even a cursory listen to any of Springfield's major hits (and there are a lot of them, even if he is mostly remembered for "Jessie's Girl" by the casual public at large) reveals a very smart songwriter who easily crafts instantly memorable hooks and always fills his songs with nice turns of phrase and interesting but accessible changes.
But An Affair of the Heart is really less about Springfield and his music than about how those two elements actually affected a number of people. We have former teenyboppers who fell in love with Springfield when they were young and continue to carry the torch for him today, torches supported by their understanding husbands in some cases. We're introduced to more compelling stories like a Unitarian minister who was gang raped and who relied on Springfield's music to first help her cope and then connect her to the anger she needed to release. And there's another woman born with a congenital heart defect who spent months in recovery as a child after several surgeries who listened compulsively to Working Class Dog and developed a lifelong love of Springfield. What sets these stories apart from the usual gamut of fan obsessed fare is the fact that in many of these cases Springfield has become personally involved with the fans themselves. This is perhaps most evident in the story of Dustin, a teenager who started appearing on stage with Springfield when he was a mere tot of three years, then for comedy relief (more or less), but who now lives the dream of playing guitar on stage with his idol. It's a very sweet story and one which highlights Springfield's amiable accessibility.
An Affair of the Heart might seem to the more cynical among us as just a bit self-serving (especially as it seems to have been produced by Springfield's own production company), but there's also a refreshing honesty to the piece which doesn't shirk from some of Springfield's own problems, including serial infidelity and his own teenaged suicide attempt. The documentary makes a really compelling argument that fan worship isn't always an unhealthy thing. The wonderful thing about An Affair of the Heart is how it reveals the heart connections here are two way streets—Springfield gives as well as takes, and as a result both he and his fans find their lives enriched.
An Affair of the Heart Blu-ray, Video Quality
An Affair of the Heart is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Breaking Glass Pictures with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. This is a really nicely sharp and well detailed documentary that manages to offer excellent clarity not only in the expected talking heads sequences but the many live performance sequences as well. Contrast in some of the live performance moments is spotty at times, but otherwise this is a solid looking release which features excellent fine object detail, nicely saturated and accurate looking color, and a crisp, well defined image.
An Affair of the Heart Blu-ray, Audio Quality
An Affair of the Heart features both a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix as well as well as an uncompressed LPCM 2.0 stereo fold down. Both of these tracks offer sterling fidelity, but the 5.1 mix amplifies Springfield's music and provides a much more fulsome low end (as should be expected), with sometimes really surprisingly visceral results in the live music sequences. The talking heads segments sound fine, if narrow, but the 5.1 track really opens up some of the music as well as some of the backstage elements to provide some good immersion and use of the surround channels.
An Affair of the Heart Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
An Affair of the Heart offers the main documentary on one Blu-ray disc. A second Blu-ray disc features the following supplements:
An Affair of the Heart Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Rick Springfield has had a kind of unusual career, and he perhaps never really got his due as a major musical force in the "big hair" 1980s. Looking back on his string of huge hits from that decade, it's obvious that Springfield was always a more than capable craftsman, but perhaps his most important achievement has been his connection to his fans, something that An Affair of the Heart highlights to a frequently touching degree. There are some really interesting stories here, and the most interesting thing about many of them is how deeply they seem to have touched Springfield. In our world of insta-fame, it's nice to get a portrayal of a guy who's been around for a while and has experienced considerable success, but who still has his feet firmly planted on the ground. This Blu-ray offers excellent video and audio and comes packed with great supplementary material. Highly recommended.
An Affair of the Heart Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: Rick Springfield An Affair of the Heart - July 16, 2013
Blu-ray.com and Breaking Glass Pictures are offering three members a chance to win a copy of An Affair of the Heart, a documentary profiling Rick Springfield and seven of his fans who are such devout lovers of Springfield and his music that they put their lives ...
• An Affair of the Heart Blu-ray - May 8, 2013
Breaking Glass Pictures and Yellow Rick Road Productions have teamed up to bring to Blu-ray the award-winning rock documentary An Affair of the Heart, named for the classic Rick Springfield song, and following the singer's unique relationship with seven super fans ...
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