Röckët Stähr’s Death of a Rockstar (2020) [Fantaspoa Fest 2021]

It’s not too often I’m privileged enough to watch an animated rock opera, but Röckët Stähr’s one man production about world fighting for peace through rock and roll is quite the spectacle. One thing you can’t accuse it of is being unambitious, as Röckët Stähr’s does everything in the movie possible. He literally does everything as when the movie comes to a close you can see the impressive list of tasks he undertook to bring his movie to life.

In the year 2164, when rock n roll is banned, a group of underground rebels, lead by a mad scientist, attempt to start a non-violent revolution by waking up the docile masses via a cloned rockstar sent on a guerrilla tour to “rock n roll them free from the tyranny”. But they soon find out, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

“Death of a Rockstar” deserves to be seen mainly because it’s such an impressive undertaking. There are a lot of willing animators out there anxious to get their vision out and Rocket Stahr delivers on a fairly interesting genre amalgam. “Death of a Rockstar” has everything from comedy and fantasy to very relevant social commentary about crucifying rock stars. As well there’s also the villainous religious right that seek to stomp out any and all forms of rock music.

Röckët Stähr has an obvious reverence for rock and roll music and classic pop and does a great job placing them on a pedestal while he becomes something of an avatar for the art form. “Death of a Rockstar” isn’t a completely flawless film as the narrative can get a bit muddled and the endless music can get a bit exhausting here and there. That said, “Death of a Rockstar” is a great love letter to rock and roll, with a killer sense of humor about itself; it should suit experimental viewers alike that can really soak in the animation and the way the medium is implemented.

This film is part of Fantaspoa, which runs for free on the streaming platform Darkflix, from April 9th through the 18th. All film screenings are geo-blocked to Brazil, with additional details available at www.fantaspoa.com.