For one thing, Weber isn't much of an interviewer, asking the musician's mother, "Did he disappoint you as a son?" and directing one of Baker's ex-wives to "tell me something romantic." Still, with the recent documentary explosion prizing kinetic revelations at all costs, Weber's patient accumulation is a virtue in itself. We hear several versions of a story about Baker getting his teeth knocked out, and although none of them paints a convincingly specific picture, we do get the overarching thrust of a sad decline.
Originally released the same year as Gus Van Sant's similarly loving debut, Mala Noche, Let's Get Lost gives the lie to the notion that every gaze is created equal. Weber may wrap the disillusionment of Baker's life in the romanticism of the latter's demeanor, but the director also gives the spiraling musician space for self-expression (including a couple of lovely, understated full performances) and, in an empathetic final scene, offers to buy him a methadone fix. The film is as recklessly lyrical as Baker was himself, and it's in this way that in spite of its shortcomings as biography Let's Get Lost has the spiritual heft of an ample epigraph. The ragged icon mumbles about the film's production being "a dream," and the inevitable fade to black and memorial that follows seem exactly the type of void he'd like to walk into. *
LET'S GET LOST
Opens Fri/18, $6$9
429 Castro, SF