Follows four generations of Jewish-American musicians as each painfully seeks fame through changing musical eras with hard-luck protagonists suffering through clichéd drug addiction, death, and alienation. Starting at the turn of the century with a piano-playing immigrant in New York, the film moves swiftly, following his offspring through such movements as Gershwin-era pop, jazz, folk music, '60s psychedelic, and Punk -- only pauses for elaborate, energized musical numbers designed to showcase the work of Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Sex Pistols, Lou Reed, the Jefferson Airplane, and numerous others.
The use of rotoscoping (tracing animation from live action) makes for fluid and often eye-popping visuals. The differences in atmosphere and feel in the different periods of time shown in the film - through the 20's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's - are fascinating and very creative.
This film features a animated / Rotoscopic history of pop music with some good Rock and Roll and Lindy Hop Rotoscope Animation. Rotoscope basically means the use of real film, real people, animated over to look like an animation. The Lindy Hop scenes are actual legendary Lindy Hoppers.