Colin Fitz

Director: Robert Bella
Screenwriters: Tom Morrissey

Institute History

  • 1997 Sundance Film Festival


Imagination and comic verve are the twin props of this alternatively charming and caustic satire. Utilizing the mythology of American rock icons who have died before their time, filmmaker Robert Bella takes a small story and creates a delightful melange of characters who will have you smiling.

With a first-rate cast, Colin Fitz is about two security guards who are hired to watch over the gravesite of an early departed rock genius to avoid the unfortunate incident of last year’s anniversary of his death: a mass suicide. As the two guards set up for the night under the intermittent eye of their supervisor (in a wonderful performance by Bill Macy), their completely opposite personas begin to clash as they exchange views on life, love, and American pop culture. Andy Fowle is brilliant as Grady, the idiot loser with an opinion on everything who plans to eat and drink his way through the evening, whereas Matt McGrath is an ex-student, a bookworm, and a poet. His fears at first run amuck, but gradually he adjusts to the situation and even begins a relationship with an obsessed fan, played by Martha Plimpton.

With wonderful and ridiculous speculation on how rock history would have been different if Buddy Holly had dropped acid or whether future generations will establish a John Lennon religion, Colin Fitz is a terrifically clever spoof that is at once playful and smart. The performances, ranging from the leads to supporting roles, especially Plimpton and Mary McCormack, who plays the ex-singer’s wife, are marvelous. Colin Fitz is the kind of independent filmmaking that shows how much can be done with very little and underscores the endearing qualities of well-written dialogue and comic inspiration.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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