Feast of Friends-DVD
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
The excavation of every scrap of film available from the Jim Morrison era of the Doors continues with this schlocky DVD. Feast of Friends, a so-called “intimate look at the Doors” was approved and funded by the band in April, 1968. Morrison friend Paul Ferrara shot the quartet on, and mainly off, stage for a cinema verite styled documentary tracking that year’s tour. It has been shown at some film festivals but never really finished and bootleg versions have circulated for years.
This was not worth the wait, and that’s being kind. The 40 minute short is a hodgepodge of grainy, handheld footage with little to no insight into the group or their music. We see some concert riots and backstage loitering, Morrison ad libs a bit of lackadaisical poetry, plays rudimentary piano and the band is shown getting on and off planes and limos. The only worthwhile segment is a 15 minute version of “The End” that has been released many times before. Otherwise, slapping studio versions of Doors songs over bland, poorly filmed shots of the group on the road isn’t going to appeal to anyone other than the staunchest, most die-hard fan desperate for rare scraps of Morrison.
A second short called Feast of Friends:Encore takes much of the same material, adds more extraneous scenes (watch the Doors play the most boring card game ever!) and edits that together for 30 additional inconsequential minutes that’ll have most folks looking at their watch to see when it will end. A frustratingly brief, moderately interesting segment that captures the Doors recording “Wild Child” is worth watching to see them interact in the studio but otherwise, this is a cash grab of the worst order. To justify the price, the package is padded with The Doors are Open, the flawed but earnest black and white British TV documentary that has been easily available for decades and yet another version of “The End” recorded in Toronto that has also been released before.
There is plenty of first-rate video widely available from the band making this look like what it is; a desperate attempt to wring every last dollar out of the Morrison-lover’s marketplace. There must not be anything left in the Doors vault, because this is as bottom-of-the-barrel as it comes.