Art Theatre presents rock/religion documentary, “Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman”

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fallen-angel art theater documentaryLarry Norman, rock and roller turned born-again Christian turned religious rock star, may be considered the father of contemporary Christian music. The documentary Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman pays tribute to Norman’s musical genius, a San Francisco hippie who wrote songs about Jesus, sex, drugs, war and the end times.  From 1966 to 1968 Norman performed in concerts with The Doors, The Who, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix, among others.  Time Magazine called Norman “the most significant artist in his field.” Over 300 cover versions of his songs have been recorded by artists such as Petula Clark, Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Black, and Cliff Richard. His songs have also been recorded by contemporary Christian artists like DC Talk. Norman performed for The White House twice, and also performed in the Hollywood Bowl, the Sydney Opera House, the Palladium and London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall, which he sold out six times. In the last 40 years Norman has released nearly 100 solo albums.

Fallen Angel is the second documentary by Canadian documentary filmmaker David Di Sabatino. His first release Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher garnered an Emmy nomination and has been played on PBS-affiliate KQED in San Francisco since 2006.

“Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman” will screen at The Art Theatre of Long Beach on Thurs Jun 3 @ 7:15 pm. The Art Theatre of Long Beach is located at 2025 East 4th Street, Long Beach, CA 90814. For more information on Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman, or other events call (562) 438-5435 or visit the Art Theatre website.

If you could combine the onstage magnetism of Mick Jagger, the lyrical brilliance of Bob Dylan and the personal fragility of Brian Wilson, you would only have begun to scratch of the surface of Larry Norman. FALLEN ANGEL: The OUTLAW LARRY NORMAN recounts the rise of the father of Christian rock music as the rock ‘n’ roll Billy Graham’ of the 1970s through to the height of success as the visionary behind Solid Rock Records before a personal meltdown and subsequent fall from grace exiled him to the margins of the Christian subculture he helped create.

A study in polar contrasts, Larry Norman’s story presents the viewer with a complex character grappling with the price of genius, the struggle made all the more difficult because Norman chose to make his mark within a religious subculture struggling to define its place within the world. Too religious for the rock ‘n’ rollers but too rock ‘n’ roll for the religious crowd, Larry Norman is the perpetual outsider, ultimately imploding under the weight of trying to fuse his position as the musical voice of the Jesus movement with his desire for ’70s rock superstar status. Is he the misunderstood musical prophet of the Christian world? Is he an outlaw conning the faithful? Larry Norman is a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction.

Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman is told mainly from the perspective of those who worked with him and loved him during the height of his success, feel the power of the music he created as refracted through the inconsistencies of the life he led. Experience the forgiveness offered by those most hurt and witness a glimmer of grace against the backdrop of moral failure. Fallen Angel is a rock n’ roll epic of biblical proportions.


18 Responses to “Art Theatre presents rock/religion documentary, “Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman””
  1. William Tell says:

    Here is an interview with the filmmaker on a Christian radio show…and Charles Norman phones in to try and protest the film…and get his ass handed to him.

  2. William Tell The Truth says:

    The above comment was made by the guy who made the movie, Mr. David Di Sabatino. It’s a little bit sad that he is so desperate to have people rally to his cause, but then I suppose most struggling artists are a little desperate. And that’s okay.

    What’s not okay is the way he bullies people and twists their words in his film in order to support his untruthful thesis. I think it’s a film worth seeing, but first you should check out the website that totally debunks his film using actual documentation instead of mere hearsay (which is what the filmmaker relies on.)

    The website is and it is an eye-opener.

    Be sure and read the page about Di Sabatino, and then, if you go to see the movie, during the Q and A session after the screening, ask Randy Stonehill about the infidelity, abortions, and drug use in his “Christian” past. Seriously, these people are no better than TV preachers trying to make a buck off of the gullible faithful.

  3. Sabbi says:

    The most disturbing thing about this film is how poorly it was made. Seriously – the filmmaker appears to know precious little about making documentaries.

    From the poor sound quality, goofy animations, and lack of any artistic use of cameras and lighting, it is of little wonder that he seems to be fabricating controversy so someone – anyone – might take notice of his film. The truth is that no one does. And that is a shame, because the subject matter had such great potential.

  4. Clark says:

    I just listened to that interview (from the first post). After hearing it, my only reaction is that the dude being interviewed sounds like a d*ck.

  5. Willie Ferguson says:

    Dear people of Long Beach:

    Save your ten bucks. Give it to the poor. Heck, crumple it up and throw it away. Any of the three would be better uses for your money.

  6. James says:

    So is this film even worth seeing? Based on the comments here, I am wondering if I should even waste my time. I also think it’s weird that the director William Tell is talking trash about people in the comments. Seems kinda unprofessional.

  7. Barely Normal says:

    Don’t be misled…

    This doc tells a very sad story…that these people cannot handle. They would rather believe lies than the truth. They live in the shadows.

    This doc will be on PBS come 2011…and released worldwide later this year.

  8. Sabbi says:

    I agree, Barry. A very sad movie indeed. Any word on if another (better?) filmmaker will tackle the subject?

  9. LBR says:

    Meh. Based on the above, I’ll pass. Thinking there are better options to take advantage of this week!

  10. Reign says:

    Okay, so let me see if I get the premise here. Some guy makes a movie about a dead guy most people – myself included – have never heard about. The movie says bad stuff about the dead guy, and people who knew the dead guy are upset by that.

    Then it turns out that the movie that says bad stuff about the dead guy isn’t even well done…perhaps even badly made? And then the guy who made the film (William?) comes here and posts bad things about the people who don’t like his film, and then he tells everyone else…”No it’s all good, these guys just don’t get my cool art! Plus it’s going to be on PBS!” (Does anyone even watch PBS?)

    Does that sum it up? Tell me again why I should care?

  11. Yabba Dabbatino says:

    I saw this movie already on DVD. Its LAME.

    Bad cinematography – bad lightning – bad editing. Just dumb. C-A-T- dumb.

    I’m not going. I’m gonna watch the Lakers v. Celtics game just like everone else. Thats prolly how the movie maker got to rent out the theater for that 2 hour period. Cause the management knew that nobody will be going to the movies that night!


  12. jlwilkins says:

    Wow…just listened to that interview posted above. Any thoughts I had on seeing this disappeared after listening to the way that guy being interviewed treats people. Life is too short for me to waste a couple of hours listening to someone so filled with nastiness. He tried to cover it initially, but the more he talked and got frustrated…the worse he sounded.

  13. Barely Normal says:

    Ah, the Norman crazies are out in full force.

    Don’t be fooled, folks… this family is like a band of vagabond gypsies…using religion as a scam because they don’t want to go to work.

    I hear MacDonald’s is hiring.

    This is a great movie. Well worth seeing.

  14. Funny! says:

    That’s a pretty funny accusation coming from a guy traveling the country peddling a third rate mockumentary!

    How exactly to you make a living again, David? Is Randy still picking up the tab for your travel expenses?

  15. Dylan says:

    So, three posts by the director of the documentary and every single one of them makes negative comments about other people. I’ve got to say that he has an interesting way of convincing people that he has made a ‘Bible story’.

  16. Dylan says:

    So did anyone end up going to this thing?

  17. Dylan says:

    I am a bit surprised that no one went to see it. I guess the general grumpy, angry demeanor of the filmmaker did not go unnoticed by the ticket buying public. Seems like he may be his own worst enemy.

  18. Jasmine says:

    we went. the director and randy stonehill were there. I didnt think to count how many were in the audience…not more than 25 or 30 maybe? not sure how close that is but it was mostly empty for sure.

    the movie was okay i guess. not nearly as interesting as the everything long beach article made it seem like it would be. mostly a bunch of aging rockers whining about why they never made it as musicians. that part must have been true since i never heard of any of them other than randy.