LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES
MIND THE GAP / CREATE / DOCS
US 2021, 102 min Director Suzanne Joe Kai
As one of the staffers who transformed Rolling Stone from an underground countercultural magazine to a taste-making national brand, Ben Fong-Torres is the rare journalist who commands admiration from music legends and fans alike. His frank but unassuming interview style endeared him to artists from Jim Morrison to Marvin Gaye to Tina Turner, and Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary takes a similarly humble approach to profiling the man himself. Expanding its scope beyond his groundbreaking music reporting, the film also limns Fong-Torres’ work at the San Francisco Chinatown newspaper East-West and his sense of journalism as community activism. It is also a loving testament to his mentorship to generations of journalists and writers—including Cameron Crowe, who immortalized Fong-Torres as a character in Almost Famous. With no shortage of rich material from his life and storied career, Like a Rolling Stone presents an intimate portrait of a Bay Area institution. –Nadine Smith
We’ll be joined by Ben Fong-Torres and director Suzanne Joe Kai in person for onstage conversations at both screenings.
Suzanne Joe Kai is an award-winning Bay Area broadcast journalist, as well as the co-director and producer of The Last Line, a short film about Star Wars fans, which screened at Cannes in 2012. Like a Rolling Stone is her feature debut.