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The Second Age of Aquarius


‘…mixing 60’s idealism with 2020’s practicality, it’s an amusing character comedy that mostly hits the right notes, old and new…’

‘There’s a big difference between you and the you on the screen,’ offers Alberta Stevens to her lover; she’s got a point. Alberta is a tech wizard who has been engaged to create an avatar of pop-singer Russell Aquarius, who was electrocuted on-stage back in 1970. He’s a member of the 27 club, (Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse) who died long before their potential could be realised; while building his avatar, Alberta inadvertently brings Aquarius to life, Weird Science style, and Staci Layne Wilson’s film is a one-room, two hander about their on-going romantic feud.

What kind of movie is this? The obvious handle is a weird one; it comes from the same stable as Repo! The Genetic Opera, an off-off-off Broadway hit which turns up regularly at the Edinburgh fringe and other outré places. The music here is pastiche, imagining Aquarius as some kind of Jim Morrison-style rocker who provided the inspiration for Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, but it’s also tuneful and impressive. So while this feels more like a play than a musical, it’s certainly original; think Ruby Sparks, but with the roles reversed.

A two hander required two strong performances to work, and Christina Jacquelyn Calph and Michael Ursu both work wonders with their characters; he’s brimming with troubadour charm, while she’s a straight-up woman of 2022, direct and self-doubting in equal measure. It’s Alberta’s dream come true to bring Aquarius to life, but her dreams becomes a nightmare when the inevitable culture clashes start; as a man of the 60’s, he can’t get his head around her her phone, is drawn into an internet ‘full of stag films’ and wolfs down cannabis in the form of pot gummies. Alberta can only explain so much in terms of The Jetsons, and the script, co-written with Darren Smith, plays nicely with the idea of what a positive resolution from this fantastic situation might be.

Despite the obvious themes of excess and hedonism, this isn’t a lavish production; it’s largely set in one room, and there’s not many establishing shots, minor characters, or even sub-plots. But the Second Age of Aquarius is fun is you can get your head around the lo-fi high-concept; mixing 60’s idealism with 2020’s practicality, it’s an amusing character comedy that mostly hits the right notes, old and new.

US VOD on Friday, February 11, 2022. iTunes, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Vimeo, Xbox, and Vudu.


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  1. Thanks for this. I’ve seen this around social media and, obviously, the rock angle and the “27 Club” tie-in is of interest to me. I wanted to know more about it.

    All of these films that play with rock ‘n’ roll legends via faux rockers are hit and miss. I have to say Bruce Campbell’s most recent film — “One December Night” for the U.S. Hallmark Channel — with him starring as ’60s rocker now facing Alzheimer’s amid a comeback concert, wasn’t bad. The production values to make you believe he existed, back then, were convincing. And: he’s not a bad singer, either!

    Eh, could be worse: This could have been a Russell Brand-Aldous Snow sequel-movie!

    • Well, it would make for a trilogy then, since there’s already TWO Aldous Snow movies. I made a similar connection while watching this one, and while it’s not The Doors in terms of production values, it’s a sweet character comedy with a good ear for music. Check it out! And I’ve got more Bruce Campbell on the way this week with Black Friday; there’s no doubt, Bruce can do it all!

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