Film Institute Honors ‘Almost Famous,’ ‘High Fidelity’

Music flicks among 10 recipients of AFI Movie of the Year awards.

The films “Almost Famous” and “High Fidelity” gave music geeks a reason to put away the headphones and head to the theater last year, and now they’ve been honored by the American Film Institute.

The two movies, along with eight others, landed on the institute’s AFI 2000 list, announced Tuesday. Cast and crewmembers from each film will receive an AFI Movie of the Year plaque. The institute’s new program is designed to “recognize, preserve and honor excellence in the moving image during the 21st century.”
“Almost Famous” and “High Fidelity” share the honor with “Before Night Falls,” “Best in Show,” “Erin Brockovich,” “Gladiator,” “Requiem for a Dream,” “Traffic,” “Wonder Boys” and “You Can Count on Me.”
The winning films best advanced the art of filmmaking and inspired both audiences and artists alike, according to a 12-member jury consisting of two filmmakers, three film historians, three film journalists, three AFI trustees and AFI board/jury chair Tom Pollock.

Based on the life of its director, Cameron Crowe, “Almost Famous” chronicles the adventures and moral dilemmas of a young writer on his first major assignment — touring with an up-and-coming rock band in the ’70s. The film stars Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Jason Lee and Kate Hudson, who recently married Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson (see “Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson Weds Kate Hudson” ).

“High Fidelity” made vinyl buffs lovable with its depiction of a 30-something record store owner (played by John Cusack) whose knowledge of romantic relationships falls far short of his encyclopedic recollection of obscure ’60s garage bands. Jack Black, one-half of semi-fictitious band Tenacious D, co-stars in the film.