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Easter with Ozzy

Tribeca offers a crowd-pleasing (and fist-pumping) world premiere of God Bless Ozzy Osbourne.

There’s nothing quite like spending Easter with the Prince of Darkness. On Easter Sunday, the Tribeca Film Festival presented the world premiere of the documentary God Bless Ozzy Osbourne, directed by Mike Fleiss (creator of The Bachelor) and Mike Piscitelli.

Because Ozzy’s son Jack Osbourne was a producer, I wasn’t expecting anything but a hagiography. And while the documentary is clearly a delight for Ozzy fans (from the Black Sabbath days until today), it doesn’t ignore the dark parts of his life — drug and alcohol addiction, bad parenting, and domestic abuse. Even non-Ozzy fans may find this one a treat, as the craziest man in rock actually comes across (now sober) as an inspiring figure.

The filmmaking is quite straightforward — which is a good thing when the subject has lived as interesting a life as Ozzy has. Yes, the doc includes stories about cereal boxes of cocaine, the bat story, and, err… doing something in a hotel room that triggers memories of Steve McQueen’s Hunger.

Ozzy and his family were on hand for the screening at Tribeca — creating more of a rush on the red carpet than Julia Roberts did — and Ozzy (now clean for five years) was well spoken in his post-screening Q&A. When talking about his discovery of The Beatles, he said “It was like a beautiful flower blossoming in my head.”

But the evening wasn’ t overly flowery — when Ozzy was asked about if he knew in the Black Sabbath days if he’d had a career this long, he retorted: “Did I ever think I’d last this long? You’ve got to be fucking kidding.”

The crowd was hugely enthusiastic — there were shoutouts and applause during several moments of the film, and a standing ovation at the end. That bodes very well for forthcoming sales (handled by Graham Taylor at WME).

I was supposed to go to the Ozzy afterparty but accidentally ended up at the UK docs party instead — hosted by Sheffiled Doc/Fest. By the time I made it to Ozzy’s bar, the Osbournes had departed — and I have to admit the docs crowd was more rocking than the rockers themselves.

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