It's been more than a year and a half since the Weekly published “Rock Angel,” a cover story about Garden Grove filmmaker David Di Sabatino's struggles to make a documentary about Christian rock god Larry Norman.
It's not that Di Sabatino suffered from a lack of material. Like his first film Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher, his follow-up Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman had loads of music, interviews and archival video and photographs.
No, the roadblocks the writer-director had to hurdle were put up by Norman before he passed in February 2008 and Norman's fans and family thereafter.
Facing legal threats, Di Sabatino yanked Fallen Angel from its scheduled screening at the 2009 Newport Beach Film Festival. It went on to play elsewhere, but the flick has yet to be shown locally.
That changes tonight.
It rolls at 7:15 p.m. at the historic Art Theatre, 2025 E. 4th St., Long
You can order $10 tickets in advance here.
But, back to the battles with the Norman family, here's a taste of the musician's brother from the “Rock Angel” story:
Charles Norman has not seen Fallen Angel, but if it is
anything like the messages he accuses Di Sabatino of spreading on the
Internet, the filmmaker can soon expect to find himself on the receiving
end of slander and defamation-of-character lawsuits.
“I have amassed lawyers in California and up here [Oregon] to look
into this,” Norman says. “This guy is an asshole. He has a reputation in
this field for being totally incorrect in what he's saying.”
None of this surprises Di Sabatino. The film, he says, is “my attempt
to understand why [Larry Norman] was doing this to me.” He found that
Norman had a “30-year track record doing this sort of thing. . . . And
his family seems to sadly be following in Larry's footsteps.”
The hits keep coming. Di Sabatino was recently interviewed on radio about his film when a call came in from none other than Charles Norman.
Listen to their exchange here.