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'Bass Clef Bliss' doesn't focus enough on inspiring subject

Staged scenes and other missteps take away from the compelling young subject of documentary 'Bass Clef Bliss'

Terrence Patridge, subject of the documentary "Bass Clef Bliss," is like many on the autism spectrum, someone who overcame an often-debilitating adaptability disorder to find a window to the world through his love of music.

A trombone specialist with a big smile and winning personality, he now plays in jazz combos and with classical musicians and hopes to turn a high school diploma into a college one. But he deserves a better film to chart his journey than this one, an amateurish mix of autism educational video and infomercial for San Diego-area schools and autism programs. Terrence is barely featured for the first half-hour while talking-head experts lecture.

Director Patrick Scott willingly sacrifices emotional storytelling and unforced observance for staged scenes, jarringly edited interviews and cloyingly scored nuggets of positivity from everyone in Terrence's orbit. The young man is inspiring all on his own, never more so than when he's being social or making music with others. It's only the movie around him that is so artless in its uplift.


"Bass Clef Bliss"

MPAA rating: None 

Running time: 1 hour, 6 minutes.

Playing: Laemmle's NoHo 7.

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