Inside Out [1992]

This moving, absorbing documentary is about the making of singer-songwriter Warren Zevon's final CD, the much-admired, star-studded The Wind. But more than that, it's about the final year of Zevon's life, and the way he approached what he called his "imminent demise" (which came in September '03). Zevon surely didn't plan on dying of lung cancer (although given his wry, sly, subversive sense of humor, he probably saw it as a good career move). But when doctors gave him the word, he became driven by an intense desire, and then urgency, to finish the music and leave a lasting farewell before his final goodbye; and he did, with the help of Bruce Springsteen, members of the Eagles, Ry Cooder, and others. Zevon is without self-pity; he knows what's coming, he's dealing with it, and in the process, an artist who'd always been preoccupied with death in his songs wrote some of his best when faced with his own mortality. Add to that a generous helping of bonus material (videos of two songs from The Wind, with Springsteen on "Disorder in the House"; interviews, home movies, excerpts from the sessions), and you've gotta figure Zevon himself would be pleased. --Sam Graham

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