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Following Sean

In search of the 60s
By GERALD PEARY  |  April 5, 2006
4.0 4.0 Stars
AFFECTING: Following SeanIn 1969, when Ralph Arlyck attended San Francisco State, he made a 16mm short about his upstairs neighbor in the Haight: Sean, a free-spirited four-year-old charmer who talked casually of having smoked pot. “Sean” quickly became famous, a decadent shocker to conservatives, a little gem of portraiture for admiring cinephiles, among them François Truffaut. Thirty years later, Arlyck, then a New York suburbanite, returned to San Francisco without flowers in his hair. He brought a video camera hoping to find Sean and Sean’s once-hippie family and — this is a reflective personal documentary — to understand his own travels through the decades. Following Sean is the story of America since the ’60s, with the heat and the challenge of the ’60s still there, softly pulsating. Sean? He’s not what you might expect, neither a mindless druggy vegetable nor, rehabbed, a suit-wearing Bushie. Hard-working, dealing the best he can with the bills, a shaky marriage, and a child, Sean is a 2005 Everyman. His humble, quietly disappointed, slow-burn adulthood is as affecting as one of Chekhov’s sobering tales.
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  Topics: Reviews , Illegal Drugs, San Francisco State University, Francois Truffaut,  More more >
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