No knock on Steve Goodman. The guy was—as writer Studs Terkel says in the introduction to this DVD homage—a “radiant,” “e?ortless,” “cockeyed wonder,” a skilled strummer, a folkie’s folkie and an un?appable Cubs fan who died of leukemia in 1984 at age 36. Unfortunately, this ?lm doesn’t do Goodman justice. Larger Than Life documents a 1997 tribute concert
at Chicago’s Medinah Temple and features musicians like Arlo Guthrie and Emmylou Harris covering Goodman tunes and sharing anecdotes. Most a?ecting are the segments with John Prine, who met and was mentored by Goodman when both attended the Old Town School of Folk Music, which will get some proceeds from the DVD. But the ?lmmaker doesn’t enhance the experience with deft editing or lighting; it looks like he put his camera on a tripod and walked away. Even the bonus features are low-budget, and there’s no old Goodman footage. The extras play like your mother-in-law’s vacation videos.