June 07, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Ready for the cinema-verite version of Almost Famous? Then check out the new video from Cornershop.

Enigmatically titled “Lessons Learned From Rocky I to III,” the piece revisits the same era and milieu as Cameron Crowe’s movie: namely, rockers of the early ’70s blowing their way through groupies, hotels, and private jets. But instead of Crowe’s fresh and dewy images, “Lessons” looks worn and frayed. The piece has the washed-out color, shaky moves, and overexposed light of a film stumbled upon in some stoner’s attic.

That said, director Douglas Avery’s attitude isn’t any more jaundiced than Crowe’s. Both men display an awe for a time when promiscuity seemed both new and culturally relevant. For verisimilitude, Avery casts cute young actors to impersonate the unglamorous Cornershop as they perform their retro rave-up. But it’s ultimately the grit of his images that gives the clip its zip, making the era look harder, sexier, and more real. A –Jim Farber

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