Archive for Documentary

Documentary Review: Miroir Noir

Posted in Movie Reviews, Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on Monday, April 20, 2009 by Erik Burg

miroirnoirDay after day I checked my mailbox after class, and day after day I was disappointed. But alas, this past week finally brought great joy to my world, as my Miroir Noir special edition DVD finally arrived in the mail. It’s been a few months since the first announcements for this documentary, which features Arcade Fire and everything surrounding the release of Neon Bible in 2007, surfaced and I couldn’t try and count how many times I had watched the trailer. And when Pitchfork streamed it for a week I managed to only watch about 5 minutes, as to not ruin the arrival of my leather bound accordion styled DVD case.

So hype abound and anticipation boiling over, I watched Miroir Noir from start to finish and immediately followed it with the special features disc. I couldn’t get enough Neon Bible. Which is interesting to note because that album really put me off for about a year before I finally started enjoying it. 

The way the Documentary is shot is amazing, first off. I’ve seen various live DVDs and documentaries by now, and I enjoy most of them merely for the fact that they offer a different view about said band without really doing anything too crazy or original. But the fascination I now have with Miroir Noir stems from the fact that it mixes behind the scenes bits with well shot and breathtaking live tracks. Most interestingly though, it integrates one of the best fan involved projects ever: the Neon Bible telephone hotline. Playing various clips from fans (and one guy they apparently lost and who would have been “the greatest fan ever”) overtop of some abstractly shot yet perfectly placed scenes makes the documentary sometimes feel more like a movie than a straight live compilation.

There’s one scene in particular, where Regine is just running down the beach as the camera follows. It’s incredibly shaky and half-hard to make out who it is at first, but then to see the members of Arcade Fire like Regine with their guard down and their smiles wide is an engrossing feeling (almost like when the percussion parts collide in “My Body is a Cage”). Another thing that astonished me was the way Win Butler was portrayed through all of it. I sort of always took him for a complete asshole, a man who seemed closed off and very bitter yet powerful. But in Miroir Noir there’s a scene of him and another band member just dancing around while he lip syncs and smiles; it’s revealing, and it’s something that a lot of other documentaries never really touch on: the human side of things. 

Seeing the glee in Regine’s eyes and voice when she finally gets to record “No Cars Go” with a full orchestra is beautiful. The examplesnoir-case go on and on, and sometimes out-do the brilliant filming done during the live shows. Close up, perfect audio, and great crowd clips all coupled with a few times when the camera work is so great you forget about the music itself make the DVD a worthy purchase for any and all Arcade Fire fans. 

I own the special edition, which features some great clips if you can afford the $25 price point instead of $15. A couple of SNL clips, including the hard to find parts when their sound gets cut out and they perform in the crowd. An extensive and awesome BBC session (worth the ten dollars alone) and then some other late night takes as well. Coupled with the better packaging and you’re looking at a great collector’s item if you’re a big fan of their work. 

As far as documentaries go… 9.5/10

Directed by: Vincent Morisset

Shot by: Vincent Moon


Stream the Gorillaz Documentary Bananaz

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on Monday, April 20, 2009 by Erik Burg

bananaz-smallFor the next four weeks all you rabid Gorillaz fans (me included) can stream their new documentary Bananaz via the site Babelgum. It’ll be nice to see the band in actual live setting and not with their cartoon personas plastered all over the screen, so I’ve got high hopes. The theatrical release is set for sometime in June and the DVD copies if you so choose to order one will be shipped out soon after this four week streaming period ends. So check it out if you’ve got a spare hour and a half, I’m sure it will worth your while.



or… watch the trailer first:

Iron Maiden’s Flight 666 Minneapolis screening details revealed

Posted in Music News with tags , , , , , , , , on Thursday, April 9, 2009 by Ryan Buege

No matter how old Iron Maiden gets, they still kick way more ass than you ever could. Don’t believe me? Watch the “Run to the Hills (live” trailer below from Sam Dunn’s (the same guy behind Global Metal and Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey) new heralded documentary film Flight 666 where he follows these heavy metal gods on tour across 5 continents in 45 days to find out why.

In Minneapolis, we are fortunate enough to be one of a select few cities in the country who are receiving a screening for this epic, critically praised film! On its national premiere day, Tuesday, April 21, Flight 666 will be shown at 9:30 p.m. at the 700-seat Riverview Theatre in Minneapolis located at 3800 42nd Avenue South for one  night only. Click here to find out how to purchase tickets for what promises to be an incredible night at the theater.

Gorillaz documentary Bananaz finally set to be released

Posted in Music News, Video with tags , , , , , , , , on Saturday, March 28, 2009 by Erik Burg

bananazAfter over two years of rumors, filming, and set-backs, the documentary about Pop sensation and musically transcending Gorillaz is about to be released. Entitled Bananaz, the film is live action as opposed to the cartoon rendered imaginary band members that have dominated the band to this point. Watching the trailer and reading some other things about it, the two people who dominate the film are Damon Alborn and Jamie Hewlett. Which is awesome to hear, Alborn is the musical genius behind all of this (and Blur of course too) and Hewlett is the puppet master behind all of the cartoon ideas.

Bananaz is directed by Ceri Levy, the same person who directed the Blur documentary a few years back. The debut for the film will come April 20th on the flash video website Babelgum. It will then play there for four weeks and DVD copies of the film will be able to be bought soon after the release as well (the pre-order link is “coming soon” to the doc’s website). Theatrical release of the film is set for June of this summer 2009.

Not sure if you are excited for this film or not, but I’ve always been a huge Gorillaz fan, and I think what they have done for cross-genre bands and the Pop music industry as a whole is huge. Almost every project that Hewlett and Alborn have been a part of has been extremely successful, i.e. the Journey to the West album, their website design, Live DVD, and spin off cartoons.

I would definitely recommend checking out this video when it premieres April 20th, and if it comes to a theater near you go and support the band too. For some more information on the Doc and band: Bananaz Gorillaz Befriend Murdoc on Facebook Babelgum

Check out the trailer!!

Video: Bad Brains documentary preview & progress update

Posted in Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, February 5, 2009 by Ryan Buege


The legendary (and, from both a personal & public point of view, extremely influential) American hardcore-punk group Bad Brains have posted an update on a forthcoming as-of-yet untitled documentary they are planning for future release. The band is now in post-production for the film which is being directed by Mandy Stein and Ben Logan and traces the history of the band from their formation in Washington, D.C. in 1979 to the present day. However, they’re not done yet; in the rare case that you actually footage of the band from throughout their career, please contact the directors by emailing them to let them know. So far, the film is guaranteed to featured interviews with all four founding members, as well as  from Henry Rollins, Minor Threat/Fugazi vocalist Ian MacKaye, ex-Minor Threat guitarist Lyle Preslar, ex-Cro-Mags vocalist Jon Joseph and guitarist Harley Flanagan, Murphy’s Law guitarist Jimmy Gestapo and Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, who produced the  Bad Brain’s 2007 album, Build a Nation.

I wasn’t around for the hardcore renaissance that these guys propelled, but they have been as important to me as any band in contributing to my rejection of authority and my embrace of self-motivation. During my late teenage years, thee Bad Brains were my soundtrack, whether I was tooling with friends, jamming at a party, or chilling for a late night session; Bad Brains is music for an inspired life. This should be an amazing documentary and is very well deserved this late in their career. Anyone else excited for this? Anyone not know this band?.. well if not, shame, shame, shame on you! Keep a lookout here for a final release announcement.

One Week Only: Joy Division

Posted in Video with tags , , , on Monday, January 19, 2009 by Erik Burg

joy-division-docAs some of you might be aware of, Pitchfork Media has their own internet t.v. station called, well, The station runs various live concerts, music videos, interviews and the such as you might expect, but one cool feature of the site is that it streams different movies or documentaries each week. The segment is called “One Week Only” (the creative guys over at p4k don’t seem to be too creative lately) and like I mentioned, it actually shows some pretty cool movies. This week though, One Week Only has hit its peak, premiering the wonderful documentary “Joy Division.” I’ll keep on pace with the whole not creative thing and point out that the title of the movie is exactly what the movie is about. The documentary follows the rise and fall of one of the greatest and most influential bands of all time, Joy Division, and the beyond crazy antics and visions of lead singer Ian Curtis.

This documentary has been critically acclaimed and I certainly found out why when I watched it. There are countless interviews from the members, managers, and everyone seemingly ever involved. There are of course rare live video footage and images that are able to keep the documentary flowing and keep the viewer interested, because let’s face it, documentaries always get a little dry. So yeah, give it a shot and see what this segment and Joy Division are all about. Enjoy!

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One Week Only : Joy Division