Archive for DVD

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


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.

Arcade Fire to Release DVD

Posted in Music News with tags , , , , , on Monday, December 15, 2008 by Erik Burg

mp3 of track from the above video: Arcade Fire – “Cold Wind”

Arcade Fire, one of the most consistently great indie rock bands out there, are releasing a DVD chronicling their 2007 effort Neon Bible. The Film is titled Miroir Noir and as their press release describes it, the vid “follows Arcade Fire through the making and touring of their 2007 album Neon Bible documenting the band at their Montreal studio, the making of promotional films and videos, along with live footage and a few short films made on the road.”

The official release date of the hard copy of the dvd and deluxe edition dvd have yet to be set, but expect to see them in early 2009. The deluxe edition will come packed with added live footage, and most intriguing is that fact that it has footage of their famed SNL set that they played well beyond the allotted time slot causing the set to shut down so Arcade Fire couldn’t play anymore, but it never stopped them, see below for a clip. The digital release of the film is Monday December 15th, so those anxious to get their hands on this (much like I am) can have it asap. Most notably is the fact that you can subscribe to the email list for the movie over at the official website and pre-order a copy of the documentary which comes with an instant digital download upon order confirmation. Sort of like having your cake and eating it too, sort of haha. 

I know I’m excited to see the footage from these guys because everything they have done so far in their short and illustrious career has been magnificent.