With the fantastic rockumentary “Anvil! The Story of Anvil” in cinemas Friday, Movies.ie takes a looks back at some of our favourite concert films of all time…
Formed in Toronto by two school friends, Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow and Robb Reiner, Anvil were slowly gaining fans and respect by their second album, 1982’s Metal on Metal. Sadly from there the the little known band drifted into obscurity. Now in their 50s, the two men are still dedicated to following their rock dreams, even as each glimmer of encouragement they get is being snuffed out. Filmmaker Sacha Gervasi is allowed incredible access to the band, delivering a touching, uplifting and inspirational rockumentary about metal band, which is both hilarious and heart-warming in equal measures.
“You fucking broke my sitar, motherfucker!”. That’s how gleefully ridiculous this film about sometime friends, sometime enemies The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre can be. Filmed over seven years as each band experienced the highs (mainly the Dandys), and the lows (almost always The Brian Jonestown Massacre) of life crashing into and out of the mainstream music industry. Egos clash and sitars are broken. Akin to the fascination of watching a car crash this documentary is a cautionary tale of what a little talent and an over-abundance of misguided confidence will do to a person.
No Direction Home
Bob Dylan allowed this movie to be made on one condition: it stops after 1966 following his first foray into retirement. What the audience gets is an unique glimpse at Bob Dylan’s life from his rural beginnings via his Woodie Guthrie influenced folk days up to an including his fateful “electric” tour with The Band. Scorsese was editing The Aviator at the same time as this and as such it suffers somewhat from a lack of his hands-on approach. Regardless of this No Direction Home is essential viewing for Dylan fans, nowhere else will you be offered behind the scenes footage, intimate interviews and realms of archived footage including what could quite possibly be Dylan’s most famous retort ever to a heckling fan at a London concert.
The Last Waltz
When The Band decided that their day in the touring sun was finished they gathered their nearest and dearest to celebrate. Bill Graham’s famed Winterland auditorium in San Francisco was filled with fans and musicians and The Band asked Scorsese to film proceedings. What emerged is now regarded as one of the finest concert films ever made. Though the music, The Band play with Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters and Emmylou Harris among others, was one of the main reasons for its success the short interviews with Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson and the other members of The Band by Scorsese make for compelling viewing. The group appear frayed and exhausted; the seventies are drawing to a close and the scene is changing. This film is as much a comment on the ending of an era as it is a piece of rock history.
Stop Making Sense
Stop Making Sense is as traditional a concert film as you could expect from Talking Heads. David Byrne takes to the stage alone with his guitar segueing into “Psycho Killer” as the other band members join him on consecutive songs. Stop Making Sense is more structured than other “live” concert films as it was recorded over three nights and only once shows the audience, normally an integral part of any live concert recording. This is Talking Heads in their prime with David Byrne at his most hypnotic.
“Anvil! The Story of Anvil” is in Irish cinemas from Friday, March 6th.