Monday, July 26, 2004

Is this the line for Metallica? 

I was lucky enough this weekend to catch the music doc, "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster." This movie is awesome. Maybe the most intimate examination of a band ever committed to film. Even if you don't like Metallica, its worth checking out. It focuses on the past three years and the band's trials through producing their latest album (released last year). The filmmakers take a few liberties, assuming that you're up to date on the band. That you know their roots are in San Francisco, that they are arguably the biggest band of the last 20 years (I think U2 is the only other one who can argue), that James and Lars are always at each others throats, that Dave Mustaine was jettisoned from the band in a most uncerimonious way, that Cliff Burton is irreplacable, that you know who all of these people are. And if you don't know the full story on those, the makers do just enough to catch you up to speed without being overly laborious. I love that those conceits are made, because it frees the film to delve into interesting content rather than meander and waste time with the "Behind the Music" portion of any music documentary. Its pretty gritty, raw, refreshing, and fascinating. One of the best films of the year, I assure you.

The last couple years have been very good for documentaries and I'm increasingly becoming a bigger and bigger fan of them -- even moreso than before. "Spellbound," "Capturing the Friedmans," "Supersize Me," "F9/11," etc. Documentary hasn't been this exciting since my favorite doc, "Hoop Dreams."

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