Dance Magic Dance – Promoters, djs, girls!

Rockumentaries rock (sometimes)

Posted in FILM, MUSIC by Laura H on March 5, 2010

In a very much Laura style, I spent most of February ill. Now being ill sucks generally, but there’s one thing that’s actually good about it: you have the time to watch movies. And as the film junkie I am, I watched tons of them.

One of the many days I spent in bed I decided to devote myself to the world of rockumentaries and watch all those famous ones that, for one reason or another, I hadn’t watched before. This is how it all went…

First stop of the day was DiG! I’ve been wanting to watch it forever and loved it to bits. DiG! tells the story of The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre over 7 years. You see how both bands start, how The Dandy Warhols become famous, and how The Brian Jonestown Massacre don’t… What I liked about it is that the documentary doesn’t take sides and it pretty much treats both bands the same way. You can see how TBJM are jealous of TDW success, and how TDW are jealous of TBJM talent. You can see how people change over the years, how their opinions vary. This is about their music, but also about their friendship, and how it gets ruined. I loved the fact that both bands fight using their songs (Not In You Were The Last Dandy On Earth anyone?). And most importantly, I loved Anton Newcombe, a guy that’s completely mental.

Next I watched Kurt & Courtney. Being completely honest, I’d watched it before, when it was released, but I’d watched it in English with French subtitles (and at that time I didn’t really speak any of the two), so I don’t think that counts. Anyway, Kurt & Courtney is absolutely HIDEOUS. The whole point about it is how the director tries to prove (?) that it was Courtney Love who killed Kurt Cobain, but obviously that theory is so stupid that you just watch him trying to make something out of a lot of nothings. At one point he kind of realises and gives up. The documentary also includes some creepy moments, such as a few interviews with Courtney’s dad (who wants enemies when you can have that!) and Kurt’s mum (whom I found terribly scary).

Last stop of the day was The Devil And Daniel Jonhston. I’ve never really been a Daniel Johnston fan, but I’d heard many good things about this documentary, so I decided to give it a go and I really liked it. In a way it reminded me of the very amazing Tarnation. And just like Jonathan Caouette’s film did, it really depressed me. What I found most interesting about this documentary wasn’t Johnston’s music or his drawings, but him as a person: how he is, how his mental illness develops and evolves during the years. However, I always have mixed feelings about situations like this. I can’t help but wondering up to what point he’s aware of the world and what’s really happening around him, and up to what point is the world aware of what’s really happening to him… and taking advantage of it.


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