Thursday, April 1, 2010

One Minute Review: It Might Get Loud

I have no idea how Fellini filmed the opening sequence of 8 1/2 where Guido flies above the beach, being tethered to Earth by no more than a string around his ankle that is being held by his producers. Sure, I could read a book on Fellini or look it up somewhere online, but I don't want to know because the more I know about it the more it feels like filmmaking and the less like magic. That's the feeling I got while watching It Might Get Loud, which strikes me as the kind of documentary that may be enjoyed more by people who care less about filmmaking and more about music. The film follows around three big name guitarists (Jimmy Page, Jack White and The Edge) as they recount how they started on the guitar, how they found their sound, what their first guitar was, their musical history and so on. Sometimes these memories are conveyed on their own and sometimes in the middle of a three-way jam session between each of the men. Guitar players will find the film interesting in that it shows their heroes breaking down their craft, but one is ultimately left wondering at the end just what the film was trying to achieve as it strikes an uneasy balance between deciding if it should be about the guitar itself of the men who have made their names playing it. In the end it kind of feels like something you'd watch on VH1 on a bored afternoon when you couldn't muster the ambition to do anything else. Note- In case the opening comment wasn't clear enough: I cannot play the guitar but am thoroughly fascinated by those who can do so well.


  1. Jack White is really awesome. His sounds is fantastic. I like listening to The White Stripes and The Raconteurs. Good stuff.

  2. It's funny. I was at Sutton Place Hotel, HQ for the Toronto Film Fest with the guy who I read sripts for and he was going to have lunch with these three muscians and this was the first I had heard about the documentary and I thought, having not much listened to the White Stripes, hmmm Jack White, he's kind of the odd man out isn't he? If anything this documentary proved me wrong although unlike Page or Edge, his music sometimes doesn't always make sense and veers closer to avant-grade noise. Page is clearly the standout showman here which really is no suprise.

  3. Page does have quite a few more years on the other two. I'm finding that blogspot is also a great place to get new music to listen to on weekends. The Yardbirds, Sigur Rós, Beach House, Vampire Weekend, Natalie Merchant. It makes for good reading and good listening! I'll have to check out some of The Edge's solo stuff.

  4. You said the exact same things when I reviewed this movie, mostly about how its more for the interest in the subject than it is for appreciators for film. I wasn't expecting that though since this came from the Inconvenient Truth guy, but I guess that movie was essentially the same problem.

    Here's my review if you want to check it out.

    Nice site by the way.

  5. Luke, thanks for stopping by and thanks for the review. Once upon a time on Much Music, Canada's equal to MTV, there was an hour long made-for-TV documentary about Death Row Records and I watched the whole thing. Then I went to school and a friend was talking about how he watched it and I was like, yeah, I watched it to but after it was over I had no idea why I'd even bothered in the first place. That's basically the same feeling I got from this: it was semi-enjoyable while it lasted but once it was over I didn't feel like I had gained anything from sitting through the entire thing.

    Oh well, Jimmy Page is still the man.