— by MARIUSZ ZUBROWSKI —
People often view rock bands as being outrageous groups of arrogant drug-addicts, but instead of reinforcing the stereotype, these five films should be praised as being an honest look into the lives of musicians who have made it to the top.
#5: “It Might Get Loud” — The guitar is definitely rock ‘n’ roll’s defining instrument and director Davis Guggenheim has noticed. His follow-up to the critically acclaimed global-warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” is a satisfying tribute to the iconic instrument. The film describes itself with a simple premise: Get guitarists Jack White, Jimmy Page and Edge to discuss the electric guitar. What we get instead is much more complex. “It Might Get Loud” is an insightful look at the instrument, but also an endearing look at their experiences. By the end of the film, you’ll feel closely related to these musicians.
#4: The Last Waltz — Directed by Martin Scorsese and released in 1978, “The Last Waltz” is a concert film about a Canadian band named The Band. The concert was held on Nov. 25, 1976. This film is a classic rock n’ roll extravaganza and is an expertly made portrayal of The Band’s farewell concert.
#3: “Anvil: The Story of Anvil!” — Anvil was one of those rock bands that influenced other bands, but have since just faded away through the years. The band comprised of Steve “Lips” Kudlow, Robb Reiner and Glenn Five is on the verge of releasing a new album. The documentary shows how the members of the band struggle to keep their band together throughout the years while living the “not-so-high life.” Steve works for a school catering service, but he finds hope in his music. This is an inspirational tale of friendship, dedication, and most of all musicianship.
#2: “Imagine: John Lennon” — John Lennon is one of those names that everyone knows. His career spanned from The Beatles, one of the greatest rock n’ roll groups of all time, to a self-proclaimed solo-career. “Imagine: John Lennon” is a self-narrated documentary that features a ton of the late John Lennon’s unreleased songs and footage. It is definitely a film that leaves you thoroughly satisfied by the end.
#1: “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster” — In a close race with “Imagine: John Lennon,” “Some Kind of Monster” wins the No. 1 slot for me because of a stronger connection that I felt with Metallica due to my upbringing around them. While I am a Beatles fan, I wasn’t alive during their prime. Filmed through their most turbulent of times — the recording of “St. Anger” — the film features James Hetfield’s struggle to defeat his alcoholism, his band on the verge of breaking up and the trouble of finding a new bass player. The tension between the members of the band is truly evident and it is not sugar-coated in any way. The engrossing pacing and the storytelling are just breathtaking. This is a raw look in the lives of the most-respected heavy metal band of all time.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section. (And keep in mind that “This is Spinal Tap” is a mockumentary, not a documentary.)
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I haven’t seen any if them. *walks away ashamed*