Monday, December 21, 2009
It Might Get Loud (Dvd Rip)
Jack White (White Stripes), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and The Edge (U2) getting together to talk about playing the guitar and their different paths to fame. The film functions more as a three way biography of the trio but still has enough cross over to make sure that no one is over looked. In addition to the back stories the film also shows an amazing sit down/jam session between the trio that includes them playing their favorite records, teaching each other song parts and many truly genuine moments of pure joy.
Three Men, Three ways to Rock.
While all three are famous in their own right, the film could easily devolve into a look at who has more lifetime accomplishments. Instead director David Guggenheim does a fantastic job of showing the similarities and contrasts of the players themselves and mostly ignoring their work with bands. This set up allows the viewer great access into what motivates each of them and how they came to make the sounds they are now famous for.
Jack White shines in this set up. While by no means the most famous or accomplished in the room his swagger and commentary will keep the film engaging. That confidence coupled with some really great quotes and a lot of references to classic blues bands give his side of the film a fantastic grounding. Those who are not familiar with White's quick wit and opinions may be put off, but for fans of his work this is a great opportunity to understand him better.
On the other hand the Edge seems a little put out by the whole experience. This may come from him being Bono's side man for so long, but he comes across as genuinely uncomfortable in a lot of the group scenes. His story is every bit as compelling as the other two's, but either due to everyone’s familiarity with it or, some sort of apathy on his end, it falls a little short.
By Josh Rhoten.
The joining of guitar legends Jack White, Jimmy Page and The Edge, is a pretty cool concept and a brilliant entry point into this metaphorical examination of the effect of this one instrument on music and the creativity of its artists. Music aficionados will certainly appreciate the rock significance of the event, though I’m not sure complete Zeppelin/White Stripes/U2 virgins will fully engage with this admittedly fan-centric subject matter.
In a large high ceiling studio in Hollywood, Oscar-winning documentarian Davis Guggenheim (‘An Inconvenient Truth’) and producer Thomas Tull (‘The Dark Knight’) set up an intimate meeting room for these legendary musicians. They represent three generations of rock royalty – Jimmy Page, the leader of the legendary hard rock outfit Led Zeppelin, The Edge, the compassionate and often soft-spoken guitarist from U2 and Jack White, the Detroit-born leader of the White Stripes, and now Nashville-based chameleon of punk and the blues.
What happens if you put three great guitarists in a room with some guitars, some amps and a few record players? It’s a no brainer that a pretty cool discussion will arise about their creative sensibilities, their influences and funny anecdotes will result.
Some of the more interesting stories which emerge include Jimmy Pages’ return to the country home where Led Zeppelin’s fourth album was recorded. It appears to be the first time he’s returned to the place since they recorded those great songs and the emotional reaction on his face is genuine and we feel it too. The Edge describes poignantly the effect of early punk on his career and the growing violence in Northern Ireland as inspiration for some of their best work. I’m always absorbed watching great artists uses their tools to build their masterpieces. And so it’s the Edge’s deconstruction of his technical process which is the most fascinating.
Jack White comes off as the elusive pupil to Page and the Edge. Though his desire to scour the history of music for inspiration is genuine, he seems the least down to earth, portraying some kind of Bob Dylan-like caricature of an artist than his real self. Or maybe he really is just a crazy weird-artist who pretends to mentor an 8 year old version of himself. There’s no doubt he’s got talent and the mere sight of him constructing an electric guitar from a coke bottle, a string and a plank of wood is fascinating and headshakingly creative.
Guggenheim admirably avoids the A&E Biography template of career charting documentaries. Each one gets to demonstrate one of their songs being played to the others on stage. We learn of each of their humble beginnings and each of their historical influences and creative sensibilities. Even though the narrative throughlines are kept in tact, and evened out between the three guitarists, Guggenheim keeps an improvised and unpredictable feel, anchored by the unrehearsed spontaneity of the three artists.
For good or bad, it’s a wholly celebratory affair, each one taking turns acknowledging the greatness of the other, and nodding their heads without a whimper of conflict or question. But really, conflict is overrated.
By Alan Bacchus.
Three generations of rock guitarists come together for It Might Get Loud, a 2009 documentary directed by Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth). These are not just your garden-variety guitar gods: Jimmy Page, in his mid-'60s at the time of the film, founded Led Zeppelin, who dominated the 1970s following the breakup of the Beatles. As a member of U2, 48-year-old David Evans, better known as the Edge, created one of the most distinctive and influential sounds of the past quarter century. And 34-year-old Jack White (of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather) was described by one music publication as "the most significant rock 'n' roll figure of the past ten years." Guggenheim, who followed the three around for the better part of a year, takes us into their individual lives, past and present. There are shots of Page as a young London session musician, with the Yardbirds and Zeppelin, at Headley Grange (the estate where much of the fourth Zep album was made), and at home with his record collection. The Edge takes us to the Dublin classroom where U2 first rehearsed, as well as to the practice room he uses now (never a virtuoso soloist, he developed a style based on texture and a mind-boggling array of effects); and White, whose insistence on authenticity is admirable but perhaps a tad self-conscious, constructs a "guitar" from a plank of wood, a piece of wire, and a Coke bottle (he also plays a recording by the primitive bluesman Son House, featuring just voice and handclaps, that White says is still his biggest inspiration). The three also converge on a Hollywood sound stage, where they chat and a do a little jamming on Zep's "In My Time of Dying" (with all three playing slide guitar) and the Band's "The Weight." It's hard to say if the film's appeal will extend beyond guitar freaks and fans of these particular bands, but at the very least, It Might Get Loud offers some interesting insight into the soul and inspiration behind some of pop's best and most popular music.
By Sam Graham.
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