June 26, 2012

It Might Get Loud (2009)

Hey kiddos, I'm back with a short series on some documentaries I've seen recently that I enjoyed.
Simul-posted here: The Movie Advocate

It Might Get Loud
Who is this movie for? We have Jack White, Led Zepplin man, and that man from U2 who thinks he's cool because he's renamed himself an edgy word.  This is a movie for people who don't really have a deep interest in music.  Their favorite type of music is "whatever is on the radio, played at a reasonable level."  They only go to concerts twice a year, and even then it's only because their friends are going.  They also think they have deep appreciation for music because they are apt air guitar players (which is not to diminish the work of people who actually are apt air guitar players).  They recognize Led Zepplin man, U2 guy, and Jack White, and probably own a few CD's featuring these men, but couldn't really tell you anything about them.  If you haven't guessed it by now, I'm not a huge fan of Zep or U2.  I'm going to just put it out there and say that their music bores me.  This does not speak to the merit of their work, but simply to an opinion I hold. Even if I enjoyed these bands, this gathering of these three men makes no sense.  I get that they are all considered "guitar gods," but this whole thing seems like a creepy Harry Potter/Toph Beifong slashfic.  Good characters on their own, and in their own universe, but bringing them together is just a manipulative cash grab.

It appears that no one knows this more so then Jack White.  The movie is split into several chapters, each chapter spending the same amount of time on each person.  The chapters explore the roots of their inspiration, their equipment, their playing style, their personal and musical history, and maybe a few other things.  Each chapter starts with Jack, then goes to Zepman, then U2guy, repeat.  It culminates with the three of them meeting in some warehouse with their guitars set up, and they "jam."  After suffering through the first 2 segments about Zep and U2, I skipped the rest of their parts, and watched just the Jack White parts, finally finding myself at the end of the movie, watching the most awkward three guitar jam session ever.

Jack White knew what he was doing.  If I remember correctly, during his segments that he filmed for the movie, he is rarely even holding a guitar.  This is an affront to the concept of the movie, and no one seemed to notice.  On top of all that, the first scene in the documentary has Jack White making a slide guitar, and simply saying "who says you need to buy a guitar."  He starts the movie with an action that stands in complete opposition to the playing styles of Zep2Men.  And I think he's right.  He is arguing that it is never the equipment, but the person behind the equipment that makes good music.  He talks about how one of his favorite songs is recording of Son House clapping and singing.  This is a documentary about guitars and guitar players, and he is essentially saying that you don't need guitars.

...Who is this movie for?

It sure isn't for me, that's for dang sure.

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