Monday, August 17, 2009

'It Might Get Loud': Film Review and Ramblings

We previously posted on this film's impending release and included its trailer, so for me I had August 14th circled on the calendar for awhile...and not JUST for the Animal Collective show.

Music documentaries can sometimes be a tricky thing, but with a line-up like that of It Might Get Loud, it seemed that this one was a must-see. The premise of the movie is simple; get three of rock's great living guitarists together to talk about their experiences with the guitar, music, and how they got to where they are today.

So we have Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White. Three generations of rock guitarists that have made their mark with the guit-fiddle...

We can argue about the three guitarists they have chosen for this project (we don't have to, but...). In talking about this film with others I'd heard other names of artists some would've rather seen included, but that's not the point. We have three great guitarists and performers that span 50 years and probably appeal to the widest possible audience. That's what making movies is often about, so no real surprise there and the three they've chosen are pretty damn good.

We get a unique look at the beginnings of the discovery of the guitar for Jimmy Page and The Edge and while Jack White does share some of his earlier days his story line isn't quite as linear. The history lessons are very cool. Jimmy page takes us back to the house where Led Zeppelin recorded their fourth album and The Edge shows us around his old school where U2 was started.

The fun really starts though when these three larger than life musical personalities are put together in an LA soundstage. There is some awkwardness that is inevitable, but they play some records and start to play a little of each other's music. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but when the elder Page busts into the solo from 'Whole Lotta Love' I got goose bumps. I'm not sure if it's his age or rock royalty status, but his contributions were my favorite parts.

His description of the slow build-up in 'Stairway To Heaven' as being akin to an orgasm and the story behind Zeppelin's recording of 'When The Levee Breaks' were two more goose bump moments. Home movie footage of Page and Plant at Headley Grange is a surprise treat. We see Page w/ his mandolin and Plant in the front lawn of the victorian mansion. Amazing stuff.

I could go on and on, but YOU HAVE TO GO SEE THIS ONE. All I wanted to do was get home and plug in the guitar. You will too.

The film is playing now in NY and LA with wider release in the rest of CA and Chicago and Boston on August 28th. Other cities will get the film over the course of September. Full release schedule can be found here.

If you missed the trailer. You can watch it here.

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  1. I'll mark Aug 28 on my calendar-thanks for the preview. Seems especially appropriate as a tribute to Les Paul-the amazing music that can come from the electric guitar!

  2. rosebud, agreed. It ended up being a timely release of the film in that it coincided with the unfortunate passing of Les Paul. Eerie almost, but a fitting tribute to hear these guys talk about their guitars.