IT MIGHT GET LOUD
DIRECTOR: Davis Guggenheim
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Guillermo Navarro and Erich Rolland
MUSIC: The Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White
ONE WORD: It's nice to see people actually talk to the musicians about their art and love, instead of a star!
Rock music, in the past 50 to 75 years, has become just like the movies and any other "star" ... you are supposed to like what they do and they are glorified to no end, and ... no one knows about anything else.
Most arts, and their history, have had a massive amount of critical and literary essays done to study an artists work, and the sad thing about Rock music and Movies, is that the establishment behind it is way less interested in the work than they are in the money and it is way too visible and far spread all over. We never really see the artist's mind, as if it were some kind of secret that no one else could have, or appreciate, or learn from.
This film, is not about the stars. Yes, they are stars in their own right and they have a massive amount of history behind it, but in the end, what is behind that person, and there is one line in the film that is really important to it all, when Jack White is listening to one of his favorites and simply says ... it's just him ... and the point about it all was that it had more feeling with nothing around that person, than most music ... and how well it all comes through in this film, although it seems to be truncated in parts here and there, as if there was more that was left out.
But there are some nice things here, via some concert footage and some jamming here and there. It is way less about anything that we think than it is about exploration and the desire to create something personal and meaningful to the work at hand, and Jimmy Page and The Edge spare no effort to say that their respective groups were the main reason for it all, which is easy to accept, but we all would agree and know that there is more ... the moment ... and Jimmy shows us one of his, in the big house (The Grange) where so many things were recorded and showed us how they got the drum sound from Bonzo's kit ... microphones hanging from the stairs and what not ... not a studio!
It gives the music and the film a personal edge and touch that is missing in music, and has been missing for quite sometime when people are only interested in hits and money. And it is nice to see that they were not afraid to take the next step ... and you will even see Jack playing his guitar and blood streaming from his hand for his effort. It might not be your style of music, but you can sense the need to get to that spot in music where ... the feeling is 110% alive, and you are not simply doing a song for the masses ... you are doing something special for yourself, the artist, and the result ... sometimes is something that we can all appreciate.
But one thing is clear and then some. Jimmy knew music and could read it inside out. And his ability, specially for his age, was quite far above many others, and it is kind of interesting that one of the last things he did as a session musician was actually produce by a man that eventually became associated and known for putting together the largest array of experimental music ever combined, other than Manfred Eicher (ECM Records) ... and his name is Giorgio Gomelski. And it is hard to not thing. or feel that Giorgio had something to do and say when it came to Jimmy, since in his studio stuff he was told to do anything he wanted, meaning that they trusted his musicianship and professionalism. And guess what ... Led Zeppelin was nearly the same, and a lot of the bootlegs at the time showed that immensely, though Jimmy and the other members did not release any live material until quite sometime later ... many bands did that to help fill their contracts with the record companies, but for this band at least, Jimmy being the tough musician that he is, was probably holding out because he probably did not think that the performances were that good and had too many mistakes ... such is the life of a perfectionist, and it showed in all of Led Zepellin's albums and then some.
The Edge, is interesting here. In a way, U2, made it, but while he is quick to share the honor with his band mates, he also has an interest in the music, albeit not the hardcore simplicity that Jimmy and Jack show ... he is a technician that studies the effects and how to make the music sound bigger and better ... and U2 certainly does that, even if after a while it sounds a bit tired and not fresh.
One of the nicest moments, and Andy Summers of The Police had also shown the same thing on one of those "Behind the Music" specials, and it was that the electronics drove a lot of the music, and he plays for us a simple set of notes, that actually sound un-musical to your ear and mine, but with the effects it is a totally different story. And the inevitable question for musicologists is ... how to deal with that in music ... it's still some notes, and they are not right at all!
But the rest of the music certainly shines as do all the moments when they are together. And it is nice to see a reclusive Jimmy Page looking well and smiling ... and being friendly and funny as well.
While a film like this might not become a major documentary of what the music is about, in the end, this is as close as it can get to it ... so far ... and it would be nice to see more from other musicians as well, but it is not hard to tell those who are in it for the art of it all and those who are not.
And you might not exactly enjoy their bands, but it is a super nice look at artists discussing their craft and enjoying doing so, which is not something that we see a whole lot of. And it should be a message for those in the music business ... you want to make a difference? ... sorry, the pipes is not enough ... you have to have a lot more behind it all, than just a sexy look or breast or belly button ... in the end, you have to shine, and it is hard to shine when all you have around you is a bunch of lights and they are not about you, the person behind it all.
Very good film, and it is really nice to see someone doing this to Rock musicians. There are a lot of them that put a lot into what they do to be who they are ... and it is not about the advertising or the make-up!
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