Sunday, April 02, 2006


Two "Awesome" new docs

Two excellent music documentaries opened on Friday. I highly recommend both.

Nathaniel Hornblower's Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That! is the Beasties Boys concert film. The title refers to the fact that the band gave 50 concertgoers DV cameras at a 2004 show at New York's Madison Square Garden and asked them to shoot the show. This included everything from standard stage angles to trips to the bathroom and interviews with vendors. All of the cameras were returned after the show and Hormblower (the band's Adam Yaunch, a.k.a. MCA) and his team of editors turned the footage into a kaleidoscopic, epic live concert doc. The film follows the show from beginning to end. It's grainy, sometimes flips to negative with psychedelic overlaid colors and involves countless cuts. It's superb. Beasties fans will love it and music and film buffs in general will be, um, awed by it.

For more on Awesome: CLICK HERE

Jeff Feuerzeig's The Devil and Daniel Johnston is not as upbeat as Awesome, It profiles the life of the Austin-based singer-songwriter/artist Daniel Johnston, who became an indie-rock darling in the early '90s. But Johnston doesn't have control of all of his faculties, and hence has not been able to maintain much of a career - until perhaps now. A prolific sound and video recorder, Johnston documented much of his life and passed along the tapes to Feurzeig, who uses them to tell much of the story. The good news is that Johnston's art is now selling for big bucks; but the bad news is he still lives like a pauper with his parents in a junk-strewn garage. He also doesn't sing much these days. Daniel Johnston is one of America's true rock eccentrics. Feurzeig's portrait doesn't sugarcoat, and for that reason above all his movie is an important must-see doc.

For more on The Devil and Daniel Johnston: CLICK HERE

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