September 26th, 2009

lotr space station

The coffee table provides a convenient haven for keeping one eye each on me and the TV

Calgary International Film Festival day 1:
  • It Might Get Loud ********
    Is it too much of a cliché to call this movie a love letter to the electric guitar? Well, I just did so anyway. And what an awesome way to kick off the festival! Three generations of guitarists (Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White) get together to reminisce, to enthuse, and to jam. Going in, I was expecting more jamming, but have no complaints about what I did get. A great (and representative) part of the movie had The Edge talking about the guitar melody to Where the Streets Have No Name... where it came from, how he put it together, demoing some early versions, explaining some of the interesting technical aspects to the riff, and then we put on our seatbelts and launch into some absolutely electric live footage from U2 playing the song on tour to a crowd of tens of thousands. I'm often rather "meh" about live tour footage in music videos; finding they rarely capture the mood they are attempting, and are mostly an uninspired cop-out. This time, the preface made all the difference in the world – we got to ride along with the creative process, invest our own emotions in the outcome, and when the finalized, familiar, refrain was blasted at full volume to the cheering multitudes, it sent thrills down this old curmudgeon's spine. Another excerpt from the movie followed White building an electric guitar in a few minutes from a piece of old driftwood and a coke bottle. The result is functionally limited, but the resulting sounds no less gratifying. It (and many other sequences) made for the kind of footage not generally seen in rock docs. Best of genre, for sure.

    Oh, and Jimmy Page is the cutest old fart ever.