Director(s): Sacha Gervasi,
You can stop rolling your eyes - this is hands down the best film of the year (thus far). This doc has it all - humour, drama, tears, hope, passion, despair.... yes, there are moments straight out of 'Spinal Tap', but this is no mockumentary. There are scenes of stark, disheartening truth and pity, comparable to 'The Wrestler' - I got a little misty, and looked around to see a theater full of people wiping tears away as well, and then the moments of humour are gut-busting and you can't help but feel total sympathy and admiration for the lovable band members in Anvil, a long-enduring (30 years and counting) Canadian metal band that had 15 minutes of fame, watched everybody rise above them, and then faded into being an obscure footnote to music fans.
I remember seeing them played a lot when Much Music first came on the airwaves: 'Metal On Metal' and 'Mad Dog' were in heavy video rotation (especially with Canadian music content laws). They were goofy but earnest....and then they just kinda fell off the map (though have released 13 albums throughout the years, working on #14 right now).
I saw the film at a special engagement screening at the NFB here in Toronto, during Canadian Music Week. The crowd was about half metal/music fans, half film buffs, with a bit of a venn diagram connecting the two sets (thank you, grade 7 math!). I saw a couple of middle-aged metalheads in line wearing ALL Anvil gear - caps, leather jackets, bandanas, t-shirts - and thought, "Wow! Die-hards after all these years". It turns out these two fans are in the film as 'original Anvil fans' and have seen them play about 200 times.
Anyways, music aside, the film focuses touchingly on the band members' long-suffering families, the 38-year relationship between singer 'Lips' and drummer Robb, the day jobs the band have to do to earn real money to feed and shelter their families (I particularly connected with Lips' brief stint at a telemarketing firm, possibly one of the worst soul-sucking jobs known to man), the trials/hardships of touring (especially when you show up to an empty club in nowhere Europe, or a bar owner won't pay you), and the diminishing but unwavering faith that after 30 years of 'not making it' - and band members now in their early 50's - that there still remains a glimmer of hope that just won't die, because rocking is necessary to these guys to make it through an otherwise pointless existence.
A beautiful, fun, heart-breaking, emotionally involving doc. Do yourself a favour and go see it - it's been at Sundance and likewise festivals (winning some awards along the way), Michael Moore has backed it, and it should be hitting the repertoires soon.
*Loads up Wikipedia*:
"Anvil are a Canadian heavy metal band."
So they are....
Did they go the way of Lava Hay....?
Seriously, you won't regret it. Man, I haven't stopped thinking about it.
I put my picture in my mood....
I'd fix it but, you know....I CAN'T.
Instead - here's some food from Chahaya Malaysia...ENJOY!
Oh, here ya go, whiner.
(typical LH fan)
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