Thursday, November 09, 2006

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey

Iron Maiden, Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (Dendy Films)

I don’t like heavy metal music; in fact I hate most heavy metal music. I loved Metal: A Headbanger's Journey. It had all the best components of a good documentary, one of the best released in a long time and a good companion piece on a par with Metallica – Some Kind of Monster.

Co-director Sam Dunn is both a metal aficionado and a graduate in anthropology. He knows how and where to delve into the culture with a healthy reverence for his subject matter, but with the objectivity to examine in a way that outsiders could glean appreciation. I found it fascinating.

In a systematic, well-structured manner, heavy metal’s origins and history were examined, as was the disparity between its followers and detractors. Fans, band members and industry experts were interviewed. The questions and answers were intelligent. Historic file footage was used. The culture and its many sub-genres was analysed. The relationships between heavy metal and gender, sex, religion, Satanism and violence were all covered in a most interesting, comprehensive and enlightening manner.

It was shot on location, including at various concerts, across North America, UK and Europe. I found Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath and Ronnie James Dio of Dio (accredited as the inventor of the devil horn sign) the most compelling interviewees, though there were many others too numerous to mention. The sum of the whole turned out a rich result.

Unlike many documentaries of late, where the primary goal appears to be light entertainment using celebrity heads, this film is truly insightful, intelligent, balanced, educational, funny and entertaining! Whatever your taste in music, I highly recommend it.

Dir, Scr, Prod: Sam Dunn, Scot McFayden, Jessica Joy Wise Rating: M Duration: 98 min Genre: music documentary Language: English Country: Canada Release: 16/11/06, limited Viewed: 9/11/06, Kino cinema, 3RRR advance screening Dist: Dendy Films Prod Co: Seville Pictures Phot: Brendan Steacy Ed: Mike Munn Prod Des: Kenneth Mak Mus Ed: Andrew Wright Sound Ed: Fred Brennan Cast: Tony Iommi, Bruce Dickinson, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Dee Snider, Vince Neil, Lemmy, Lamb of God, Slipknot, Slayer, Ronnie James Dio, Tom Morello, Arch Enemy, Geddy Lee, Cannibal Corpse

Official website IMDB

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