Saturday, June 6, 2015

SheffDocFest: Breaking A Monster

Behind every great band, there is a monster.

In 2005, two African-American kids from Brooklyn called Malcolm Brickhouse and Jared Dawkins met at a birthday party and developed a friendship over their shared interest in heavy metal music, discovered through WWE wrestling intros.  After teaching their pre-school friend Alec Atkins to play bass (from scratch), they formed a band called Unlocking The Truth and started to play gigs in Time Square – one of which ended up going viral online:

The (supposed) novelty of charismatic pre-teen, inner-city black youths playing heavy metal music with emerging competency was too good to be true for some and they were immediately hunted down by Alan Sacks, the record executive who brought the world The Jonas Brothers.  Within 18 months they become the youngest artists ever to sign a $1.8million dollar record deal with Sony.  Breaking A Monster is the inside story of their transformation from an amateur band of kids, to a lucrative and sanitized pop/metal product. 

SheffDocFest: Cobain-Montage of Heck

          "Rule 1) learn not to play your instrument
              Rule 2) don't hurt girls when you dance (or any other time)" - Kurt's Journals

The story of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana is well known to anyone lucky enough to be born on or before 1990 – he is arguably one of the few musicians to change the direction of popular music’s aesthetic during his lifetime (I’ll let you have fun figuring out who else might qualify) – yet it never hurts to re-familiarise yourself with a truly compelling story.

Cobain: Montage of Heck (great film; questionable title) is the story of the life of Kurt from birth to death, told through interviews with friends and family alongside a litter of images and enhanced animations from Kurt's prolific journals, as well as original cartoons synced with recordings of him messing around with his home cassette recorder and other audio including, of course, amazing live performances.