In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_10687421_10152289281917007_4858446204490388004_o

Private Violence

A look at the complexity of domestic violence, especially when it comes to the difficulty of prosecuting abusers in a court of law, "Private Violence"…

Thumb_large_fqswmulnnx3zirvlso5sxv9zcn

Rudderless

If this directorial outing was in any sense an audition for the talented Mr. Macy, he should be congratulated on passing it.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives
Primary_edce2-thumb-510x325-38053

The Electric Dancing of War Babies

Playing in theaters nationwide Thursday, August 4, 2011. Details here.

"The Electric Daisy Carnival Experience" captures a dance music scene I tend to find noisy and vapid. But that's me. If you're a big fan of DJ-based acts like 12th Planet, Major Lazer, Moby and will.i.am, or just a true devotee of the rave scene, this film is immersive, passionate about its subject and visually striking. Director Kevin Kerslake seems to have as many cameras on hand as the Beastie Boys handed out to concertgoers in their gonzo 2006 music doc "Awesome; I F----n Shot That!"

electric2.jpg

It helps that Kerslake is a veteran music video director (R.E.M., Nirvana) whose career is probably older than most of the screaming kids in the crowd. He shows no restraint in dropping the camera deep into the mob like a performer into a mosh pit but doesn't let the chaos take over. It also helps that, right up front, like Michael Bay showing us a Victoria's Secret derriere in 3-D at the start of his last Transformers movie, Kerslake crams as many shots of unbelievably gorgeous girls doing cartwheels in clown makeup and lingerie as mathematically possible.

electric3.jpg

The cuts may be more frenetic, but Kerslake's focus stays on the performances. The rapport between DJ and crowd keeps it closer in spirit to classics like "Woodstock" and "Wattstax" than the endless buy-our-tracks promotional DVDs that have passed for concert docs in recent years. The relentless pace and volume of a music video go on for over two hours here--exhausting for me, but it doesn't seem possible that the target audience for this film will be sitting still at a laptop in quiet room alone when this thing is streamed or screened.

electric4.jpg

"Can you feel the love?" hollers DJ David Guetta to the shrieking thousands in L. A. Memorial Coliseum. And while the music he spins sounds sort of like an unusually rhythmic Nintendo DS game to me, it's hard to deny that this ocean of beautiful young dancing fools isn't getting something just as deep and soulful from these electronic chirps as did the flower children at Woodstock or the ghetto working stiffs at Wattstax.

Pasquale Rotella, the babyfaced CEO of Insomnia Events, the company that puts on this spectacle, describes club music as a modern extension of tribal spiritual rites. In talking heads interviews with friends and collaborators like will.i.am, we learn that Rotella rose to his powerful status in the house music scene P. Diddy style, from his start as a lowly show flyer distributor in high school. His passion as promoter and "the mirror image of the scene" helped him become what one insider calls "one of the five most powerful people in music today."

The youth movement on display here is pushing the same timeless peace and love message that made all the great music happenings memorable. If only I could stand the music itself. But if you can, this films should be a treat.

edce3.jpg

- - - - -

stevenboone.jpg

Steven Boone is a film film critic, filmmaker and video vandal based in New York City. He champions big ideas and small budgets at Big Media Vandalism, writes about essential films at Keyframe and Press Play, and about his experiences with homelessness at Capital.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

NYFF 2014: Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice”

A review of Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" from the 2014 New York Film Festival.

Interview: Cary Elwes on the Lasting Power of “The Princess Bride”

An interview with Cary Elwes about "The Princess Bride."

"1941": An Appreciation and Interview with Bob Gale

An appreciation of "1941" and interview with Bob Gale.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus