Archive for the ‘Concert Movie’ Category

Spirits In The Forest – **(*)

Posted: November 22, 2019 in 2019, Concert Movie, USA, XX1/2

Six Depeche Mode fans get ready to fly to Berlin to see the final show of the Global Spirit Tour.

That’s it.

If you are a Depeche Mode fan, it’s worth the watch. The concert excerpts are short and few, but well filmed and will make you think back at your own experiences during the gigs. And the six fans each have a story to tell. Some a bit more intriguing than others. Watching a concert movie in a theatre just isn’t the same though. You can’t sing along really. And dancing seems to be tattoo too.

If you’re not a Depeche Mode fan, don’t bother. This concert movie/documentary really focuses on the massive DM fan base around the Western world. It’s about them and for them. Not sure how objective music lovers will look at this devotees tale.

Homecoming – **

Posted: April 30, 2019 in 2019, Concert Movie, Musical, USA, XX

Beyoncé gave a brilliant concert at Coachella last year.

She decided to make a documentary about it and have it shown on Netflix.

It’s apparently edited/directed by herself. Which means she’s a terrible editor and director.

The show itself is AMAZING. The way it’s filmed and edited not.

The show is excellent. It’s the kind of performance you want to have been looking at live, as it was happening. The choreography in some parts is incredible. The re-worked songs sound great. The homecoming theme with the brassbands and cheerleading squad make it unique. Beyoncé is shining. She looks proud, strong, happy.

But throughout the documentary you just want the show to just go on. Way too often the flow of the show is stopped by behind the scenes stories. Sure it’s important to learn that she’s the first black american woman to headline the festival. Sure it’s important to learn that it’s quite a feat to put on such a show after having given birth to twins. Sure it’s interesting to see that almost the entire crew is black and given a chance to be part of something special. That’s all important. Yes.

But you know what? It’s all very superficial. A few statements here and there. A few images here and there. A few memories here and there. If you want to make a point, make a full documentary about that. Don’t interrupt a great live show with tidbits that don’t really say anything at all. You’re all sucked up in the concert and then bam, blablabla, then back to the show, then bam, more blablablabla. It’s tiring. It’s a bad concept. Either make an in depth behind the scenes/preparation documentary. Or show the live concert. Don’t mix them up. Or do it like others have done better in the past.

After watching Leaving Neverland, it felt like a good moment to also watch This Is It. 

Michael Jackson has been in the news again for the entire past week. And he’s on the radio again. Radio hosts first say: ‘Can we still listen to MJ’s music?’ and then they play one of his tracks. It’s hypocrite and bizarre.

The reason for all this media attention is the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, in which two former child-friends of Michael Jackson accuse him of having abused them sexually for several years when they were young.

If you’re reading this, you know what the documentary is about. You may or may not have seen it. It’s a controversial documentary.  It’s long (four hours) and it only focuses on the stories told by two victims and their family members. It’s very tedious in the beginning (the victims and their family start telling how they met Michael Jackson – yawn), then it becomes disgusting (when graphic details are told about the sexual acts), but it becomes more intriguing in the second part when they focus on the trials of 1993 and 2003 and explain why they always denied the accusations.

It’s not a well made documentary. They just filmed several people and let each of them do a monologue. These are not interviews! It doesn’t feel scripted, but whatever they are telling isn’t really challenged. Then they add all kinds of visuals to make the story come alive and feel truthful. That’s well researched, but it feels like the people being interviewed explain certain images rather than the images adding something more to what is being said. Plus, the makers decided to just focus on these two people and didn’t include any interviews with other victims or with other child-friends who spent the night at Michael Jackson’s estate.

There is no doubt that Michael Jackson must have behaved inappropriately as an adult in the presence of certain young children. But this is something we already know for such a long time. It doesn’t matter if he was acquitted twice. Whether there was sexual activity or not, the fact that he publicly defended having young boys sleep in his bed is already proof that something is off. 

So, the big question is why this documentary was made. It sure doesn’t feel like this documentary will bring closure for the victims. All of the people involved will get damaged even more. There are still lots of people out there who think the victims are lying. Almost everyone must find the mothers terrible parents. For the family members of Michael Jackson, especially his kids, this must be devastating.

It’s not a balanced documentary. You need to go online and look for reactions of all kinds of people involved. It’s very one sided. It’s also pretty annoying that we can’t hear from the two kids that took Michael Jackson to court. We learn about them, but we don’t hear what they have to say. A much better documentary would have been to have people watch this documentary and then interview them about their thoughts. That’s a better angle.

Then This Is It. 

Sure, Thriller was thé album of the eighties and is still a great listen. Bad was okay. But Dangerous sucked and the other two albums were just, obsolete. Michael Jackson’s musical legacy isn’t as legendary as most fans would want you to believe. He had some great songs, but it’s not like his whole repertoire was amazing.

Yet, somehow, this pop star is more beloved than, say, Madonna. Which doesn’t make sense. He’s been wacko Jacko since the late eighties and hasn’t released any memorable single after Man In The Mirror. He’s been on trial for child abuse several times. He’s been modifying his body so often that he looks an alien. Yet, people still wanted to see him perform when he decided to put on 50 shows in London in 2009.

That got cancelled when he passed away. But the production costs of the show were so high that they made a movie with the footage that they had from rehearsals. It’s not a show. Nor is it a behind the scenes feature. It’s boring. The show looked like a visually stunning thing. But it was never performed, so we’ll never know. You need to be a fan of his music and his performances to enjoy this musical documentary. It you’re not: skip it.



Stromae Live – ***(*)

Posted: December 24, 2015 in 2015, Belgium, Concert Movie, XXX1/2

Why would you buy the dvd if the artist himself posted his concert for free on youtube?

Because, well, just because.

Stromae is by far the most exciting artist of the moment. His second album Racine Carrée sold almost three million copies all over the world and the accompanying tour had more than 200 stops in not only his native Brussels, but also every major town in France, all the major festivals in Europe, music temples like Madison Square Garden and exotic places like Kigali.

His success is attributed to his uniqueness and professionalism. He brings something new: a mix of world music, dance, pop and chanson. He unites. He combines easy tunes with serious lyrics. He’s poetic, theatrical and honest. He performs! He entertains. He makes you dance and think. At the same time.

The live dvd was released a few days ago and also put online. It’s a great musical experience. The direction makes you feel like you are part of the show. No hectic editing. The images allow you to enjoy the concert as if you’d watch it. No unnecessary switching between he crowd, the artist and the musicians. Just the stage.  The production itself is awesome.The songs, the set design, the costumes, the performance… it’s all top notch.

It helps if you know the songs and if you understand French, but the dvd has English subtitles. Too bad it doesn’t include French subtitles, because it would help people who are learning French (and it would also be great for a Karaoke moment at home). And too bad the dvd doesn’t include a behind the scenes documentary.


MDNA – (*)

Posted: December 1, 2015 in 1/2, 2013, Concert Movie, USA

After the surprisingly excellent Rebel Heart concert in Antwerp, it was time to finally watch the previous MDNA tour as well. On dvd.

What a waste of time.

The show itself doesn’t look as bad as feared. Maybe it was worth the ticket after all. The setlist isn’t all that great and the remixes of the hits are annoying. But Madonna puts on a big show. No doubt.

However, the bombastic live show is terrible for home viewing. Let’s kill the guy (or girl) who thought music concerts should be edited like video clips for their dvd release. It worked for Soulwax’s Part Of The Weekend, but it doesn’t work for this gig.

So, the dvd itself sucks. The constant switching between dancers, Madonna, her fans, the LED screen, the musicians is tiring for the eyes. Why not create a dvd where you can watch the show from different angles and can switch according to what you want to look at?

This collection of images (some are still, a lot are moving way too fast) conjures NO concert feel at all.

Divinidylle Tour – **

Posted: November 12, 2013 in 2008, Concert Movie, France, XX

I missed the concert of Vanessa Paradis in Brussels last week and totally forgot that I hadn’t even watched her Devinidylle concert movie yet.

It’s an interesting background concert documentary, the kind you can watch/listen to while doing other things. The songs are from her Divine Idylle album, which has two of her best songs (the title track and Dès Que Je Te Vois). But you also hear some of her other hits. It’s not a full concert in one location, but a documentary with interviews of Vanessa and her band members with performances in all kinds of cities. She calls the Bruxellois the best crowd after her concert there. I guess it’s better than calling the Parisians or the Lyonnais the best crowd. The French won’t mind that much. Vanessa isn’t the prettiest singer and she isn’t the best singer (her English is really bad for someone who at the time was still married to Johnny Depp), but she’s ADORABLE. She really looks down to earth and shows pleasure in singing her songs to a large crowd.

Sure, she’s the star, but the band is equally important and it shows. They are interviewed a lot and their solos are as present as the singer’s singing. Some of the guitar solos are quite impressive, but it’s not like you would listen to them ten times more.

Oh and Johnny is nowhere to be seen.

I still don’t understand why this documentary doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It’s a very entertaining pre reality tv concert movie documentary. Sure it’s about Madonna and it’s ALL about Madonna. Even when it’s about somebody else (dancers, make up artists, fans, family, old friends), it still is ALL about Madonna.

But you know what, 22 years after I first saw it, it still rules! The concert moments are brilliant. Madonna was at her peak during the Blond Ambition tour. Her live version of Like A Virgin on that bed is still provocative, daring and plain awesome. The documentary moments also stood the test of time. Sure, Madonna comes across as an arrogant, heartless bitch. But she also comes across as an intelligent, funny, creative, thought-provoking  bitch. Critics say it’s all staged and that Madonna only shows what she wants to show. That may be true. But it’s pretty daring to show yourself as vicious and unsympathetic. 

Madonna is still around. Still making money going on tour, but no longer selling out stadiums or topping the charts. But she’s still there. I was just wondering whatever happened to the others. So i started to google all of them. Apart from the cameos. One of the dancers died, the others still dance somehow. But no longer with Madonna.

So whatever happened to all the other stars of the movie?

Niki Harris is a star herself of course. Here’s a funny interview with her .

Donna Delorey sings new age songs now. Boring. But here’s a clip from back in the days:

Melanie Crow, Madonna’s Assistant, got in some shit trouble when she didn’t pay a storage room rent and all the boxes were sold. Some of the boxes contained Madonna-related stuff.

Christopher Ciccone wrote a nasty book about his sister. Haven’t read it yet, but it’s on the book shelf. But here’s an interview of the guy.

I found this clip about Oliver Crumers, the homophobic solo straight dancer, who looks the most gay of them all.

I found this article about Kevin Stea (who really isn’t all that present in the movie)

Gabriel Trupin died of Aids. He also sued Madonna. One of the reasons was that she exposed his homosexuality. duh!!!!!!!

Luis Camacho, the gay bitch, is still choreographing and even has a website!

Slam – Salim Gauwloos is Flemish! He actually refers to Belgium in the beginning of the movie when he calls the rain in Japan ‘Belgian stress’. He’s still around:

Jose Guitierez ! now he’s Jose Extravaganza. the lord of vogue. still vogueing

Carlton Wilborn gets naked in bed with Madonna at the end. And he has a website too. He’s a coach now.

Sharon Gault, the make up girl who got raped, is still a make up artists.

Madonna’s make up artist Joanne Gaire has a website. She’s not really visual in the movie though.