The Last Word on the Pixies (For Now)
Given the incredible amount of press expended on the Pixies these past few years, you can be forgiven for finding your interest waning in what is frequently considered one of the most influential bands of the '80s. Let this be the last word on the Pixies for a while then—at least until the inevitable reunion album is leaked on the Internet; MVD Visual's release of loudQUIETloud, a documentary about the Pixies reunion tour, is a semi-illuminating portrait of rock awkwardness and charming geekery. As anyone halfway familiar with rock mythology knows by now, the Pixies acrimoniously disbanded in 1992. Since that time, each has embarked upon their own solo work to varying degrees of success. Two years ago, the band reunited, prompting equal parts slobbering fan excitement and cynical fan criticism as the inevitable cry of "sellout!" was bandied about. And certainly this was a project motivated in part by filthy lucre and ego stoking, though few fans could deny in the end that the band certainly brought the rock, regardless of their motives.
As loudQUIETloud displays, however, the band also brought some of its inner turmoil. Though hardly as upfront and open about the band's arguments as the recent Metallica documentary, preferring instead to keep the tension consistently and effectively understated, loudQUIETloud does contain a few juicy moments of friction. During the tour, Pixies drummer David Lovering begins indulging in pills and alcohol upon being told that his father is dying. During an early show in the tour, he flubs one of the songs, continuing the drum beat for a ridiculously long time after the rest of the band stops playing, prompting them to give him a stern talking-to backstage. Given the obviously complex and deeply personal relationships these band mates share coupled with their reticence to discuss their issues with strangers, it's impressive the filmmakers were allowed as much access as they were, but one comes away from the documentary with the sense that a lot of secrets remain untold.
The film itself is well-shot, with some particularly beautiful concert footage and a nice sound mix. Included with the documentary is a commentary with directors Steven Cantor and Matthew Galkin and editor Trevor Ristow that provides some amusing backstage anecdotes. Ultimately, however, due to the lack of substantially penetrating insight, the film will be of little interest to non-Pixies fans—whoever they may be.
Also recommended this week: Bugsy: Extended Cut; James Bond Ultimate Collection 3 & 4; Masters of Horror, Volume 13; Talladega Nights: Unrated Edition.
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