Sunday, April 24, 2011


Let's be honest. If a current band approves of and participates in the filming of a documentary of itself the main goal is publicity and in this case an extended promo clip for their latest album release, "Wasting Light". Because of that slant long time fans of the band may be disappointed that there is no significant new knowledge to be gained about the band in this film. Something you'd probably expect in a documentary. Sure there may be a tiny snippet or two of some very minor things you didn't know but there are no earth shattering revelations to be had.

The film does cover the entire sixteen years of the band and is a great way to get acquainted with the Foo's timeline if you haven't been there from the beginning. The film's opening credits run alongside a montage of home movies and old photos of the band from when they were kids and clips representing the era of their youth. Then it cuts to close-up of Dave Grohl talking to an off screen interviewer. This is how all the interview scenes with current and former members of the band are conducted and interwoven into the film. Standard documentary style.

The beginning summarizes Grohl's relationship with the late great Kurt Cobain and his influence on his song writing. They of course then get into Nirvana and the release of Nevermind. This sadly culminates with Kurt's suicide and its impact on Dave and what he went through. You can still see the pain in Dave's face when he discusses losing his friend. A rough subject to start any film but necessary and important to the story.  James Moll's documentary is then able to tell the story of fighting Foo and gets extra kudos for including all members past and present to express their thoughts on the band.

This is not a huge budget production. A no frills look at one of the more successful and interesting music acts of the better part of the last two decades. Not the production you would expect but it was the right way to do it in my opinion based on the content and ultimate intention of highlighting the Foo Fighter's latest release, "Wasting Light".

All the events that led to the forming of the original lineup is here as well as documentation of all the lineup changes that have happened. The film nicely sums up the bands catalog of releases then zeroes in on their forthcoming (now out) seventh studio album. Highlights include Dave Grohl's own home movies of the recording of "Wasting Light" in his garage, the interaction that happens when friends and family of the band come in and out of the recording sessions and of course the snippets of concert and studio footage throughout the life of the band.

I felt the documentary ran a little too long at 1 hour and 42 minutes even though it did have a good flow to it. Die hard Foo fans will probably tell me it was too short. I enjoy the band a lot and will see them every time they play the NY metro area but to be fair this was a long commercial for "Wasting Light".

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