Wednesday, April 8, 2009

ANVIL! Yet another new groundbreaking documentary

And the hits just keep on coming. In a still-quite-young year of amazing documentaries (Morgan Dews' Must Read After My Death, Eric Daniel Metzgar's Life Support Music, to name just two), Sacha Gervasi's ANVIL! The Story of Anvil may sound a bit redundant, but the film is anything but. TrustMovies could have spent twice the time this 90-minute takes to unspool and still have wanted more.

Anvil! tracks the journey of two friends-since-fourteen who are now approaching their 50s: lead guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow (above, right) and drummer Robb Reiner (above, left -- and that's with two bs, rather than the not-2-b actor/director Rob Reiner, who made This is Spinal Tap, to which Anvil has been much compared). Have we confused you yet? There's more. These two guys play heavy metal music. Stop! Don't swtich to another blog. Anvil is anything but a heavy metal movie. You're gonna laugh, you're gonna cry, and if you're similar to everyone we know who's seen the film so far, you're gonna fall in love with these two music-makers, no matter what you might think of their music.

From its earliest days, Anvil (the name of Lips' and Robb's group) was considered the greatest of the heavy metal bands (the movie offers a lot of testimonials to their talent from names and faces that music fans will know). So what happened? ANVIL! follows Lips and Robb from day-job to home and family, from stops along the way on their tour, and from way-back-then to (almost) present day. Director Gervasi (shown right) manages to keep his camera at the ready, picking up all kinds of (very) odd moments that ring not just true but nearly classic. The journey is funny, informative and often heartbreaking -- in ways that most movies don't come near. Success -- what it means and how it's measured -- takes a licking but, as they say, keeps on ticking. As does Anvil.

Thanks to the gods of heavy metal and of moviemaking/distribution, ANVIL! The Story of Anvil opens Friday, April 10, in NYC at the Angelika and the AMC 42nd Street., and in Los Angeles at Landmark's Nuart Theater. For other cities and venues, consult the movie's official site, then click on the bright NOW PLAYING button.

Later today, or more likely tomorrow, we'll have a Q&A of our meeting with Lips, Robb, Sacha -- and Jarrod Gorbel of The Honorary Title, who's a fan of the film and has some interesting questions to ask of this group....

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