Saturday, June 20, 2009
The 3 rock ‘n’ roll subjects-Jack White, Jimmy Page, and The Edge
If you have ever been moved by music (who hasn’t), you cannot miss Sony Pictures Classics “It Might Get Loud.” Told through the eyes and voices of rock legends Jimmy Page and The Edge, as well as guitar virtuoso Jack White, this isn’t your typical rock doc. Forget the commentary from rock historians and critics-this film goes straight to the source-the guitar heroes themselves. Watching the movie last night at the LA Film Festival premiere sitting by Page and White, I was endeared to them as they laughed at themselves and each other on the silver screen, particularly the opening scene where White fashions a home made guitar out of an empty glass Coke bottle, some wood, and old wire, then plugs it into an amplifier, strums, and declares, “Who says you need to buy a guitar?”
Director Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) deposited these 3 musical greats onto a sound stage for 2 days of filming, making sure they didn’t cross paths before, and just let the cameras roll, while surrounding them with their beloved 6 strings (and in Page’s case-the addition of his legendary double neck 18 string.) What happens is some spectacular jamming and stories from band life, but also a lot of reflection and insight into their personal lives, which were sometimes exciting but other times mundane. Some highlights include: The Edge taking the audience back to his grade school in Ireland where he met a young Paul Hewson (Bono), Larry Mullen Jr., and Adam Clayton and where they played their first outdoor “concert” for schoolmates, Jimmy Page telling the story of how he contemplated quitting the music business when he became disillusioned with his work as a studio musician recording Muzak (background music), and Jack White talking about how he moved his bed out of his room when he was a youngster and slept on a piece of foam so he would have enough room for 2 drum sets! It is no secret that these men are where they are because of their undeniable talents, but also because of who they are as men.
The after party at the Hotel Palomar in Westwood, drew several celebrity attendees including funnyman John C. Reilly, writer J.J. Abrams, producer of the film Leslie Chilcott who was anticipating her next documentary with Guggenheim about the sad state of the U.S. public school system, and Director Davis Guggenheim with his wife, actress Elizabeth Shue who admitted to me that this was her favorite piece of work so far by her husband.
Stars of the movie, Jimmy Page and Jack White arrived together sans The Edge who is knee deep in rehearsals for the U2 360 degree tour commencing in Barcelona at the end of this month (where you can catch Red Carpet Roxy as well!) Guitar playing icon Jimmy Page recounted the knowledge he gathered from The Edge and Jack while filming this production, “I thought I knew them through their music, but I learned so much more about them as people.” The Raconteurs frontman Jack White laughed about his desire to become a priest before hitting it big on the billboard charts, saying, “It was very likely. It was only the fact that I didn’t think I could bring the guitar to the seminary I got accepted to that I didn’t go.” Filmmaker Guggenheim was adamant about his direction and passion for the film, stating, “We didn’t want to make the encyclopedia of the electric guitar or the ‘accurate film.’ It is very visceral and emotional.” And so much more!
Sadly, the after party itself was anything but fit for rock ‘n’ royalty. With the energy from the premiere a real high, it’s unfortunate that the after party was a real low. I would have hoped this type of fete would have at least had audible music or have even set the stage for an impromptu performance by these rock gods. However, this film is a must see, so go check it out!
Sony Pictures Classics “It Might Get Loud” opens in Los Angeles and New York on August 14th, 2009