Oct 26 2011

Neil Young’s Film Lounge review of “We Might As Well Fail”

Published by at 01:24 under English,Festival,Red Lion,Reviews

SOURCE: http://www.jigsawlounge.co.uk

we might as well fail

WE MIGHT AS WELL FAIL [7/10]
Luxembourg 2010: Govinda Van Maele: 82m 
Rock music in Luxembourg? How can a country with ‘the largest GDP in Europe and a safety-first attitude’ produce true rock, is the conundrum set by this interesting film. It’s a loud, muscular, male genre on the whole, metal-inspired but developing in various directions, and the film tracks several bands, from headbanging students to the 15-year-strong Defdump on their farewell concert, from sweaty  low-ceilinged rooms through rain-sodden half-empty fields to modest arenas.  Impossible for an elderly personage like me to judge their worth (though I was quite taken by the more melodic Eternal Tango), but they seem to be doing modestly well internationally. The theme in conversation is always the pull between their music and the practicality of their futures.  While  for some music is everything, students talk about their upcoming ‘ordinary’ careers, when playing full time  in a band doesn’t seem a life option; older musicians say how once having tasted the security of proper jobs they find it hard to see a permanent future in music. Most have at least part time jobs – we see one teaching history in school.  Luxembourg may be the particular setting, but in fact it’s a pretty good view of the ultimate problem of rock bands – how long can the fire of youth keep you going on in relative discomfort while your peers settle down with homes and families?  What is peculiarly hard for these chaps is that in their communities there is so little in the way of deprivation to kick against, the spark for so much rock music.Van Maele strikingly sets their anarchic darkness in counterpoint to moments of stillness –  the fertile chocolate-box country they inhabit,  the tidy towns, the banal surroundings in which their music is played. And he begins and ends the film in scenes of more typically Luxembourgian jollity – an organised parade featuring the Grand Duke and Duchess and well-turned-out military band playing swing, and the misrule of a fairground. The Luxembourg we think we know.

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SOURCE: http://www.jigsawlounge.co.uk

we might as well fail

WE MIGHT AS WELL FAIL [7/10]
Luxembourg 2010: Govinda Van Maele: 82m 
Rock music in Luxembourg? How can a country with ‘the largest GDP in Europe and a safety-first attitude’ produce true rock, is the conundrum set by this interesting film. It’s a loud, muscular, male genre on the whole, metal-inspired but developing in various directions, and the film tracks several bands, from headbanging students to the 15-year-strong Defdump on their farewell concert, from sweaty  low-ceilinged rooms through rain-sodden half-empty fields to modest arenas.  Impossible for an elderly personage like me to judge their worth (though I was quite taken by the more melodic Eternal Tango), but they seem to be doing modestly well internationally. The theme in conversation is always the pull between their music and the practicality of their futures.  While  for some music is everything, students talk about their upcoming ‘ordinary’ careers, when playing full time  in a band doesn’t seem a life option; older musicians say how once having tasted the security of proper jobs they find it hard to see a permanent future in music. Most have at least part time jobs – we see one teaching history in school.  Luxembourg may be the particular setting, but in fact it’s a pretty good view of the ultimate problem of rock bands – how long can the fire of youth keep you going on in relative discomfort while your peers settle down with homes and families?  What is peculiarly hard for these chaps is that in their communities there is so little in the way of deprivation to kick against, the spark for so much rock music.Van Maele strikingly sets their anarchic darkness in counterpoint to moments of stillness –  the fertile chocolate-box country they inhabit,  the tidy towns, the banal surroundings in which their music is played. And he begins and ends the film in scenes of more typically Luxembourgian jollity – an organised parade featuring the Grand Duke and Duchess and well-turned-out military band playing swing, and the misrule of a fairground. The Luxembourg we think we know.

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