All Tomorrow’s Parties (UK, 2009)

all-tomorrows-partiesDirected by: All Tomorrow’s People and Jonathan Caouette. I rented this because I like to sustain the illusion that I’m actually a really hip young dude, plugged in to the hippest of the happenings of twenty-something New Yorkers, Londoners, Montrealers and Parisians in that torrent of ephemeral music that I’ve never heard of, or that I’ve heard of but never checked out, underpinned somehow with a strange sense of permanence and tradition by the exalting of old dudes like Iggy Pop and Nick Cave to the status of canon-makers. It’s all a bit shitty and fashion-y to me, but underneath my dislike is a pretty obvious strain of plain old jealousy. These people are living—or they seem to be living, from the way that this film depicts them—the kind of carefree, globetrotting, hedonistic lifestyle that people like me all over the world long for but never had the courage, wherewithal, resources, etc,  to embrace for ourselves. But I digress. As a film, it does a bang-up job of engendering all of what I just said: it makes it look like a really swell thing to go to All Tomorrow’s Parties for one’s self, so mission accomplished there. I see that Vincent Moon, the Take Away Videos guy (Videos À Emporter, si tu préfères), was one of the cinematographers. Great choice! The things that stand out in my memory are Thurston Moore going on an overgrown University student’s anti-capitalist tirade at some apathetic young fans, getting to see the amazing violin-noise of Dirty Three for the first time, likewise for Lightning Bolt, and that surprisingly poignant and poetic interlude where the cameraman frantically runs after a wild duck, penned in to their camp compound, flapping majestically, but completely terrified, and intercut with concert footage. Altogether, a most diverting 80 minutes, if perhaps nothing else.

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