Gimme Danger (USA, 2016)

Directed by: Jim Jarmusch. When it comes to music documentaries, talking about the film is basically the same as talking about the band. Unless the filmmaker totally fucks it up, then you’ll like the movie if you like the band, and presumably you’d only watch the movie in the first place if you liked the band in the first place. For this reason, I usually feel like it’s pretty redundant making reviews for music docs. I could tell you this is a great music doc, but what I mean to say is that The Stooges are a great band, and you should go listen to them. If you’re a fan, and you’re interested in their story, then this is a must-see, even if it was garbage. Now, luckily, it’s not garbage, it’s really well-done, and Jim Jarmusch is a great filmmaker generally. For people wanting a “Jim Jarmusch movie”, I’m not sure this really ticks off any of those boxes, because so much of what makes Jarmusch distinct to me is the way he treats his fiction films, where he scripts everything. Here, where the story is kind of just laid out for him, and it’s just a matter of how he strings it together, there’s less room for his Jarmusch-y tendencies to shine through (although, I’m not a Jarmusch scholar, so I’m open to differing views here). Basically, as a fan, but not a super-fan, I was the perfect target demographic for this film, because I didn’t actually know that much about the band, so that their basic biography was illuminating and compelling for me, especially hearing the facts for the first time out of Iggy’s own mouth in the modern day. All of that being said, compared to the more boisterous, conspicuous, attention-grabbing style of a Julien Temple doc, this is a pretty straightforward, unremarkable documentary film about an explosive, incredible band. Of course, Jarmusch is different from Temple, and we can’t let Temple make all the great punk docs, especially when Jarmusch actually knew these guys personally. But overall, yes, it’s a good doc (by which I mean, the Stooges were a great band).

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