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Metalheads Must-See

February 16, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Despite having never heard of the Canadian thrash pioneers, Anvil, the film Anvil! The Story of Anvil has made its way into my favorite movies list. It is a documentary based on the struggles that the band members (particularly Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Rob Reiner) face in the pursuit of their everlasting dream of being rock musicians. And though it is based on a heavy metal band, this is a film I strongly recommend to all audiences.

The film is an inspiration for struggling artists in any form of art. It depicts the hardships, as well as the rewards, of following an artist’s dreams in our world. Also, it puts a whole new perspective on the metalhead. If you believe the stereotype that metal musicians are dirty, uncivilized, angry people, be ready to have your beliefs smashed to bits. It is a movie of love and camaraderie, never-ending determination, and a fiery passion for art. What the average person would expect is the opposite of what is given. All expectations, no matter how high they may be, are surpassed.

In comparison to what is likely the most widespread metal documentary, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, it is noticeably better. That is not to said as a criticism of the Metallica film, but as a compliment for that of Anvil. Documentaries are usually intended to inspire, and I find one about dedicating oneself for the sake of music more inspiring than one of soothing one’s issues of egotism to make an extra couple million record sales. Also, Metallica’s film is about the making of possibly their worst album, St. Anger. Nonetheless, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster is a very good film worth watching.

The two other movies I would recommend are  both by the Canadian director and anthropologist, Sam Dunn. The older one is called Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, and is about the origin and evolution of the genre of heavy metal. It explores how metal became so big and how it appeals to headbangers. Also, it touches on a variety of subgenres of heavy metal to accommodate everyone. However, by “everyone,” I refer to all metalheads. This is likely not recommendable to anyone outside of the metal world.

The more recent film by Dunn is called Global Metal. The focus of this film is how metal has spread across the world and why. It explores how metal has affected individuals from different regions, as well as regions as a whole. Because metal is such a misunderstood genre, this film is very purposeful in dissipating any wrongful insights. I would recommend any headbanger to show this to his/her friends. No doubt, it is a very well-done film.

These are all my personal recommendations. There are no doubt many more quality films available, I just have not found them yet. Do check these out though, they are great documentaries.

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