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It Might Get Loud

October 25, 2009

Broadway Cinema it-might-get-loud

It Might Get Loud might possibly be the best documentary film I’ve seen in a long time. Not because it professed some profound message or was filled with particularly beautiful imagery, but because it’s subject is so very simple and frankly, so very, very cool.  The premise is totally straight forward; three different musicians and three very different approaches to making music with the one instrument that epitomizes cool, the electric guitar. The musicians profiled are Jack white from The White Stripes / The Raconteurs / The Dead Weather, The Edge of U2, and the Jimmy Page of the mighty Led Zeppelin.

What I liked best about the film and the filmmakers’ chosen subjects are the fact that they all play amplified rock music but in entirely unique ways. The film opens with a short segment of Jack White building a crude stringed instrument from some nails, a board, some wires, a coke bottle and a simple guitar amp and proceeding to play a very good and very dirty blues guitar riff from a single string. This display stands in direct contrast to later in the film when we’re introduced to The Edge playing his guitar out of an amp rack with enough computer equipment to power a space shuttle. And acting as godfather, historian and innovator throughout the film is the legendary Jimmy Page who even takes a minute to walk us through what I would describe as an entire warehouse filled with guitars he’s collected over the years, a staggering sight, I might add.2009_it_might_get_loud_002

Aside from getting to see and hear great guitar players do what they do best, we’re also treated to brief histories of each musician’s introduction to and subsequent love affair with their chosen instruments as well as the bands that brought them their fame.  Those stories alone are worth the price of admission but what tipped the scales for me from this being a good film to this being a genuinely great time at the movies, was seeing these artists play their guitars and discuss their paths all together in the same room at the same time. There’s something special about watching human beings passionately doing their best with what they’ve got and these three do just that.

article by Josh Obanion

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