Friday, May 17, 2013

#9 The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights (2009)

More than once I've wondered why I've never really gotten into The White Stripes. I share Jack White's love for the old blues guys from way back. When at the end of their career the band chose to release a live album that included a nice-looking documentary I figured maybe this might do the trick. Well...

This film follows the band on tour in Canada - in various small towns. We see the band behind the scenes and rocking away on stage - shot in both black and white and in a contrasted colour style that enhances their red, white and black image nicely.

The band seems to want to look "down-to-earth" (small gigs, simple live set-up etc.), but they still don't mind going the limo and private jet route. The film contains many funny moments, but for the most part it feels as if we're just scratching the surface. Also, some moments seem rather awkward as if they were staged a bit too much. Or maybe the film does not give those moments the time they need. But how could it? Then it would get overly long. Maybe it wants to do too much - and ends up doing very little?

On the positive side the sections containing concert footage seem to capture the band's stripped down style and energy rather well. But I'm still not that much wiser regarding what Jack White really wants to say with his music. So contrary to my expectations the film sadly didn't win me over.

I would say that this is a film for the fans. Nothing in the world wrong with that. That's just how it is. For the rest of us I personally feel there's less meat on the bones to hold onto for a genuine and unforgettable musical movie experience. Although, cinematically we can enjoy the nice cinematography and musical energy.

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