A little bit about the Pixies…

Music films are a crapshoot.
The fans like it.
The fans hate it.
The filmmaker is a huge fan and can’t see the faults in the band…or the film.
Someone who’s never heard the music before finds the film boring.
Someone who’s never heard the music before finds the film fascinating.
You know you’ve got a good film when anyone can watch it, fan or not, and be into the story for 90 minutes.

loudQUIETloud: a film about the Pixies
got me. I knew the Pixies hits, Here Comes Your Man, Where is My Mind, Monkey Gone to Heaven, but other than that I never really paid attention. By the time they broke up in 1992 I was drowning in goth, shaving half my head and filing my fingernails into points. (Thank goodness that passed.) I knew people that liked the Pixies, but it still didn’t sway me to buy any of their albums. So…walking into the movie last night was a gamble. If it was just for fans, I would be bored. Thank goodness it wasn’t, and I wasn’t. In fact, the film does something most music films don’t do; it shows vulnerability, honesty and dare I say it, reality. As soon as you see Pixie sister Kelly Deal doing cross-stitch and drummer David Lovering on the beach with his metal detector, it’s all over, the film’s gotcha.

The band formed in Boston in 1986 and broke up in 1992 due to “tension between the band mates”. It’s tough to be together writing songs, practicing, recording and touring and it took its toll on the Pixies. But breaking up couldn’t stop Pixies music from inspiring other rockers (Kurt Cobain sited them as a huge influence), spawning hordes of fans worldwide and making everyone ask, “Will the Pixies ever get back together?” In 2004 they reunited for a worldwide tour and the whole thing is covered in Steven Cantor and Matthew Galkin’s loudQUIETloud: a film about the Pixies. And when the camera follows the band from the low rumble in the quiet backstage to facing the audience erupting into lights and music, well, I got chills. In addition to the well-mixed live concert footage the film is complemented with an original score by Daniel Lanois.

The filmmakers are looking into their options for theatrical distribution, hopefully this summer and a two-disc DVD by Christmas. But to tide you over, here’s the trailer.

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AFI programmer Natalie McMenemy, co-director Steven Cantor, the Billy,
co-director Matthew Galkin, Pixie Joey Santiago and Pixie David Lovering.

loudQUIETloud: a film about the Pixies screened as part of the AFI’s 5th Annual Music Documentary Series. The series continues next Wednesday with George Michael – A Different Story and the final film in the series screens May 10th, Leonard Cohen I’m Your Man. Tickets here.

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