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Friday, April 23, 2010

Until The Light Takes Us(2008)

Words cannot express how excited I was to see this documentary. From the first rumblings I heard about it, I was obsessed about seeing it. I am a huge fan of Black Metal, and from what I had heard this was finally an intelligent look at the genre. Filmmakers Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell moved to Norway for two years and got to know the members of the bands, before shooting the film. Words cannot express how disappointed I was after finally seeing it.

It centers around the controversy that happened in Norway in the early 90's around the Black Metal scene(church burnings, murder, suicide, etc.). There are, in my opinion, several major problems with this documentary. Firstly, if you know nothing about the genre, or controversy, the film does nothing to explain it. Most of the accents are so strong, that when they explain something, you can't really tell what they are saying. Secondly, there is no narration at all, just long interviews, they seriously needed some sort of narration to break up the monotony. Same goes with the music, there are no performances at all in the film. Kind of strange since it's a documentary about music. There is a soundtrack, but from what I could tell, about 60% of it consisted of techno/ambient music like Boards Of Canada, a serious mistake in the eyes of metalheads. Lastly, the interviews are so long, they seem to go on forever. It literally felt as though this film is 9 hours long!

I was left very distraught after viewing this! The filmmakers could have done so much better. They shot on location, and actually had interviews from Varg Vikernes(in prison) and Fenriz from Darkthrone in it, which is a major coup, considering how elusive these two are. If you are a fan of the genre and know all of the stories already, you might get a little enjoyment out of this. If you are new to the genre, and are looking for some enlightenment of the genre from the film, look elsewhere.

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