2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Intelligent, but fun,
This review is from: Metal - A Headbanger's Journey [DVD] (DVD)
A seriously good documentary that looks at heavy metal without mocking it! Sam Dunn, the director, is an anthropologist who takes his viewers on an irreverent tour of heavy metal, touching on a number of aspects, including the generic criticism of heavy metal, where it came from, and why people listen to it after all these years.
He interviews a wide range of musicians, many of whom are a good laugh, but also have some insightful things to say about the music so many of us have been listening to for decades. He also interviews a number of the academic types that have written some serious works about heavy metal such as Deena Weinstein and Robert Walser.
The documentary isn't perfect, mind you. It was seen by some as pretty unfair to black metal, which doesn't come off well in the documentary. I also found his discussions of evil in metal a bit simplistic; he seems to leave it with the viewer thinking that metal fans are all looking for a celebration of evil, rather than rebellion.
All in all, the documentary is good, and works on two levels. For a metal fan like me, it gives you some insight into the artists, while making you think a bit about the music you listen to. For non-fans, it gives them a bit of a primer on what metal is about, and might make them think a bit more before dismissing metal the way so many do these days.
One last thing to note; there's a one disk verion and a two disk version of this documentary. The two disk version includes a mini-documentary clarifying some of the things the first film says about black metal, as well as providing some general outtakes and the like. The outtakes are nothing special, but the extra bit on black metal was quite good - I'd recommend that version if you can get it.