32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Waiting for that feeling?,
This review is from: No Distance Left To Run [DVD]  (DVD)
For anyone who was there at the magical reunion gigs last summer, or who has admired Blur at any point during their diverse and long career, this is likely to be the best music documentary you'll have seen for a long time.
Its the kind of film that makes you want to immediately listen to every Blur song you can lay your hands on. The soundtrack is, predictably, brilliant. But the great thing about it is the fantastic interview footage. Narratively, it tells the story of Blur from their childhood through to their reunion gigs, intercut with footage from the gigs and their warm-ups.
All four members come out of the film really well - even Damon, who is markedly more candid than he has been before. But the real star is Graham, who emerges as a raconteur of almost Noel Gallagher-esque wit. Most people at one of the few cinema screenings of this film were continually giggling out loud during much of his interview footage - and yet he's able to also totally break your heart when describing his abrupt departure from Blur during the recording of 'Think Tank'. He's hilariously funny one moment, and devastatingly self-aware the next.
Its profoundly moving stuff, as it is again, for different reasons, when he and Damon describe the chats they started having about reuniting, leading up to an obviously incredibly emotional Glastonbury gig. To hear each of the band talk about what that meant to them is really quite special. And its hard not to feel quite choked when Graham reflects that he fell in love with Damon all over again when he realised that they're basically the same after all, they "just do things differently".
As they go through their career, album by album, what also becomes clear is how 1997's 'Blur' is their true masterpiece, and just how pivotal Graham was in that album. And therein lies the true sadness of his alcoholism and departure - if the early years of Blur had seen Damon as the creative force, presciently spotting an opportunity for a leftfield indie band celebrating Britishness, it was Graham who had saved them after the chaos of 'The Great Escape' by re-routing their whole guitar sound to America. And then, just at their creative summit, they started to collapse. The reunion footage is particularly redemptive after seeing how they were barely functioning as a band during the disjointed recording of '13' and 'Think Tank'.
Its one of those rare films you want to immediately watch again. The DVD bonus of footage from the wonderful Hyde Park gigs is a further incentive to want to own it. Highly recommended.
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Initial post: 20 Jan 2010 10:03:20 GMT
Great review - I totally agree - I laughed, smiled and even got a lump in my throat with them. Graham was fantastic, a total legend, as was Alex. Even the often awkward Damon had his moments, and Dave, well he is a great guy.
I can't wait to see this again - I was amazed that the cinema in Guildford was less than a third full - maybe down to a lack of publicity?
Anyway, a definite MUST for any Blur fan.
Posted on 21 Feb 2010 19:09:57 GMT
E. J. Smith says:
Brilliant review. I thought about writing one myself but you pretty much summed it up.
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