Movie of the Day – Shut Up and Play the Hits
February 11, 2013 1 Comment
I never realized that watching the end of a band, one as amazing as LCD Soundsystem, would be one of my favorite and touching documentaries in 2012. Say what you will of the band, fan or not, but this sort of intimacy and outright passion that the documentary follows is just truly compelling and meaningful. Shut Up and Play the Hits captures everything I love about the band and hits the right emotional chords in a fantastic concert/band documentary. There I said it. But I do have more to say so hit the jump.
On April 2nd, 2011, LCD Soundsystem played its final show at Madison Square Garden. LCD frontman James Murphy had made the conscious decision to disband one of the most celebrated and influential bands of its generation at the peak of its popularity, ensuring that the band would go out on top with the biggest and most ambitious concert of its career. The instantly sold out, near four-hour extravaganza did just that, moving the thousands in attendance to tears of joy and grief, with New York Magazine calling the event “a marvel of pure craft” and TIME magazine lamenting “we may never dance again.” Shut Up and Play the Hits is simultaneously a document of a once-in-a-lifetime performance and an intimate portrait of Murphy as he navigates both the personal and professional ramifications of his decision. — (C) Oscilloscope
I don’t have much insight to give about this documentary other than what it represents and mean to me. As a fan of the band since their early beginning, I have loved and followed the bands music, even going so far as to try and buy a ticket to the final show at Madison Square Garden. Given that I live in KC and not in NY, I would have traveled for this, plus it would have given me a chance to see them live one last time. This documentary is a loving look at the final moments of fame and glory for the band, cementing their final moments with a concert that some critics described as a four hour trip into euphoria or so to speak. Their final show is captured with a behind the scenes look at the days leading up to it and live concert footage.
Shut Up and Play the Hits peers into the insight of the leader, James Murphy, as he made the inexplicable reason to disband the group. In some ways he made a decision that means his band will be forever cemented at the top of their game, never having to fade into obscurity or mediocrity. In another way, he might have sold himself short. He might have clipped the potential of the bands full ability, lamenting what might have been. But the focus is more on going out with a bang, a final show to end all other shows. A sold out crowd is the backdrop for the intimate and touching looking at the final moments of an incredibly moving and influential band.
I was moved watching this documentary, maybe more so because I truly love this band. Also because I enjoy a well done documentary and this is wonderful, enough to make it to my end of the year list. It’s one thing to see a documentary on a group of musicians as they strike out on their own, looking for fame or telling about their rise to fame. Shut Up brings into the closing moments of fame and success. A very touching and moving documentary about what goes through the minds of the bands members knowing that this is their last time together on stage. If you have the opportunity to see this, please do so. Even if you aren’t a fan of the band, the documentary is gorgeous to look at and very well put together.