Rating: 5 out of 5 stars5
I watched a special screening of this film (so I had no exposure yet to all the extras on the DVD itself). When the credits ended I had to stay seated for a few minutes just to absorb the energy and feelings I had. If you're already familiar with Lydia Loveless, the live music alone is worth the cost of admission ("More Like Them" gives me chills every time I hear it). If you're NOT familiar with Lydia - or you are but only in a small way - you will learn so much about her, and the band. But this documentary is SO much more than that. It's a study of the way a "family" of five band members holds things together while maintaining individual identities. It's a lesson in the economics of music, and the differences between being a "star" and being an artist and a critics favorite and making enough money to live. It's a beautiful peek into the process of how pages of scribbled lyrics becomes a song, and then a different song, and then a completely different song...and then in the studio it takes shape into a work of art. It's a diary of how Lydia Loveless has grown from a teenager just wanting to please everyone to a woman who has learned allowing input and ideas from her band is not a criticism of her craft. Gorman Bechard has done some great work in the past, but this is the finest documentary he has ever filmed. The interviews are relaxed and off-the-cuff while maintaining honesty. You're really just watching conversations, not self-aware canned answers to obvious questions. The live music is as powerful as if you were standing in the audience. And like all great documentaries, so much of what you learn is simply shown to you instead of spoken. The film is an experience, not a lecture or a history lesson. Lydia Loveless is an amazingly talented person, and the Patron Saint of the Socially Awkward. When I wasn't feeling my heart pulled out I was laughing hard and loud. And sometimes I was doing both. I've ordered a copy for myself plus copies for gifts. I've already seen the film, and I'm still counting the days until the DVD is released. That's not just because of the long list of extra material I want to enjoy. It's mainly because I desperately want to watch this again. Buy this film. Watch this film. Love this film. And when you play it, play it LOUD. Update: Now that I have the DVD in-hand, I can also say the extras are tremendous. After you've watched the movie, make sure you enjoy the commentary track between Gorman and Lydia, as well as all the other bonus material. Too often the bonus features are ignored by the casual viewer. Don't make that mistake!
I would recommend this to a friend