I just saw the greatest documentary ever! It’s of relevance to all my readers who will all love it as much as I do.
These two statements, my friends, were lies. I’m sorry. But on the day I traditionally write about music, I’d like to share a bit of it with you, and in fact, that first statement is somewhere near the truth. Oh, it wasn’t Capturing the Friedmans (that, actually, is my favorite documentary of all time. See it now!), but I did sit in rapt attention and wish fervently that it was longer than 90 minutes. How many documentaries do you wish that about? Except for Shoah. Nine hours is just not enough for any movie!
By the way, in case you’re new to this blog, I am not comparing a movie about The Human League to a Holocaust film. Don’t even go there! And I love documentaries in general; they may be my favorite type of movie.
No, the movie is called Synth Britannia and is from the BBC. It’s about… well, I’ll let the Beeb take it away: “Documentary following a generation of post-punk musicians who took the synthesiser from the experimental fringes to the centre of the pop stage.” My spellcheck is going to hate that sentence, I just know it. The first half is fascinating and about early acts such as the aforementioned Human League and Kraftwerk and Gary Numan, but the second half, which is a lot about Depeche Mode, is as you can imagine, utterly riveting to me. This, I think, is my favorite part:
Wait, wait, wait a second! In the 80′s not everyone in England walked around wearing eyeliner and playing synthesizers?????? This person who felt different and a misfit in those years is stunned. Don’t ruin my utopia, Simon Reynolds! I’m not sure about the gay part, though. I was always sure everyone was straight, even the Pet Shop Boys. My gaydar was not especially developed at 16. But I did feel dissident and I still get surprised at how many people liked DM towards the end (that is, the end of the 80′s). Weird. Nowadays, I’m still convinced that half the people who show up at Madison Square Garden on any given DM show night only liked Personal Jesus.
The other great thing about this particular segment is that you get to compare Martin Gore’s old and new teeth. Bonus! Alas, this film is no longer available at the BBC site but is always findable for those who are looking. Thanks to Slicing Up Eyeballs, one of my favorite new blogs, for reminding me I wanted to see it.
This post brought to you by yet another shameless plug for my new 80′s mp3/video blog, Are Everything.