Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage

I love Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn's documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.

Think about your favorite music movies, and how much drama all of them have. It's relatively easy to make a good movie about Ozzy Osbourne. But for a band with as little sex, drugs, inner conflict or dry spells as Rush, (I believe Geddy Lee bashfully quips "We were a little high" at one point. That's it.) Beyond the Lighted Stage is a startlingly funny, sweet and rewatchable film.

Modern music heroes whom you thought were too private or badass to gush on camera all fawn over a trio of gawky Sci-Fi nerds. Lee and Alex Lifeson's chemistry is never anything less than delightful, and every moment with Neil Peart feels revelatory. Dunn and McFadyen (Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, Iron Maiden: Flight 666) have always made impressive metal movies, but this is the first one that I'd urge non-metalheads to watch. Pitchfork editors can go on laughing at Geddy's voice, Peart's lyrics or Lifeson's timing, but I can't imagine anyone not being won over by Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.

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