Saw Apocalypse last night, a documentary about Bill Callahan’s 2011 tour. I think it might be one of the better music documentaries I’ve ever seen, for the following reasons:
1. Each song is played in its entirety. It drives me crazy when a documentary shows a musician jamming hard and then cuts in the middle of the song. This director (Hanly Banks) chose the best audio from Callahan’s live performances, then cut between different shows while keeping the sound consistent. Love that she did that!
2. Use of trippy visual effects. Often felt like a series of music videos, with shots of Callahan superimposed over blurry baseball footage, or quick cuts to match the tempo of the song playing, or repeated images of his backlit head creating a kaleidoscope effect. Very cool stuff.
3. No interviews. Callahan is the only voice heard through the entire film, and is only shown being filmed at the very beginning and end. The director kept it simple and very focused this way, just him playing music and talking about playing music.
4. He is so fucking handsome! Brad Pitt style! In kind of a gritty way. So mysterious and handsome.
He played a few songs after the movie, and was amazing as usual. I love him, and I loved this movie.