The last few months of Movie Club at Enzian were great successes. They were informative and very interesting. Being able to get some of the best commentators Orlando had to offer to speak on various topics ended up working out quite well. However, last month when planning for September we decided perhaps we were missing a major point of why the community would want to come out to something like this. Who is a better critic and who has more valid views than the audience themselves? Therefore, we decided to change the format to more like that of a book club, a round table discussion where everyone had the opportunity to express their views and opinions on the night’s topic. We felt that Rock Docs would be the perfect topic to test this format out on. Well, Thursday September 24th, this format proved to be the way to go.
A small group of us sat around by the fountain at Eden Bar at Enzian. There was no shortage of beer, wine, and food. A really comfortable setting for movie fans to come out and talk about their favorite Rock and Roll documentaries and concert films. The leader of the discussion was former drummer of the rock band Seven Mary Three, Giti Khalsa. Giti, being on the Advisory Council for Enzian, was the most obvious choice to moderate.
Giti started out the discussion by talking about some of his favorite Rock and Roll documentaries, The Police’s Around the World and KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park. While we did discuss that one of these was not a technically a documentary, we let it slide because it certainly spoke to what KISS stood for with an 8 year old boy in 1978. Pure rebellion. And we all felt that that is what a Rock Doc should be; an honest representation of the artists and entertainers it is documenting.
From there we went on to discuss the staples such as Gimme Shelter, Don’t Look Back, Festival Express, Monterey Pop and The Last Waltz and how these films have shaped our view on not only music, but also filmmaking. How these films can be great in their complexity or simplicity, depending on how you look at it. Whether it be with detail oriented eye of Martin Scorsese behind the camera capturing The Bands’ final show, or two camera operators trying to keep up with the danger of the Hell’s Angels losing control at a Rolling Stones show.
We then delved into the next generation of music documentary filmmakers making truly novel films. Be it something like Beastie Boys: Awesome, I Fucking Shot That handing cameras to fifty fans at a concert just to see what happens and dealing with editing it later or something like Andrew Douglas’ ode to deep southern culture and Americana with Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus by making a documentary film look like a narrative feature with the beauty of each shot. Or the obvious ironic parallels to films like Metallica’s Some Kind of Monster and the FFF 2009 hit Anvil. How these films show that fame doesn’t have to be a factor for grown men to bitch at one another like children while in the process of making a record. While more stylized than the documentaries of 30 years ago, these movies still have the same goal in mind when trying to tell a story.
We sat around the bar for over ninety minutes just enjoying a common love of a particular genre, the commonalities as well as the differences within that genre. The night was a success for more reasons than just good company too, thanks to this discussion, fellow Enzian employee Cheryl Thompson and I saw a desperate need to make a Jesse and the Rippers documentary (I will have to get John Stamos on the phone for this one!). But in all seriousness, the night was a great success, and I am really anticipating October’s discussion on Horror Flicks. That should once again prove to be a great time with friends, and even making some new ones, at Enzian!
– Joshua Martin