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Steven Wilson - Insurgentes - The Movie CD (album) cover

INSURGENTES - THE MOVIE

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

3.50 | 139 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Informative, interesting, and frustrating as hell

An early and brief review here to generate some buzz for this exciting release. I recently gave "Anesthetize" 5 stars which is a rating I very rarely give, as I found the collaboration of PT and Lasse Hoile to be just stunning, musically and visually. I wish I could say the collaboration works as well on the "Insurgentes" documentary.

I truly enjoy most of Wilson's music. I found the actual Wilson content wonderful. The time that he speaks about himself and his work is informative and interesting. Personally he comes off as a really nice chap willing to spend some time with fans and allow some intimate access just as Rush did in their recent film. As in the Rush film, Wilson brings us into his parent's home, puts them on camera, takes us to his old school haunts, and opens up on everything from getting his ass kicked in sports to a specific fear about having children. He also spends a great deal of time explaining his disdain for download culture, making his case to the younger generation about what they're missing, and laying out the facts about why Ipods and MP3s suck. He makes a strong case but I won't go into all that. He spends time taking us to record stores and talking prog. He talks about the pain of spending a year on an album only to have reviewers call it sh*t, and what that feels like. We get some really great early footage of young Wilson jamming with his mid 80s bands and we see photographs of Steven the child. Additional information is provided in the form of a Q and A on the extras disc, as is a healthy sample of live music. So that's the great stuff. And while I wouldn't dream of calling any of Steve's work sh*t, I do have to be honest about what I didn't like...

My problem with "Insurgentes" is sitting through all of Hoile's pretentious interruptions which do not compliment the main event like his glorious touches on "Anesthetize". There are so many artsy-fartsy interruptions it just drove me nuts. Every time the dialogue would start to go somewhere cool, they stop and break into the flashing lights or trippy video montage or screechy noisy loops or all of the above. Every time they'd show some live music and you'd breath a sigh of release and start to rock out, it would be cut right away so they could show yet another desert landscape or close-up of a deformed doll hanging from a tree. The person I watched with had the same reaction...this would be so great if they would have cut that nonsense out and given us Wilson and his music in longer, uninterrupted sequences. Keep the hip video sequences and herky-jerky editing for the actual music videos themselves, where they can be appreciated in proper context with a song that isn't going to stop in 10 seconds. Lay off the cuts to conceptual visuals and intermittent loud sound effects with seemingly no value other than tanking the flow of the good stuff. Watch the Rush documentary and learn how to make an engaging rock profile film, by realizing the fans want the artist and a bit of uninterrupted music, not an art class. Perhaps I overstate a bit in frustration but I think you have an idea what I'm trying to describe.

So, high marks for Mr. Wilson and his engaging story and honest personality, and of course I love the music Steve. Low marks for presentation I'm sorry to say bring the overall rating to 3 stars. The packaging is very impressive and comes with a MONSTER, lavish booklet of high quality photography. I'm sure many PT fans will think I'm being too hard on "Insurgentes" but I was just trying to be honest about what I liked and disliked. I certainly recommend it to anyone who wants insight into this truly outstanding artist. I just didn't enjoy the frills in this setting.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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