by Chris Estey
Nightmare tours, tearful reunions, bad music played passionately, and rock and roll character made through adversity, Anvil! The Story of Anvil thrilled audiences at last year’s Seattle International Film Festival. I was very fortunate enough to review the movie, which I have to admit made one of the most lasting impressions of a particularly great year of indie cinema. As I wrote then:
“People have talked about how funny Anvil! is, and how horrible the band is, but while I think that first part is true, I do think the band was no worse than any other metal band from the period that they first thrived in. There is a timeless quality to the two leaders’ artistic struggle — as if they could be leftovers from vaudeville days or sons of Beat poets. Their art may be banal, but it is straight from the heart. And it’s that darkly beautiful relationship between (band leaders) Lips and Reiner, never giving up on each other’s vision even when surly or stoned, that makes the somewhat triumphant ending something that pleases most anyone who watches this miraculous, fucked up testament to rock and roll.”
Get yourself ready for this year’s SIFF with Anvil! You still have two days left to catch it at the Varsity Theatre, through April 23.