The Chemical Brothers have been messing with our heads for two decades. Just last year, they were nominated for a handful of awards for their soundtrack to the film Hanna. You might remember their original music for Fight Club under their old name, The Dust Brothers. While they were really game-changing in late 90s and early 2000s, the energy in the Chemical Brothers live show hasn’t gone anywhere. Refusing to cop out and update with the times, the Brothers still perform their show with cases upon cases of manually triggered synth lines and samples - a rare art form amongst today’s electronic scene. Long time visual director and Chemical Brothers cohort Adam Smith continues to up the level visual stimulation tour after tour, and with their first film project Don’t Think, none of that has changed.
Don’t Think is directed by Adam Smith and is essentially a concert film; it features the Chemical Brothers’ entire show at Fuji Rock 2011. The group is backed by a jaw-droppingly massive, stage-wide LED screen featuring visuals set in time to the show. At the same time, lasers, projectors, strobe lights, and a cylinder of lights dangling above the band’s collection of instruments continue to try and coax you into a seizure. As the film is directed by Adam Smith, it does tend to focus on the backing screen visuals and other visuals going on, but it still stays intimate enough to feel like a concert, which is a very hard thing to do. Most concert films make you feel very distant from the band or the events, but Smith does a good job of keeping the energy up. This is helped by a lot of footage and pictures taken from the crowd.
The film features all of the band’s live favorites set to a wide array of visuals including scary clowns, bugs, “cops and robbers” themed ravers, and a whole lot of flashing color. If you aren’t a fan of the band, Don’t Think won’t necessarily change your mind. But for old-time fans of the godfathers of early 2000 electronic music, the film is quite an experience. The film is now playing in select theaters across the country. To find out if it is playing in your area or to get tickets, visit the movie’s website. If you live in the Seattle area, the film is playing at AMC Pacific Place 11 downtown. Check the website for movie times!