SIFF Face the Music 2017 Preview: On The Road


On The Road
(UK, 2016, 112 Minutes, Directed by Michael Winterbottom.)

Festival Screenings:
Wednesday, May 31, 2017- SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Friday, June 2nd, 2017- SIFF Cinema Uptown
Wednesday, June 7th, 2017- SIFF Cinema Uptown

Michael Winterbottom has made a career out of keeping busy, constantly reinventing his directorial style with every new film. His second-most-recent film, one of two Winterbottom movies screening at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival, finds Winterbottom documenting a tour by KEXP favorites Wolf Alice, interweaving a fictional love story amidst footage of the band’s everyday life during a tour of the UK and Ireland.

On the Road‘s strength lies in Winterbottom’s laid-back approach to filming the band, as well as his fictional characters. The camera spends much time watching the everyday minutia of touring, including the unloading of gear and never-ending sound checks. Through de-mystifying the rock show, Winterbottom is able to represent Wolf Alice as both musicians and people, giving both aspects sufficient time over the film’s two hours. Though the film lacks a strong narrative, it instead gives space to the everyday, as well as Wolf Alice’s music, which is perhaps the film’s ultimate strength. On The Road is at its best when the band stands in the spotlight, Winterbottom’s camera watching Wolf Alice in their element. Watch a clip from the film below, courtesy of The Guardian, and then re-visit the band’s 2015 KEXP in-studio session on The Morning Show with John Richards.

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