I came away wanting more from this documentary, much more. I thoroughlyenjoyed the early life stuff and the build up, formation of the bandetc.. but what was really missing from this was epic concert footage!Come on! Let's see Tom Sawyer COMPLETE, best concert footage you canfind, and blow my eardrums off!! Let's see some of their earlier stuffCOMPLETE!! Stretch it out, make it overly long, make it so that onlydie hard Rush fans will stay till the end, then treat them to somethingAMAZING!!! In short, make the documentary for RUSH FANS, and us alone.
This film instead chooses to give a very complete overview, andoverview only, of the life of Rush, from birth to present day. It givesus teasing clips from concerts, and lots of candid humour. Ofparticular amusement was the joking commentaries from the likes of JackBlack and others attempting to imitate key Rush musical milestones.
I have not yet seen a Rush concert, and it is on the bucket list. I washoping for a taste of that with this movie, seeing it in a theatre at aspecial screening, and I didn't get that.
But for what it was, it was an OK solid doc.
I only "discovered" RUSH 3 short months ago. Before seeing thisdocumentary, I was aware of the few RUSH songs I'd heard on radio - butI would never have name checked them as a great rock band.
In the short time since then (a period during which I have picked upalmost all their CDs), RUSH has displaced the Beatles as my favouriteband of all time. I assure you that's no small feat - I remain one ofthe most avid Beatles fans you will ever encounter. This said, if youlove the Beatles, you won't necessarily love RUSH - and unlike thealmost universally appealing Beatles, RUSH's music seems to be a loveit or hate it affair.
RUSH has many different styles and eras to their vast repertoire ofsongs, and their level of musicianship is without parallel. It's rarely"conventional" rock, but that's what makes it so interesting.
To date, Rush has 24 gold records, 14 of which are platinum (3multi-platinum). That places them third behind The Beatles and TheRolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum albums by anyrock band. Amazingly, they've achieved that distinction withcomparatively little radio support. This documentary provides insightsinto how word-of-mouth made that happen one fan at a time.
A key strength of this documentary is highlighting the significance ofNeil Peart's lyrics as well as it does. I appreciate the written word,and never have I come across musicians whose artistry fuses music andlyrics so well.
This film (and RUSH's music generally) is highly recommended to anyonewho appreciates intelligent lyrics, highly crafted musical artistry andexceptionally good music.
A documentary about the epic career of Canadian rock trio Rush, whoformed in 1968, have had the same lineup since 1974, and are stilltouring and recording thirty-six years and nineteen albums later.
First, an objectivity disclaimer - Rush are probably my favourite band,so I guess I'm maybe not the best person to review this informative andamusing biography of their contribution to rock music. There arecertainly a lot of intriguing questions to ask - why are they notbetter known, given that they've had more consecutive gold records thananyone bar The Beatles and The Rolling Stones ? How did they manage tostay together so long ? How have they have retained such an originalsound despite almost constant change and progression in their musicalstyle ? Why don't girls like them ? The film is a conventional butagreeable mix of interviews, performance footage and comments from keycollaborators and some of the many artists they've influenced (BillyCorgan from The Smashing Pumpkins is particularly insightful). What'sespecially nice for Rush fans is that there's plenty of rare material(such as a home movie of a teenage Alex) and lengthy discussions withall three, including the notoriously camera-shy Neil. Whether you likeRush or not, the specific niche they've created is interesting. They'refull-on rockers but they are neither tattooed hedonists nor art collegepoliticos. They're consummate musicians and entertainers, but theydon't seem to be in the least bit motivated by fame, popularity orwealth. They've never really had any kind of media profile and yet evershow they play is sold out. To borrow a phrase from Butch Cassidy AndThe Sundance Kid, who are those guys ? Their music seems totally uniqueto me but I don't think I can really explain why, it's just something Ifeel in my heart. The documentary (and the band itself) isn't afraid topoke fun at their nerdy image, fashion blunders and frequent savagingby the music press, but it also showcases their originality, commitmentto what they do and respect for their audience. For a band who canoften be labelled pretentious, that's really the one thing they neverare, and that's what comes across here. If I have one criticism, it'sthe pacing - inevitably for such a long-lived act, it's hard to devotetime to all their work and the mid-to-late period (encompassing albumslike Hold Your Fire or Roll The Bones) suffer very brief analysis.Engagingly filmed by Banger Productions' Dunn and McFadyen, who alsomade the equally enjoyable Iron Maiden: Flight 666. I saw this in mylocal arts cinema and the small venue was packed with Rush addictsenjoying every moment, and that kind of sums this band up - you eithertotally get what they're doing or you just can't see it, there's nomiddle ground. If you're any kind of rock fan at all, and especially ifyou don't know Rush, don't miss this terrific little flick. From thepoint of conception to the moment of truth, at the point of surrenderto the burden of proof, from the point of ignition to the final drivethe point of the journey is not to arrive ...
I have been a fan of this band since I was 14 years old. I first sawthem live at Madison Square Garden in NYY (1981). My two older brothersintroduced me to Rush and I have loved them since.
This film / documentary chronicles the band from their very beginningsto today. If you are a Rush fan or if you want to learn about a bandfrom Canada that has influenced so many other bands around the worldyou need to check out this film.
Check it out just to listen to their music.
A band from Toronto with a song called YYZ, can you ask for anythingmore!
In general, documentaries, even those exploring the careers of highprofile bands, are not renowned for being particularly fun orinteresting to watch for those not already enraptured by the subjectmatter, providing interesting supplementary informational tidbits forestablished fans, but unlikely to draw in anyone else. Bearing this inmind, it takes a pretty exceptional music documentary to feel like aconcert, cultural history lesson, lively standalone film and hangoutsession with the band in question all at once, yet directors Sam Dunnand Scot McFadyen manage to pull off such a daunting task with Rush:Beyond the Lighted Stage with exultant ease.
Canadian rockers Rush, despite copious success and a tenaciously loyalband of fans (several interviews have concert-goers amusing admittingto it being their one-hundredth Rush show), have always had difficultycourting mainstream critical or commercial success, the "superstar bandnever to be fully acknowledged as superstars", and Beyond the LightedStage delves into the interesting interplay between fanaticism andindifference, managing to shed light upon the mainstream's elusivedistaste for the band (too quirky? too nerdy? too many long songs? notfirmly mainstream or firmly progressive enough to be easilycategorized? not "hummable" enough?) while also delving to the heartand essence of the band and illuminating why the appeal really shouldhave caught on. Furthermore, the film is particularly credible as beingthe rare documentary to match up to its subject matter cinematicallywith uncommonly masterful structure and composition. Perfectly paced,Beyond the Lighted Stage swiftly doles out its tidbits of bandbiography and the cultural reaction to them as if exhilarating plottwists rather than drab, necessary context, lending the film as livelyand propulsive a tone as any good Rush song, of which the soundtrackoffers enough to prove a comprehensive musical history of the band initself.
More importantly, through comprehensive interviews with the naturallygiving musical trifecta as well as those associated with them(interviews with the mothers of all three rockers are adorable) orsimply admirers (with particularly effective use of Gene Simmons - "Icouldn't understand how a band so good would go back to their hotelrooms without taking up the chance to get laid... those crazyCanadians" - and Jack Black - "Just when you thought the bottle ofrocket-sauce that is Rush had run out, they just keep pumping out therocket-sauce"), the film offers a genuine human, emotional anchorbehind the music. As told by wacky but wise bassist/singer Geddy Lee,deadpan twinkling guitarist Alex Lifeson and the less outgoing,perfectionist yet perpetually chuckling drummer Neil Peart, what couldhave been a banal slab of backstory instead surpasses anecdote tobecome a vivid, kinetic journey. From their inglorious origins (playinghigh school dances, being too young to play higher profile clubs),struggles with their own musical complexity and refusal to curb toascribed expectations (when asked to write more songs "designed to besingles", they churned out twenty-one minute long rock odyssey "2112",inspired by the writings of Ayn Rand - subsequently a massive hit), theevolution of their musical form (with an amusing, retrospective debateabout the overuse of synths between Lee and Lifeson) and the hauntingtragedy of the loss of Peart's daughter and wife, the viewer genuinelyfeels as if they have risen, struggled and rejoiced alongside Rush,with the trio's "goofy", irreverent sense of humour maintaining thejourney remains a consistently offbeat and enjoyable one.
Just as likely to pique the interest of those unfamiliar with Rush asplacate the enthusiasm of die-hard fans, Beyond the Lighted Stageproves one of the most satisfyingly effective documentaries in years,as much an extended thesis for the relevance and appeal of Rush (who,at the time, had yet to even be inducted into the rock and roll hall offame) as as comprehensive overview of their backstory. Whether a Rushfan or not, such a kinetic, energetic and vivacious piece offilm-making should be considered near essential viewing, even for thosewho have yet to fly by night alongside the unmistakably unique rockband.
It is a very well directed and edited collection. Home movie footage ofAlex and Geddy as kids all the way to interviews from the Snakes andArrows tour put the bands personalities and philosophies to theforefront. Fans will feel like they know these guys. There is muchhumor with the occasional sobering aside. People who barely know Rush'smusic will probably get converted. There isn't a lot of technicaldiscussion (equipment, technique). Most people who contributecommentary have worked with them in some capacity. "Celebrity" fans aremostly from the heavy metal camp. The Grace Under Pressure to Roll TheBones era is covered the least (which will make many happy). It wasawesome! See it in a theater if given a chance.User: crossbow0106
Just to get it out of the way, if you have zero interest in Rush,proceed with caution. I am a casual fan and thought this was great. Thebest thing is it explores the relationships between the band, from thebeginning. Also, along with insightful commentary from variousmusicians, the guys tell their own story. Always maligned by critics,this is an exploration into why they are still so popular. Even better,all three guys, especially Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, are just goodpeople. Neil Peart is a bit more difficult to warm up to, but you'lllike him also by the end (actually, way before that). You get concertclips and the aforementioned commentary and what basically comesthrough is that these guys deserved every bit of fame that came theirway. They are all superb musicians, actually all three amongst the bestin rock. While Geddy Lee's singing voice takes a bit of getting used to(there is a funny part where various people quote critics on what theythought his voice sounded like), by the end you realize that its alsopart of what makes the band unique. That over 30 years on they canstill sell out tours is amazing, and it really is about time they wereinducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The only reason I didn'tgive it a ten was that if you have little knowledge of the band you mayfeel its a bit much to go through the records one by one. However, as Iam a casual fan only (to date, I have "Permanent Waves" and the twodisc compilation "Chronicles" only), this documentary makes me want togo out and buy more Rush music. If that isn't an endorsement for thisfilm, then there just isn't one. Congratulations on their well earnedsuccess and bravo to this career spanning, insightful and thoroughlyentertaining documentary.User: hanfuzzy
This film does a good job of presenting and explaining what Rush is allabout, and how the group has earned respect from fans, producers, DJsand other musicians (just not critics). Not quite hagiography, as itquotes some of the negative reviews and the band's own dissatisfactionwith some of their albums or directions or even wardrobe choices.
Unlike the filmmakers' heavy metal survey films (Headbanger's Journeyand Global Metal), in this film Dunn is never on screen and is onlyheard once or twice asking questions of interview subjects. Thespotlight (or limelight) is clearly placed on the band - this is astraight-up documentary, without dwelling on a fan's relationship to aband or genre. As in previous films by this team, the interviews with asurprisingly wide variety of subjects provide much of the meat of thisfilm, giving a broad perspective and keeping it from having too much ofa narrow viewpoint. Of course at least half the interviews are withRush members themselves. You get a real sense of the men behind themusic, including their relationships to each other, family, othermusicians, and fans.
A special aspect is some great earlier footage, even from familydiscussions while they were still in high school. There are also somepowerful landscape shots while exploring Peart's response to deaths inhis immediate family. And the examination of the song-writing process,including shots of original hand-written lyrics drafts, provides goodvalue for viewers.
Overall, a well-made film that does justice to the topic. Not aspoignant or story-arced as Anvil: the Story of Anvil, this film has amore successful subject and didn't need to become a real-life SpinalTap to make a interesting watch.
Saw the premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last night. A theaterfull of Rush fans guarantees that if the film faltered it would getimmediate feedback. Not the case here at all. What us rabid Rush fanshave been waiting for all these years has finally happened: a seriouspiece of film that accurately details the background of the band andtheir rise from obscurity to, as Geddy says "not mainstream, but OURstream", with the ups and downs along the way. Everything is covered,from their struggle for a recording contract until their firststateside 'fans' Donna Halper from WMMS in Cleveland and CliffBurnstein of Mercury Records helped them out, the early years w/ JohnRutsey (someone who up until now was just a name - seeing and hearinghim made me appreciate his early contributions to the group), thetriumphant release of 2112 that gave them their independence, all theway to Neil's tragic loss of his daughter and wife years ago thatalmost spelled the end of the band.
Peppered w/ interviews from other musicians who you would not typicallythink of as Rush fans (Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, etc.) as well asthose who absolutely fit the bill (Jack Black, Les Claypool, etc.) yousee that their influence is not just musical but spiritual - not one ofthese people, except for maybe Mr. Claypool, play like Rush, but theyall relate how their admiration for the band fueled their own push tobe better musicians and hold onto their integrity.
As you would expect, my only complaint is that it's not long enough.But that's what DVD extras are for. :) All in all a hearty thumbs-up!Be sure to catch the TV premiere in late June over at VH1/VH1Classic!
And one last thought - this has solidified the growing position amongus hardcore fans that it's irrelevant if they ever get into the R&RHall of Fame. That's a popularity contest that the band has never caredfor and nor do I.