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Movie and event review – GLOBAL METAL at 319 Main June 20, 2008

Posted by Raul in First Weekend Club, friends, movies, Vancouver.
Tags: ,

“Global Metal” is a wonderful documentary that undertakes an anthropological exploration of the impact of heavy metal on the lives of rockers in different parts of the world, from India to Iran. These are photos from the special screening at 319 Main, put out by First Weekend Club.

First Weekend Club is a non-profit organization that strives to build audiences for great Canadian films through grassroots initiatives such as special screenings, Q&As with talent, premiere parties, movie alerts and much more! First Weekend Club is a free cross Canada film club that encourages members to attend opening weekend screenings. Hence the name, First Weekend Club [FWC]

Global Metal: 7 countries, 3 continents, one common theme = heavy metal.

Thanks to a little angel (Marina), we have been invited a couple of times to events that the First Weekend Club organizes. Recently, Rebecca and I got invited by FWC to attend the premiere of “Global Metal”, to which we both said “YES!”
I brought Andy and Beth along with me, and I knew that Rebecca was bringing her sister, brother-in-law and Trevor, so this was a good small group. Besides, pretty much all of us are linked by blogging one way or another.

The documentary is pretty good, well crafted. From the get-go, the filmmaker makes it explicit that, given his academic training and his interest in heavy metal, he wants to do an anthropologial exploration of how heavy metal shapes the lives of people who are involved in it, and whether “metal is metal everywhere in the world“. The only problem that I had with the documentary was that it didn’t provide me with a roadmap. I had forgotten that there were seven countries in three continents, so I was exhausted by the time we hit Indonesia!

From the research side of things (yes I know, hate me because I am an academic), I was very intrigued by the participatory nature of this ethnography of heavy metal. The filmmaker’s (Sam Dunn) first film was aptly titled “Metal: A Headbanger Journey”.

I was also puzzled by the strategy that Dunn follows. When I do ethnographic research, I try to immerse myself in the local culture and the community. Whereas in Global Metal, due to the overall nature of the documentary (covering more ground and comparing different cultures and how the local rockers use heavy metal to express their discontent with the status quo, and to channel anger and discontent with the global), it was hard for the filmmaker to really immerse himself in the culture. Still, a great overview of different countries’ heavy metal.

Finally, one of the things that I also picked up from the movie was the concept of globalization. I think Dunn was asking the question of whether globalization had had any effect on the diffusion of heavy metal throughout the world. I would argue that the adoption of this type of music has not been dependent on the cultural differences (or I’d say, has nothing to do with them) but it has been widely perceived (heavy metal, that is) as one type of music that allows people of all races, classes, ethnicities, and social groups to come together and just ROCK ON.

Overall, I had a really great time, I had a chance to hang out with good friends, and to rock out with Vancouver’s ENTROPIA. Although, funny enough, I am pretty sure that both Andy and Beth were surprised to see me doing the horns sign with my hands, because I look so “boy-next-door”-ish. Truth be told, I *love* me some heavy metal. And in celebration of heavy metal, Rock You Like a Hurricane by Scorpions with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra…

I will link to Rebecca’s awesome review as soon as I can fix up my laptop, which is dying, so I am writing this review almost blindly. [UPDATE – There, I could find the link although you would not believe it if I told you I am almost typing in a black screen :(]



1. mjgolch - June 20, 2008

I there was a link fgrom my site to yours,so I thought that I’d come over for a visit.I like you switched to wordpress from blogger.

2. Global Metal Review « Not To Be Trusted With Knives - June 20, 2008

[…] can read much more insightful and professional reviews on Raul’s & Rebecca’s blogs. Here on NTBTWK, we eschew thorough coverage and professionalism for […]

3. PatZ - June 20, 2008

funky redesign!

i’ll have to keep my eye open for a ripped off version of that movie here.

4. Beth - June 21, 2008

I wasn’t surprised at your devil horns as I was at your voice – I didn’t know your voice could go that deep!

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