BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Those only vaguely familiar with Arcade Fire and their proficiency for staying several steps ahead of the musical curve may not find further insight in this daring two disc documentary meant to showcase the band in concert and commentary.
Shot partially in black and white before segueing into color, the rapid scene switching, disjointed imaging, and schizophrenic cinematic set-ups all reinforce the unusual nature of their quirky indie pedigree. That leads less to accessibility and more towards a sense of general mayhem. As a backstage document it offers some opportunity for band members to speak candidly about the music and their involvement with the band, but the rapid shift from scene to scene compels the viewer to lean in order absorb all the sights and sounds. Disc two makes much more sense from a musical perspective, in that captures a complete concert and allows a continuous thread of music rather than simply a series of strange scenes that reflect an extreme psychedelic sensibility.
Given a sound that often verges on cosmic cacophony, that’s appropriate, but viewers might be best advised to become familiar the band’s song selection before subjecting themselves to a total sensory assault.