Screened as part of NZIFF 2004
Since the early 80s, the heavy metal band Metallica has sold 90 million records. When Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, directors of Brother’s Keeper and Paradise Lost, agreed to film a documentary about the making of Metallica’s latest album, nobody guessed just how long that would take, or just how dysfunctional a unit the band had become. Their problems – James Hetfield’s time in rehab, Lars Ulrich’s Napster issues, the endless delays – were tabloid fodder, but who knew they were paying a group therapist $40,000 a month to get them through it – and to keep them productive? Often funny and totally candid, this documentary de-glamorises the music industry like no other.
“A uniquely entertaining look at the complexities of the band’s group dynamics… impeccably shot and craftily edited, the film is full of priceless moments and deadpan reaction shots. It goes beyond surface dramatics to give a multifaceted view of both music and concord between strong personalities who are not larger than life, but refreshingly human.” — Rachel Rosen, Film Comment