Our Most Brilliant Friends
Directed by: Piers Dennis
UK, 2018, 70m
North American Premiere
*Talent in attendance for all screenings
Life on the road is a grind for musicians—bad food, tedious drives, and smelly dressing rooms. It’s endured with the hope that next tour will be bigger and better. For the British band Slow Club, the hope of bigger and better has vanished. A decade ago, the core duo of Charles and Rebecca crafted an uplifting buzz of charming street folk and, over four albums, merged it with indie rock, pop and soul. They sell out modest rooms all over the UK, but still pack themselves into a van and haul their own gear. They’ve hit a wall. Like a bored married couple, they’ve grown in different directions. Charles is content, admitting, “There are only so many people who will ever be into a Slow Club record.” Rebecca, who’s grown from a shy teen into a sultry torch of a singer, has waaaaay different ambitions. “I want to be a big dog,” she states, but she can’t define how to get there. Director Piers Dennis uses stark black and white cinematography to emphasize the mumbling sameness of the road, particularly in the first half. By the second half, the band’s performances leap out from the flat lighting as the group simultaneously hits its musical peak and falls apart. This might be one of the most honest portraits of a band’s demise ever captured. Nobody hates each other. They just want something different.
On a farm in rural New Zealand, a trio of metal kids want to rock. Their dad reminds them to honor their Maori roots. Suddenly, they have a real shot at topping the charts. The family that slays together stays together!