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American Valhalla: Review

Take a moment to look back and remember being young, free, and listening to your favorite music over an over until each note was ingrained into your soul. Now you can see as an adult how those same sounds became a part of the fabric of who you are as a person. If you are not able to do this upon reflection and you are not a huge fan of music, art, and thoughtful collaboration resulting in something other than a monetary prize, then this is not the film for you.

Most people probably can’t name more than one Iggy Pop song and chances are they don’t know who Joshua Homme is. Because of this, it’s easy to see why this documentary film about a group of musicians coming together to create a record and tour may not be served to the masses next to the release of the hundredth version of Spider-Man at the IMAX.

American Valhalla is the story of Iggy Pop, Joshua Homme, and Post Pop Depression; it’s a documentary about the musical journey of Iggy Pop and Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Joshua Homme. Co-directed by Homme and Andreas Neumann, the film follows the collaboration that evolved into the release of Iggy Pop’s most recent album Post Pop Depression (2016) and a subsequent tour. American Valhalla traces the moments from Iggy’s initial text to Josh, through the creation of the album creation and the following tour, narrated by only those who were there.

Photo courtesy of Matt Helders

It’s fascinating to observe the intensity and passion that Homme exudes regarding the creation of this project. Many artists collaborate and it’s usually tied into money or attention. He is doing this with precision and thought for a larger reason. He wants to create something he feels is worthy of the Iggy Pop in his mind. He wants to show off his childhood hero to the world. Put him in a position to succeed during the twilight of his career on a level that reflects the past and the present equally.

 

“Time is not your friend. It goes no matter what you say. No matter what I think, it won’t wait for me. It won’t go ahead of me, so when I wish it would go faster it just stays there. And when I wish it would slow down, it won’t listen to me. It just makes me ride shotgun. No drive, just ride.” – Joshua Homme

 

The movie begins and ends with these sentiments. This is more than a story about a record and tour. What they managed to uncover, maybe unexpectedly, is the feeling of wanting time to stop when you are in the middle of something wonderful when you know it can’t last; the impossible task of holding on to moments as they pass. When you are in these brief periods of time, there is both elation and fear. This feeling is captured on film and, for me, it’s one of the more honest and groundbreaking experiences floating around out there.

Proof of these moments was caught on film, by a successful and talented musician paying tribute to one of his inspirations.

If this film is screening in your area, take the time to check it out if this sounds like an experience worth having in your life.

 

MovieMark Grade: A

 

In theaters nationwide July 11. There is a screening in Indianapolis:

SMG College Park, 3535 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46268 

Here is a link with screening and theater information.    http://found.ee/AmericanValhallaMovie

 

http://www.americanvalhallamovie.com/

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