Hot Docs – Shut Up and Play the Hits

James Murphy has been called one of the coolest people on the planet. Whatever image that conjures up, it is probably not that of a grizzled fortysomething in a dapper black suit. In addition to his work as a producer, the music he created as LCD Soundsystem garnered him a cult following.

Three albums and many singles later, he announced that LCD Soundsystem was coming to an end. This films follows the lead up to the final performance at Madison Square Gardens and its aftermath.

Interwoven with the concert footage are segments of an interview with Chuck Klosterman and glimpses of the day after the concert when Murphy begins his post-LCD Soundsystem life. Murphy is well-read, thoughtful and articulate, and he shows flashes of the humour that got him a job offer to write for Jerry Seinfeld back in the day (he turned it down, by the way). The interview focuses on why he wants to quit LCD Soundsystem at the peak of its success. Age and aging are themes that come to the forefront.

Murphy states that he doesn’t like to put on shows; he just wants to play dance parties and that is exactly the spirit of that final concert that runs for four hours. The mood, both on stage and in the audience, is electric. Eschewing the typical concert movie format, the filmmakers employ a distinctive style that conveys individual and collective emotion. Using a combination of ultra wide angles and tight zooms, the film perfectly captures the exhilaration and heady excitement of the final hurrah.

The directors, Dylan Southern and William Lovelace, know their way around the music scene; their previous effort was the critically acclaimed documentary on Blur, “No Distance Left to Run”. The film opens with the statement, “If this is a funeral, let’s make this the best funeral ever,” in reference to the concert. I am forever regretful that I never saw LCD Soundsystem live, but the film transported me into the moment and I emerged from the cinema spent and bedazzled. A must-see movie for fans of LCD Soundsystem and electronic dance.

Thu, May 3 9:30 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
Sat, May 5 6:30 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Written by Pauline Dong

A native Torontonian, Pauline enjoys much that the city has to offer, especially in the areas of food and drink. She is also an enthusiastic traveller and explorer of other cultures. A self-described film geek, her interest in movies was first piqued by the early works of Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino and Wong Kar-Wai. More a fan than a critic, she invites your thoughts on the films in her articles.

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