Bittersweet Motel is a documentary about the popular rock band Phish. The film focuses on Phish's music, with little emphasis on their die-hard fan base.



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Credited cast:
Jon Fishman ...
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Page McConnell ...


This film follows the band, Phish, through a year of its life; from the Great Went concert in Limestone, ME in August 1997 through the subsequent touring in the next year, leading up to August 1998. The director, Todd Phillips, said, "We weren't looking to make 'Tie-Dyed'; I wanted to concentrate on the music." Written by Vic Harrison <>

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Plot Keywords:

phish | rock band | rocker | rock music | See All (4) »



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Release Date:

5 July 2001 (Netherlands)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$38,454 (USA) (25 August 2000)


$380,927 (USA) (8 December 2000)

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Did You Know?


Trey Anastasio: Rock and roll - on a certain level - is a bunch of bullshit, but music is not. Music is the realest thing in the world to me, and anyone who's been there can feel it.
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References Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Bittersweet Motel gives Phish fans what they want
1 September 2000 | by (Vail, Colorado) – See all my reviews

Bittersweet Motel is a well made documentary that follows the band on tour from their 1996 New Year's Eve show in New York City to their two day concert in August of 97, the Great Went which attracted 70,000 fans to Limestone, Maine.

The footage was shot at different venues on their American and European tour. It includes live performances and candid backstage action as well as home movie style fun off stage and personal interviews about their music. A lot of the film is lighthearted, not because the subject isn't taken seriously but because these guys are just fun people. There are plenty of parts which will make you laugh out loud.

Todd Phillips wisely keeps the focus on the band and their music and doesn't focus much attention on the horde of fans which follow the band from show to show. A lot of media coverage often centers around their fans, so it is refreshing to see more of an emphasis on the music and the guys that create it. There are many candid scenes of them discussing their music, whether it be criticizing or praising a set minutes after leaving the stage or analyzing a song. We are also given a peek at the band on a smaller backstage setup rehearsing songs right before going on stage to perform them.

The only complaint that I have about the film is that much of the coverage centers around Trey Anastasio, the lead singer and guitarist. While this was interesting and entertaining, I would've liked to have seen more of a balance of coverage of the other band members in interviews. To Todd Phillips credit, the lack of balance may be because of their shyness or disinterest in the making of the film. Trey was obviously a lot more out-going and enthusiastic about appearing on camera than the other band members.

As a fan, I believe this film discusses things that fans have always wondered about. This documentary is exactly what many fans have wanted to see for years. Whether this film will appeal to non-fans, I don't know. But I don't think they will watch it anyway.

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