In this visual essay style documentary, intimate audio of journalist Michael Azerrad's interviews with Kurt Cobain is played over more recently photographed footage of Cobain's Washington state homes and haunts.
Gigantic is the story of They Might Be Giants, a unique musical group centered on John Flansburgh and John Linnell. We're introduced to the duo's lyrical and melodic craft when, for example, well-known actors recite Giants lyrics, underscoring the dark words often coupled with bright tunes. We also catch a glimpse of the band's ideas about performance from the blend of footage from concerts, television, music videos, and other media. Running through the whole film is a portrayal of the Johns' friendship and ultimately, their view of the world, which we see in interviews with the Giants themselves, their colleagues, and their fans. Written by
Andy Zimolzak <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Annette O'Toole narrates a letter in the film during one of the film's "history" sequences, and did the research herself. She had been out of town filming Smallville (2001) when the director came to film her husband, Michael McKean. See more »
A lot of albums these days have ten or less songs on them, and that pisses us off. This new album of ours has nineteen songs. That's why ours is better.
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At one point, commentator Syd Straw asks the filmmakers if their film is a fluff piece, and it kind of is--as a documentary, `Gigantic' isn't particularly well made, and its mock-important moments (dull dramatic readings of TMBG lyrics by celebrity fans, a segment of random trivia about song subject James K. Polk) tend to hold up the show rather than help it along. There's never a hint of darkness or controversy, little insight into Linnell and Flansburgh's creative processes, and even less info about their personal lives. But for the most part, fluff doesn't get much more fun than this. For all its fanboy intentions, Gigantic never presents its subjects as true giants, but rather as the little band that could, and did. Far from seeming smug or precious or self-conscious, the Johns come off as modest, self-effacing, surprisingly earnest regular guys; their personalities are likely to charm the uninitiated, and turn on new generations of fans to their brilliantly off-center musical world. And diehards will be more than happy with the affectionate tone and high-energy concert footage. Recommended. 8 out of 10.
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