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All Tomorrow's Parties (2009)

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A kaleidoscopic journey into the parallel musical universe of cult music festival All Tomorrow's Parties.

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A kaleidoscopic journey into the parallel musical universe of cult music festival All Tomorrow's Parties.

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Documentary | Music

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14 March 2009 (USA)  »

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Untitled Jonathan Caouette Project  »

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User Reviews

All Tomorrow's Parties: The Best Weekend You Never Had
28 June 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

If you like partying all weekend, getting off your face on…. fizzy drinks, and listening to some of the coolest indie bands around then chances are this movie was made for you.

All Tomorrow's Parties is a collection of fan filmed footage from the festival of the same name, which takes place in East Sussex and Somerset at out of season holiday camps each year.

If you don't dig festivals or live music then you could be wasting your time on this but whether you love them or loathe them this is more of an experience than a film. It's loud, sweaty, sexy and enthralling.

There's no plot, no characters (unless you count the musicians) and there's no point. It's mostly a matter of sitting back and being sucked into the festival.

But because the whole thing is made up of fan footage, as well as some camera-work by the bands themselves, it's very disjointed and jarring in places but, for the most part, it's plain impressive. It's a lot like watching home movies of people you've never met.

The editor, Nick Fenton, is a genius as is evidenced in the first 5 minutes in which a thumping beat plays to footage of the holiday camps as they used to be in the 50s and 60s: full of family fun, not festival stoners and their guitars.

A lot of funny teenage shenanigans occur as the festival seems to be a gateway through which people grow up and music displays the shaky transition from teenager to adult. It showcases how people who genuinely love music will find a beat anywhere and that it's more than just noise.

Bands that are included in this musical mash-up are The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Mars Volta, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Gossip and a bizarre little cameo by comedian David Cross. If you don't like or have never heard of these people, I wouldn't worry because there is an eclectic mix and you'll probably find something you'll like.

While it is an impressive collage of material, it does lack any kind of cohesiveness and could lead to a few dips in your attention. Also, its use of split screen teeters between visually grating and kinetic magnificence.

A good film but probably best enjoyed when you've had some… fizzy drinks.


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