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loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies (2006)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | 3 February 2007 (Japan)
loudQUIETloud is the story of this unforseen plot twist. A deeply compelling portrait of four band members and their difficult, tense, and ultimately triumphant return.

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Charles "Black Francis" Thompson
... Herself
... Himself
... Himself
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loudQUIETloud is the story of this unforseen plot twist. A deeply compelling portrait of four band members and their difficult, tense, and ultimately triumphant return.

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Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

3 February 2007 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

громкоТИХОгромко: Фильм о Pixies  »

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Opening Weekend USA:

$3,792, 1 October 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,792, 1 October 2006
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Among the worst documentaries I have ever seen
14 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

The film loudQUIETloud fails to be an effective documentary for several reasons. The first failure is that the filmmaker does nothing to justify the making of this documentary—the film is so devoid of background information or historical context that, for someone without extensive prior knowledge of the Pixies, there is nothing to suggest that the Pixies are important or interesting enough to merit documenting their comeback. The filmmaker makes the audacious claim that the Pixies are among the most influential bands of all-time, and maybe they are—but the film does nothing to prove this or show how or why they are influential. The opening quote from Nirvana's Kurt Cobain is the only time in the film where we are given a sense of the Pixies' impact on modern pop music. Where are the interviews with music historians, music critics, or other musicians that would validate and define the Pixies' influence? Where are the excerpts from Rolling Stone articles about the Pixies—during their heyday, their breakup, their absence, and their reunion? Surely if the Pixies were indeed 'one of the most influential bands of all-time,' then these secondary sources would be overflowing with information that the filmmaker could have used to place in the Pixies in the context of modern music for viewers who aren't already familiar. Yet there is not ONE secondary source interview, not one article quoted—the film consists entirely of interviews with band members, live concert footage, and interviews with the band's family and fans. In this way, loudQUIETloud feels like little more than a puff piece, a made-for-the-fans DVD of the tour released by the band itself. If you are looking for live concert footage of the Pixies, loudQUIETloud does just fine. If you are interested in a thought-provoking, intelligent documentary, loudQUIETloud falls flat on its face. I knew almost nothing about the Pixies before watching loudQUIETloud, and now having seen it, I still feel as though I know nothing about them. Why did the Pixies breakup? The documentary cites 'creative differences and tension,' a generic answer that could probably be used for hundreds of bands. Why did the Pixies get back together? The documentary cites money and 'it just feeling right' as the reasons for the reunion—again, these reasons are painfully dull and provide none of the insight that is the purpose of a good documentary. What is the title's significance? Other than my own inference that loudQUIETloud refers to the band's path from popularity to obscurity and back to popularity, I am given no other clues as to what the title is meant to mean. Most importantly, the film fails to answer the question of why the Pixies were significant and influential, and left me angry and frustrated that I had spent 90 minutes on what, from my perspective, might as well have been some random garage band.

For the hardcore Pixies fan, loudQUIETloud may be sufferable since it gives viewers ample face-time with the band members themselves. However, for those who don't particularly know or care about the Pixies already, loudQUIETloud is among the most hopelessly ineffective documentaries I have ever seen.


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