4 user 2 critic

Austin to Boston (2014)

Unrated | | Documentary, Music | 12 June 2015 (USA)
5 old VW's. 4 bands. 3 thousand miles. 2 weeks. 1 gloriously backwards tour. Featuring Ben Howard, The Staves, Nathaniel Rateliff and Bear's Den.


James Marcus Haney


James Marcus Haney (story), Ty Johnson (story) | 2 more credits »


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Credited cast:
Bear's Den Bear's Den
Ben Howard Ben Howard
Gill Landry Gill Landry
Ben Lovett Ben Lovett
Nathaniel Rateliff
The Staves The Staves
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5 old VW camper vans. 4 bands. 3 thousand miles. 2 weeks. 1 gloriously backwards tour. The adventure starts after a fire-fuelled final night at Austin's SXSW Music Festival, where the bands (Ben Howard, The Staves, Nathaniel Rateliff, Bear's Den) pile into their rides and head northeast. They play everywhere from bars to barns, rooms to rooftops, packing out tiny venues and wowing crowds with their unique sounds. But heavy rainstorms, multiple breakdowns, and cramped conditions remind them that to push through sometimes you need to pull together. Featuring Mumford & Sons' Ben Lovett and narrated by Gill Landry this documentary is about a modern tour, done the old fashioned way. 70 mins. Written by Anonymous

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Documentary | Music


Unrated | See all certifications »

User Reviews

A damn good time.
6 November 2014 | by Sergeant_TibbsSee all my reviews

Hot on the heels of the 2012's SXSW festival, a group of London's Communion folk artists, including Mumford and Sons' Ben Lovett, embarked on a journey across the United States to tour the old fashioned way. They play everywhere, packing out venues big and small with their bittersweet and deftly textured music. They're nostalgia hunters for a rich aesthetic and while many could claim it to be too 'hipster' for the sake of it, director James Marcus Haney captures it in all its raw authenticity, complimented with a gruff narration from their driver Gill Landry.

In fact, the bands love the lack of modern conveniences. The vans breaking down is just part of the adventure and these tough situations just reveal a person's true character so they can bond honestly. Their vision of the American dream is one more modest and about connecting with people on a deep level. It's a shame that the film's brevity with a 60 minute runtime means it doesn't have time to get under everybody's skin, outside of a notable break where one of the American musicians visits the place where his Dad was murdered. As a result, it breezes over the events with no obstacles feeling like show-stoppers or giving us the relief of moving forward.

Shot on a blend of 16mm, with all its charming flaws of scratches, grain, focus issues and exposures of colour, and sharp contemporary footage, often using a fish eye lens, it's a mood piece more than anything. The film is entirely built of candid footage. Any interview is quite casual, often in any situation. It's hand-held and rough, making good use of the little light they often have. The lack of intention in how the cameras are stuck in the middle of the camaraderie on the road and the soul-searching of its individuals is just part of its charm.

The music is wonderful. They're all talented artists for sure, especially standouts The Staves with their beautiful harmonies. They cover a lot of classics in a unique way and it's deeply therapeutic for everyone in earshot. While we may not get as much of an insight into each individual and the events on the road as they could have done, they certainly feel like a family by the end as worn down physically and mentally as they may be. The documentary is admittedly a little self-congratulatory, but as they say, at least it was a good time. Austin to Boston is all about savouring the moment because you may only go places once. I want to revisit it already.


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12 June 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Из Остина в Бостон See more »

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