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Documentaries > This Is Spinal Tap (Marti DiBergi)

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message 1: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments THIS IS SPINAL TAP (Marti DiBirgi, 1984, USA) Headaches and nausea are the most common risks involving a lumbar puncture, and remaining in a supine position often alleviates suffering: just don’t choke on your own vomit or, like “Stumpy Joe”…someone else’s. SPINAL TAP is one of the most influential rock bands of all time: from their early days as the Thamesmen where they created a tsunami of sea change, inspiring such legends as the Yardbirds and Kinks, to the 1970’s and 80’s where their three chord riptide encouraged bands such as Cheap Trick, Led Zeppelin, ELP, Alice Cooper and Metallica. Though TAP has drowned in relative obscurity, Nigel Tufnel’s virtuoso multiple guitar solos have been mimicked by Jimmy Page and Rick Nielsen, while David St. Hubbin’s sensual vocals and stunning blonde locks have been imitated by Robin Zander and countless others. While songs like “Gimme Some Money” and “Flower People” were psychedelic reflections of the Acid Generation, TAP was able to expand into the following decades with classics like “Stonehenge”, “Sex farm” and “Big Bottom”. The songwriting team of Tufnel/Hubbins often transcends the historical duos of Lennon/McCartney and Jagger/Richards, their deeply political and personal poeticism hidden beneath hypnotizing melodies and sublime verse. Derek Smalls is a giant; his talent redefining the image of bass player as a nearly invisible band component, his double bass reverberating like a sonic earthquake. Director Marty DiBergi is able to film the ups and downs of the band as they embark upon their first US tour in six years to support the now classic Smell The Glove album. DiBergi’s Rockumentary focuses upon each band member in turn while capturing behind the scene dramatics and TAP’S powerful onstage performances. Like any creative tidal force, the Tufnel and Hubbins relationship recedes and advances with Smalls offering his lukewarm mediation to keep the band afloat during the tumultuous storm. As Hubbin’s girlfriend joins the tour, a Yoko Ono-like division occurs and TAP is left spineless: without Tufnel’s material they descend into a jazz-fusion funk that nearly destroys their career. Finally, they chart in Japan and with Nigel’s fortuitous return, Budokan is no longer a daydream but a very real possibility. Hopefully their return to Cleveland will be inclusion into the Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame…and not lost backstage at some forgotten auditorium. (A)

message 2: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) I've been dying to see this movie...and some day I will.

message 3: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10505 comments you haven't seen it?????

what planet was that you said you live on?

message 4: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments When I met my wife she had THE RAMONES, BIG STAR and THE REPLACEMENTS in her CD collection and I knew she just had to be cool! So when I mentioned SPINAL TAP I was surprised that she had never seen it: I changed that quickly. Now 12 years later it has become a staple in our yearly movie wathcing experience and the new Blu-ray is really fantastic.
Christy, go out and rent this now. Someday is too late:)

message 5: by Jill (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 123 comments This Is Spinal Tap is a true classic. And, from what I hear, one that virtually every band has in their tour bus movie collection.

It's definitely a movie that takes it all the way up to eleven.

message 6: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Phillip wrote: "you haven't seen it?????

what planet was that you said you live on?"

Hey man, it's not like it comes on TV a lot...Not like Rocky.

message 7: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5318 comments SPINAL TAP is a joy to watch, easily Rob Reiner's best film and by many many miles the best of the faux verite films that followed it. After all these years it still gets me laughing.

message 8: by Phillip (last edited Aug 18, 2009 12:59PM) (new)

Phillip | 10505 comments agreed, i don't think any of the subsequent 'sequels' ever hit the notes that this film touched (although, there are some damn funny moments in best in show, and yes, i realize reiner didn't direct that one). it's become somewhat of a cultural institution at this point...just about every guitar player i know looks for amps that go to "eleven"...

just make it happen, girl. you'll be glad you did.

message 9: by Jill (last edited Aug 18, 2009 09:25PM) (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 123 comments This Is Spinal Tap is by far the best, but I have to give it up to Christopher Guest for the creation of Waiting for Guffman too. I've yet to meet a die hard theater major who couldn't quote that film. If you've ever done community theater, you know those people. I especially liked Catherine O'Hara's special touch of mouthing the words of the other performers (see the audition scene). I did the exact same thing the first time I performed in a play (mind you, I was eleven). It still makes me cringe.

That's what I like about those faux documentaries. There's almost always some character you can identify with in some painfully embarrassing way.

message 10: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments Perhaps I should see it again?
When I saw it in 1984, I was still in college and I had heard so much hype about it from my buddies. I was looking forward to seeing it and when I finally did, I was a bit underwhelmed.
The jokes and the satire seemed overly familiar and tired. I suspect it was my crowd's fault and not so much the movie.

message 11: by Atlas (new)

Atlas | 22 comments yea manuel the number one killer of a good movie is overhype, hence anytime i want a friend to see a movie i tell them it sucks but they need to see it.

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