Saturday, January 23, 2010

Living Your Best Life - Anvil Style

Last class, we discussed the movie Big Fan, in which a little round parking attendant lived a life of, not quiet desperation at all, but one of happy football fanhood.

Today, we will be discussing the Little Canadian Band that Couldn't Quite, chronicled in the documentary, Anvil! The Story of Anvil. The heart of Anvil is the duo of Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner, two nice Jewish boys from Canada who once got a taste of glory in Japan while playing to a packed crowd along with bands like Anthrax, Metallica and Slayer.

That was in the 80s. Since then, they have gone, kicking and screaming, into obscurity, now working menial jobs to support their families. The documentary follows them as they mount their umpteenth comeback attempt.

Reviewers luuuurrved this doc, calling it "touching, uplifting and inspirational." I respectfully disagree. I found it touching, sure, but in a sad way. These guys are now in their 50s, and they look every hard-living year. They do not exactly have heads for business. We hear the music they are recording for their big comeback, and it is unlistenable. Where is the hope in this scenario? It was more like watching the first few episodes of a season of American Idol, where the audience revels in watching hopefuls who have invested all their ego in a career that all logic tells them they have no business pursuing. I found it more voyeuristic than inspirational.

How would you rather live your life? As a parking attendant who lives with his mom and feels lucky that he gets to watch football and call in to a sports talk radio station? Or a school lunchroom worker who feels like Providence made a big mistake in denying him a life of rock stardom?

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