Sunday, February 21, 2021

Bleeding Audio - Slamdance Documentary Review

The Documentary: Bleeding Audio

The Director: Chelsea Christer

The Story: Bleeding Audio is an intimate portrait detailing The Matches' promising career, defeating break up, and inspiring reunion as they reflect on what success truly means for musicians in today's digital industry.

The Review:
Before watching this documentary, I don't know if I had ever heard of The Matches which is kind of the point of the film, I guess. I mean, I must have run across their music at some point since I managed a music store for a couple years but unfortunately they flew well under my radar. The story of these four men is kind of tragic and a little sad partly for themselves but also because I'm sure this destined for greatness but not getting there story has played out so many times for so many musicians, artists, and anyone else who has ever pursued some type of dream.

I do like how director Chelsea Christer tells this story in a way that is ultimately inspiring and satisfying to balance out all the bad news and music industry doom and gloom. There has definitely been a shift in how we consume music and other forms of art as the internet has grown and transformed the way we live and not always to the benefit of all. Christer also spends a good amount of time with each member, learning who they are outside of the group, and how they all came together to form the band. Their story kind of reminds of Tom Hanks' film That Thing You Do right down to the bass player needing to be replaced and of course getting used and abused by the record industry.

This movie really is a commentary on the record business as much as it is about the men in the band and it's really interesting to see the realities of how money is made, or not made, and what the life of a band is really like versus the glitz and glam that we often think it is. To see so many successful bands giving so much love and having so much respect for the group and their music is also kind of heartbreaking because it just validates the idea that they should have been right up there with them. There is a point in the movie where a major plot twist is revealed and it becomes very apparent just why things played out the way they did and that's where the story really becomes a tragedy.

Ultimately, things end on a positive note as and I was very happy to see the band finally have some success in the end. I won't go into detail on that if you're like me and don't know their story but just know that the band members learned from their experiences and everything turned out okay. The following they had, the culture they created, and the relationships they developed are really the things that mattered when it was all said and done. Sure, fame and fortune would have been nice but for me, the real measure of success for The Matches is how much of a connection they had and still have with everyone they came across. Their legacy will live on as something truly special.

The Verdict:
Bleeding Audio is an inspiring documentary and an intriguing look into the realities of being in a band, dealing with the music business, and learning some valuable life lessons along the way. Director Chelsea Christer fills her film with the same punk attitude and lovable personality that almost turned the band into a worldwide sensation.

To keep track of all my reviews and festival coverage please go to: TwoOhSix at Slamdance 2021.

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