Watched Jul 22, 2012
Grant Berridge’s review:
I loved this band when I was in my 20s. I realised while watching this beautiful and nostalgic documentary that I still love them. Got my guitar out before I wrote this up. Still a bit misty-eyed.
I'm not sure why these songs melt my heart. I knew my dad, and he was a good guy. I was never alienated or angry with the state. I've had a great life, to tell you the truth, but Pearl Jam's songs make me feel a sense of solidarity with the rest of our forgotten generation, part of an abused generation of noble, creative, lonely and misunderstood outsiders. I feel a sense of camaraderie when I hear Eddie Vedder sing. Perhaps that's just because Pearl Jam featured so large in my life when I was so young that I didn't realise that everyone feels alone, different and misunderstood?
Cameron Crowe, the director, knows who I am too. He's nailed me before with Almost Famous and Singles, two of my absolute favourite indulgences. He's a bit like Douglas Adams (author of The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy) in the way that he makes me feel like I'm the only one who really understands what he's trying to say. Other people like these movies, but they're not really getting them like I do. That's a rare talent in an author or director, and it generates an undying devotion. That probably means that I'm not very objective about his films.
This is (fittingly) a pretty grungy documentary, with a lot of grainy footage, and it meanders a little bit. There's a lot of sentimentality and some close-ups of misty-eyed, aging rock stars. It's not awkward or anything, but if you never cared for Pearl Jam I can imagine this being the shittest 2 hours of your life.
For me, it was a weepy, romantic and nostalgic trip down memory lane. Nearly the perfect way to spend a rainy Sunday. I loved it.