After being subjected to a staggering amount of hype, last night I finally saw "Anvil!" The almost impossibly-true story follows two bruised—but not broken—metal heads still managed to triumph. Aside from all the ludicrously unintentional hilarity, the film is a poignant study of the artist. There was one section that struck me in particular, which came from the sister of band-leader, Lips' (and I'm paraphrasing):
Sitting in her comfy, frumpy home: "Lips chose the life of an artist. It's often incredibly difficult—the chances are he wont succeed, and after 30 years of trying he certainly hasn't. But for that shot at greatness, and to endure, interpreting the language of his soul, he's taking that chance. He'd rather be poor and fulfilled than comfortable and empty." She seems to understand Lips intellectually, but viscerally there may be something missing. Maybe it's that way for all artists/non-artists?
A poor translation, I know. So just see the film—it becomes quite poetic when you see Lips' breath in the cold while he's trudging in to a shitty job, couped up in his run down home, and eating a meager meal with his young son.
Somehow "Anvil!" brings us to another music documentary, one whose sound couldn't be more opposite. but I'd wager the themes of the artist's motivations have more in common than one might imagine:
"Still Bill," the story of Bill Withers:
Looks good, no?