Movies & TV Feb 4, 2010 at 4:00 am

A Lazy Scratch at the Buried Secrets of Dark Metal



Apparently, Marjorie Skinner saw a completely different film than i did when it first screened at Hollywood Theatre last June. I suppose it all comes down to personal perspective. Mine was that this was a very candid & rich documentary chronicling the early 90's BLACK Metal scene/movement in Norway. Far from "fucking it up", co-directors Aites & Ewell (who were also in attendance for the one-night Hollywood screening) could hardly have done a much better job at capturing the TRUE atmosphere of the topic, having spent several years in the country shadowing their interviewees & editing dozens of hours of grim footage down to a 2-hour black gem. Admittedly, (Mayhem drummer) HellHammer's "faggot" comment was an embarrassing low-point (& well beneath what's otherwise a well-spoken & highly skiller musisian), but that's still no reflection on the film's over-all quality. Then again, UTLTU is something of a labor by fans for fans, not necessarily "Black Metal 101" for pedestrians who aren't even into [real] Metal to begin with.
I must ask, is there noone on the Mercury's editorial staff who's of authority to speak accurately to Metal [or Horror, for that matter]? Ms.Skinner, please stick to the romantic comedies & all that wussy stuff.

"Even if you're not a fan of metal—[...] you probably remember some of the headlines when a series of medieval churches were torched by what the media deemed to be "satanic" cult members."

This isn't actually true. At all. On several levels.
I saw this in Seattle last year, and there was a Q&A afterwards with the directors... the black metal fans in the audience were not impressed and walked out. That doesn't mean it's not a worthy movie, just that the fans are as soulless as the media portrays them.
Wow @rothermel - walking out of a movie makes you "soulless"? I love the interwebs - bastion of measured, reasonable arguments.

That said, I'm sadder than anyone on the entire planet to hear that this doc isn't so great. No offense, PM - but I disagree with your movie reviews a lot of the time. I love the Merc but I usually get my reviews from the AVC.

Can anyone besides @Damos attest to this film being a bit better than the review says? Maybe someone who's actually into metal? Do they interview Nattefrost? Dimu Borgir? I'd be curious to learn more about those guys, just from a fan point of view...
they asked a rhetorical question to the directors, and as they were responding a large group of fans were obviously not given the response they wanted and walked out in the middle of the answer... maybe self-absorbed is a better description.

yes, way better. but the interviews are limited: basically, you get extensive footage of fenriz and varg vikernes, a good-sized segment with frost from satyricon, and then bits of commentary throughout from hellhammer and members of immortal and ulver. so in a sense it is like "black metal 101"--it is focused almost exclusively on a few key players, and doesn't really pursue the evolution of BM styles beyond them. if you're into darkthrone, burzum & mayhem, or want to hear firsthand accounts of what their members were up to during BM's most infamous years, you'll probably want to see it. if you want nattefrost and dimmu borgir you gotta look elsewhere.

Nattefrost & Dimmu Borgir aren't featured in the film at all. Garm(Ulver) & Abbath/Demonaz(Immortal) are interviewed briefly, though. Plus, the co-directors said they had to cut down hours ov footage to make this, so who knows who'll be in the extras when the dvd comes out.

Btw, any Metalhead who'd walk out on this film, let alone be disrespectful enough to walk out on the directors WHILE they're trying to answer his/her childish "scene" questions IS a self-absorbed, jaded, retard! They sound like the sort ov nerds who hadn't stopped whinning about Mayhem since "Grand Declaration...". Who knows what they were "expecting"...
It's a great film, in my opinion. Quiet, understated and certainly worth your time. Not sure what film marjorieskinner was watching...
Sarahfina -- I can also attest to it being a good, if slightly esoteric, documentary. If you want a more well-rounded primer on the history of black metal (not "dark metal," or whatever the hell that is), then click around on wikipedia and bit torrent sites for a bit. But, if you do want more of a micro- oral history of the Norway scene (the church burnings, the various infamous murders, the "Inner Circle"), then give this documentary a gander.
Noone will think you're racist if you say "Black Metal". There's no such thing as "dark metal".
"Dark Metal"? What the fuck is "dark metal'? I've heard of "black metal".
Wow! Film has been held over a second week!!! T he film will show at 9pm only until Thurs Feb 19th with no shows on Sunday 14th or on Weds the 17th
Why there is a picture of Dead? I know he is part of the black metal scene, but, it was talking about Varg, not Dead,].
The film mostly cronilcles Varg & Fenriz, as well as several other key figures [including Dead].

And i honestly don't know why Majorie Skinner choose to review this. Like i said before, she mostly does all that rom-com garbage.
And don't expect anyone on the Merc's staff to actually know what Black Metal is, anyways.
i can't believe that marjorie skinner reviewed this movie.
at least a regular critic should've done it, not the fashion writer who occasionally reviews date movies.

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