Area Premiere September 23–30!
Buy Tickets Brattle Passes OK
(2011) dir Cameron Crowe w/Pearl Jam, Chris Cornell, Neil Young [120 min]Pearl Jam is a fascinating band if you think about it… They started from the ashes of a Seattle band that was destined for greatness (Mother Love Bone) but didn’t have any high aspirations at the start – they didn’t even really have a name for a long time. Once people started paying attention to them, however, fame and massive popularity were breathlessly quick to follow. Their debut album, Ten, is still a classic but, since that meteoric rise, the band has faced some serious challenges that go way beyond the “it’s so hard to be famous” complaint. And, throughout, they have remained a strikingly reli- able rock band, playing music for themselves and their fans without much consideration for radio play or kissing-up to an industry increasingly dominated by corporations and greed.
This band-sanctioned documentary by famed director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) is, first and foremost, a love letter to Pearl Jam, but it does- n’t shy away from the issues that plague most bands – artistic differences, dis- sent, substance abuse, erratic behavior – and those that are unique to Pearl Jam – tragic death, a mercurial lead singer, their status as “second-best” grunge band, their failed stand against Ticketmaster, and more. Of course, there is also a wealth of live footage from all stages of the band’s twenty year history that are weaved throughout – including a lot from a triumphant anniversary concert and a little from an infamous, MTV-sponsored party for Crowe’s film Singlesfeaturing perhaps their worst and most embarrassing performance ever. Ultimately, this is a story about a band that makes some- times-dark, sometimes-lovely but always-uncompromising songs whose only devotions are to their fans and the integrity of the music they produce.