The film of the con­cert of the film of the life

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM - TARA BRADY

AN­OTHER DAY, AN­OTHER TIME: CEL­E­BRAT­ING THE MU­SIC OF IN­SIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Di­rected by Chris Wilcha. Fea­tur­ing Avett Broth­ers, Joan Baez, Rhi­an­non Gid­dens, Oscaar Isaac, Lake Street Dive, Colin Meloy, The Milk Car­ton Kids, Mar­cus Mum­ford, Punch Broth­ers, Dave Rawl­ings Ma­chine, Patti Smith, Wil­lie Wat­son, Gil­lian Welch, Jack White

Club, IFI/Light House, Dublin, 101 min

Con­cert doc­u­men­taries are a tricky prospect for re­view­ers. The genre has pro­duced plenty of cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant works (Gimme Shel­ter, The Con­cert for Bangladesh, The Last Waltz) and many storm­ing per­for­mances (AC/DC: Let There Be Rock, Stop Mak­ing Sense). Cin­e­mat­i­cally speak­ing, how­ever, the con­cert doc is nec­es­sar­ily bound by its the­atri­cal un­der­pin­nings.

And then there’s the Hawthorne Ef­fect: when mu­si­cians know they are on cam­era, a pol­ished pro­fes­sion­al­ism kicks in. All hopes for rough edges and un­ex­pected de­tours – the im­per­fec­tions that of­ten make for a prop­erly elec­tri­fy­ing per­for­mance – are dashed thor­oughly.

An­other Day, An­other Time doesn’t ex­actly tran­scend the prob­lems in­her­ent in the form, but the rough­hewn, grass­roots na­ture of the mu­sic (folk, gospel, blue­grass) does off­set the po­ten­tial for overly sleek ren­di­tions.

The idea it­self is an od­dity – a film based on a con­cert based on the Coen broth­ers’ In­side Llewyn Davis, which in turn is loosely based on the au­to­bi­og­ra­phy of 1960s folk singer Dave Van Ronk. An­other Day is im­me­di­ately ham­pered by the lack­lus­tre box-of­fice per­for­mance of its par­ent project. In com­mon with the Coens’ film, it de­serves a wider au­di­ence.

As usual, the con­cert it­self is sup­ple­mented by back­stage vi­gnettes. And as usual, the per­for­mances are re­li­ably ex­cel­lent. Watch out for Avett Broth­ers’ toe-tap­ping How I Got to Mem­phis, Lake Street Dive’s sassy You Go Down Smooth, and Os­car Isaac’s Green, Green Rocky Road. The Coens beam like proud par­ents from the side­lines.

There are lovely old stan­dards per­formed by new folkies. Gil­lian Welch and Dave Rawl­ings belt out Let the Cir­cle Be Un­bro­ken, The Punch Broth­ers do great work with The Auld Tri­an­gle. The stair­wells of New York’s Town Hall pro­vide a touch of his­tor­i­cal con­text, as does an ap­pear­ance by Joan Baez. “She’s fuck­ing Joan Baez, you know!” cries an awestruck Mar­cus Mum­ford.

All we need know is Patti Smith do­ing Power to the People. And here she comes.

Can An­other Day do for ’60s folk what the Coens and reg­u­lar col­lab­o­ra­tor T Bone Bur­nett’s O Brother, Where Art Thou? did for blue­grass? We do hope so.

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