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Sidewalk review: We Fun

September 21, 2009


Matthew Robison’s documentary “We Fun” looks at the rising subculture of punk rock in Atlanta’s music scene. Focusing on The Black Lips, Mastodon, Deerhunter and Subsonics, Robison manages to weave together an interesting tale of this indie music scene has not only changed the face of ATL music, but has begun to spread nationally.

What is most interesting about the film is watching how the fringe slowly becomes mainstream and what that means for the musicians that follow their lead. Even if not familiar with the music, you can enjoy following along with the bands. If you’ve ever lived in Atlanta, you may recognize quite a few of the locations including the Drunken Unicorn. Although some of the scenes can be a bit gratuitous (although I think they have edited out some of the vagina scene), there is plenty that is interesting for music fans, and if you like the bands – then there is even more to enjoy.

The reaction to the film was even a little punk rock itself – with other Atlanta bands coming together to create a protest album “We No Fun” that highlights 15 musicians or bands that are not in the film. This is all part of why I love documentaries. The film can introduce new audiences to new bands, new forms of music, new scenes, but can also inspire others to create new art or add to the dialogue that the film begins.

On a sad note, one of the key subjects of the documentary, Bobby Ubangi, passed away this summer. Creative Loafing did a nice story on him here.

Co-cinematographer Zach Wilson previous work was for Oxford’s own Alice Walker’s film “Inglorious Mail.”

For a quick glance at the film, here is a trailer:

“We Fun” plays the Sidewalk Film Festival on Sept. 26 at 9:30 p.m. at the McWane Science Center. Short film “Old Bryce” opens up the doc. By Alabama filmmaker Paul Hanninen, the short is set on Halloween eve, where the Dexateens explore the halls of the abandoned Jemison Mental Hospital on the outskirts of Tuscaloosa. In an effort to communicate with whatever spirits might haunt it, they set up and record a series of gospel songs. Things don’t go according to plan, and Elliott returns for another attempt at conjuring up the supernatural.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    September 21, 2009 3:17 pm

    The Dexateens will be at Proud Larry’s on Sept. 30. I’ve known them for years, and I want to see this film, yet I can’t help but think “KISS meets Phantom of the Park”. We’ll see.

    And I believe that possibly deleted, extremely gratuitous scene from We Fun should be described as “vagina + butane + fire = wrong”.

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