Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 10 Best Films Of 2001 The 10 Best Films Of 2001 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment Watch: Full 90-Minute Documentary 'Great Directors' With David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes And More Watch: Full 90-Minute Documentary 'Great Directors' With David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes And More Exclusive: Matthew Gray Gubler Has Flashbacks In Clip From 'Suburban Gothic' Exclusive: Matthew Gray Gubler Has Flashbacks In Clip From 'Suburban Gothic' The 10 Best Films Of 2000 The 10 Best Films Of 2000 "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films Of 2015 The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Review: Feist Documentary 'Look At What The Light Did Now' Is An Arty Exploration

The Playlist By Kimber Myers | The Playlist November 15, 2010 at 5:20AM

From its almost Lynchian beginning—filled with seemingly random cuts, out-of-focus shots, flashing lights, and swirling points of color at a live show—it’s clear that Feist documentary “Look at What the Light Did Now” won’t be your standard rock doc. Instead, director Anthony Seck’s project quickly sets itself apart with an aesthetic that veers between art film and hipster craft fair, a tone that perfectly matches Feist’s own music, itself a mixture of polished and smartly produced tracks and earthy, quirky additions. It takes the music documentary standards of touring and recording and combines them with elements that would seem more at home at the Whitney than your average indie rock concert.
0


From its almost Lynchian beginning—filled with seemingly random cuts, out-of-focus shots, flashing lights, and swirling points of color at a live show—it’s clear that Feist documentary “Look at What the Light Did Now” won’t be your standard rock doc. Instead, director Anthony Seck’s project quickly sets itself apart with an aesthetic that veers between art film and hipster craft fair, a tone that perfectly matches Feist’s own music, itself a mixture of polished and smartly produced tracks and earthy, quirky additions. It takes the music documentary standards of touring and recording and combines them with elements that would seem more at home at the Whitney than your average indie rock concert.

“Look at What the Light Did Now” begins with the title track, Feist’s cover of the Little Wings song, and it ends in similar fashion, begging the question of which came first, the song or the film’s content, which often focuses on light and shadow. The documentary is more poetry than prose, disregarding chronology as it first chronicles the tour for Feist's 007 album The Reminder, then rewinds to its recording in a French studio, jumping back to 2004’s Let It Die, and finally circling back to The Reminder tour. Even the purposefully fractured narrative sometimes takes a backseat to less structured interludes featuring montages of (perfectly positioned) Polaroids and album art.


Anyone who is only familiar with Feist from the iTunes-ad-induced poppy hit “1 2 3 4”—admittedly not the audience for the film—will be surprised by the level of creativity present in every area of her music and live performances. A sterile studio is jettisoned in favor of La Frette, a sprawling mansion outside Paris, and the distinctive sounds of songs such as "My Moon, My Man" are created beyond the bounds of normal recording.

In describing her work, Feist says she wants to make "to make visible what is audible,"but she's not the only one working toward this goal. Feist is the stage name and ostensibly the solo project of Leslie Feist, who has worked with Kings of Convenience and fellow Canadians Broken Social Scene. “Look at What the Light Did Now” reveals an artist still very much in collaborative mode. Of course, frequent collaborator and album producer Chilly Gonzales is present, but crew members who normally reside strictly behind the scenes get a starring role here, including lighting designer Mitch Mazerolle and The Reminder tour shadow show designer director/perform Clea Minaker. Going beyond the standard videos projected at concerts, Minaker creates unique art in mediums as diverse as shadow puppets and finger painting with clay. It's hard to deny that this is anything but art, and it makes the efforts of arena-dwelling acts look lazy by comparison. Minaker will take your choreographed flashing lights and raise you a perfect composition that is hand lit by her and her helpers.

"Look at What the Light Did Now" has a sense of fun (it's hard not to feel your heart lift when watching the colorful masses dance in "1 2 3 4" or Feist float out the window in the video for "Mushaboom"), but it's unsurprisingly serious at times. Each person who contributed to The Reminder's recording and its tour doesn't hesitate to delve into art theory and philosophy. There are no tales of no rock 'n' roll debauchery here; instead the interviewees discuss heady issues such as self vs. shadow and meaning vs. vision. Though the film sometimes veers toward pretension, it's hard to get too annoyed since the people involved are just so damn sincere and genuinely joyful about what they're doing. They believe they're creating art, and after witnessing both the creative process and the final product, it's hard to argue. "Look at What the Light Did Now" is currently screening and will be released on DVD in the U.S. on December 7. [B+]

This article is related to: Musicians, Review, Feist, Look At What The Light Did Now


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates