Sunday, 4 September 2011

Foo Fighters Back And Forth Documentary (2011) Review

Charting the 16 year history to one of America’s best stadium rock band is no easy feat, but Oscar winner James Moll captures the career highs and lows, as well as the many personal problems facing Foo Fighters in a one off cinematic release to his documentary, Back and Forth.

Through a montage of childhood photos, home videos, and early band performances from each member of the current Foo Fighters line up, there is a real sense of normality, and humanity. That these, now five affirmed members thanks to the reinstatement of Pat Smear, (former The Germs and Foo Fighters guitarist circa 1994-97) are regular guys, musicians, and they’re not the rock stars their legions of fans have come to associate.

Back and Forth chronicles the genesis of Foo Fighters, an almost therapeutic side project for Dave Grohl after the demise of Nirvana in 1994. Back and Forth goes to extreme lengths to give an access all areas look at where the Foo Fighters have come from, the many troubles they’ve faced to becoming one of the fastest bands to sell out Wembley Stadium in 2008. Many have criticised that Back and Forth is merely an anchor to help promote their seventh studio record, Wasting Light, which sees the band go back to basics by recording the entire record to analogue tape in Grohl’s garage, produced by the man behind Nirvana’s Nevermind Butch Vig. If that’s the case, fans still won't be disappointed as it’s something the band have steered away from in the past. There’s a clear sense of nostalgia, reflection and realisation that Foo Fighters are finally in their comfort zone, doing whatever they want.

Whilst the archive footage of countless performances and interviews are juxtaposed against one another, what really shines through Back and Forth is the emotional edge Moll has captured, both from the past through to seeing how Foo Fighters recorded Wasting Light. (A record I incidentally think is their best to date) There’s a real humanity behind the monotony of touring year after year, playing the same songs to a different crowd each night, and the personal struggles that go with it. Back and Forth is definitely for any Foo Fighters fan, and for anyone who has an appreciation for the human spirit, and what people will do to live dreams, and live life, normally.