Saturday, April 30, 2005

"Fearless Freaks" Flaming Lips Docs NOT Banned in Boston

boston globe:

''Fearless Freaks" is an uncommonly intimate portrait, in large part because the filmmaker, Bradley Beesley, is a longtime neighbor, friend, and collaborator. He's been hanging with the Lips since 1991, directing music videos and low-budget films, shooting footage of live shows and recording sessions, compiling hundreds of hours of interview tapes, and documenting every significant happening in the life of the band. Happening, by the way, isn't too vague a description for some of the Lips' endeavors, among them the Parking Lot Experiment, which involved chief Lip Wayne Coyne conducting an orchestra of 40 automobiles with their tape decks blaring specially composed music at the same time.

The film benefits from an unusual absence of boundaries. Over 14 years Beesley's presence became ordinary and even integral to the Flaming Lips, and there were no limitations on what he could watch, inquire about, or film. In an especially harrowing sequence, drummer Steven Drozd matter-of-factly discusses his death march while preparing and savoring a dose of heroin. It's the only ''Behind the Music" moment in ''Fearless Freaks," which revels less in rock-band clich├ęs than in the real-life experiences of a bunch of Midwestern misfits in all their dysfunction and glory.


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