Friday, January 22, 2010

See You at the Movies!

by T.J. Fackelman //

As you’ve probably heard by now, tonight will mark Conan O’Brien’s last show as host of The Tonight Show. And I know it will be tempting to stay in and watch CoCo deliver his final monologue and reminisce over the last 7 memorable months, but that’s why we have DVRs. So we can go to the movies! So, while my DVR faithfully records Conesy’s last moments on NBC, I will be out at the theater. Care to join me?

One film in particular that I’ve been looking forward to seeing is Until The Light Takes Us, a documentary by Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell that explores the world of Norwegian ‘black metal.’ But black metal isn’t just a music genre, it’s more of a cultural phenomenon that veers into cult territory. The black metal scene emerged in Norway in the 1980s, but it took a string of controversial crimes in the ‘90s to really raise the profile of the scene. The crimes range from dozens of cases of arson (all involving churches burned to the ground) to murder and from alleged Satanism to cannibalism.

In order to examine the complex and misunderstood beliefs and principles of the Norwegian black metal scene, documentary filmmakers Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell packed up and moved to Norway for several years, living amongst the musicians and establishing a good rapport that grants them never-before-seen access. With this access, Aites and Ewell choose to focus on several of the most prominent musicians in the scene to tell the storied history.

If you decide to go, just don’t expect a concert film. In fact, don’t expect to hear much of the black metal music they’re discussing at all. In an interesting judgment call, Aites and Ewell prefer the use of electronic atmospheric sounds to the brutal, crushing sounds of Norwegian bands like Burzum, Darkthrone and Mayhem. I’m really curious to see how effective the use of music is in this documentary, as well as learn some more about this rather mysterious European musical and cultural scene.

Until The Light Takes Us (93 min.)

Times Cinema
5906 W. Vliet St.
Milwaukee, WI 53208
(414) 453-2436

Friday, Jan. 22 at 9pm & 11pm
Saturday, Jan. 23 at 9pm & 11pm

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