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Sunday, November 01, 2009

This Week at Mogwai: Sacha Gervasi's Anvil! The Story of Anvil

This Week at Mogwai: Sacha Gervasi's Anvil! The Story of Anvil

In the summer of 1984, some of the biggest rock bands in the world toured Japan together. A lineup of hair metal superstars set out to rock the land of the rising sun, and rock they did. Among them: Scorpions, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi. But among those present at 1984 Super Rock Festival in Japan, one band stood out as the loudest, the heaviest, the most righteous. That band was Anvil. This is their story.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil finds the band twenty years later, still trying to break into the business despite garnering the admiration of their heavy metal peers. The documentary begins with interviews with Lars Ulrich of Metallica, Scott Ian of Anthrax, Lemmy from Motorhead, and Slash from Guns n' Roses, all proclaiming the greatness of Anvil. But frontman Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner aren't the heavy metal superstars that they ought to be, playing to nonexistent crowds in terrible venues, working crappy day jobs to feed their families. But they keep the band together for the love of the music. An offer for a European tour and work on a new album give them hope, but nothing ever seems to go their way.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil plays out like a real life This is Spinal Tap, following these would-be rock demigods as they stumble through the perils of everyday life, dealing with a career where nothing turns out the way they thought it would. Their story is tragic, at times oddly inspiring, and almost always hilarious, thanks to the one-of-the-kind personalities of Lips Kudlow and Robb Reiner. It's one of the best documentaries of this year, a stranger than fiction feel good tale of people endlessly devoted to rocking. And it's showing all this week at Mogwai.

Directed by Sacha Gervasi
Starring Anvil
90 Minutes
November 2 to 7, Monday to Saturday
Screenings start at 9 PM

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