Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Prodigy: World's On Fire (2011) - Paul Dugdale

I was lucky enough to view a special screening of this film at the Electric cinema in Notting Hill today, featuring footage from the band's Warrior's Dance Festival from July last year.  The film begins in Brazil, merging documentary footage of the band backstage with a gig on the South American leg of their tour.  Soon, the location switches to the Milton Keynes Bowl, becoming essentially the full concert on film. 

The Prodigy's speaker shattering audio translates well to film, the whole cinema vibrating with every pulse to provide a head throbbing experience.  The film itself is produced with visual flair.  The editing in particular is excellent, both in the opening comic juxtapositions (especially the introduction of Milton Keynes by the tourist bureau) and in the synchronisation with the music.  The camera is in perpetual motion, the screen pulsing with the music's pounding rhythms.  With the constant cuts, it's clear that the film compiles an insane amount of footage both of the band themselves and a psychotic audience who give new meaning to the names Warrior's Dance and Smack My Bitch Up with their violent moshing.  Ultimately though, the film and the music become relentlessly monotonous and as much as you feel in the moment through the visuals, you can't help but feel 'you should've been there' - though that's a problem with most music films.  My ears and eyes appreciated the moment when my bladder gave way and I ventured to the gents, the walls still rattling with the throbbing bassline.  More documentary footage would've given a great insight into the band, as well as relieving the senses for a moment.

The film is screening at cinemas for one night only this Thursday 31st March.  For fans of The Prodigy who didn't get to see the tour, this is a must-see.