Since the days of disco, dance music—or rather club music, to be specific—has focused on the communal experience, and few electronic musicians have been quicker to point this out than James Murphy, leader of LCD Soundsystem. In a recent interview, Murphy even expressed dismay at the ways that today’s EDM stars present themselves as rock stars at live gigs. And yet here is a documentary about the band’s demise, which gives us not only onstage access to their last ever show—a glorious blowout at Madison Square Garden—but also a backstage pass to Murphy’s bedroom, his bookshelves and his bathrobe. (It also makes an unlikely star of his French bulldog.)
But Murphy and LCD Soundsystem have always relished contradictions, making literate, thoughtful albums that also happen to be screamworthily danceable. So it’s not really surprising that the bandleader elected to end the group at the very peak of its fame. This Last Waltz–style film splices concert footage with scenes from the morning after, plus excerpts from a luncheon interview between Murphy and the journalist Chuck Klosterman. It’s a tricky thing to pull off in a movie—equal parts talk and rock—but in a way, this mix of cerebral and kinetic is just what LCD strove for over the course of its ten-year life.
Follow Sophie Harris on Twitter: @SophieMeve