When you’re slating a band as well respected as LCD Soundsystem, you have to be careful where you tread. But there’s no denying that ‘Shut Up and Play the Hits’ is a disappointing portrait. That’s not to say the New York outfit come across badly; they barely come across at all. Filmed last April around the final LCD show at Madison Square Garden, this documentary spans three days in the life of frontman James Murphy, interspersed with live footage, parts of which were directed by Spike Jonze. It’s definitely beautiful: bird’s-eye shots of the 18,000-strong crowd are breathtaking and New York looks modishly bohemian through Murphy’s eyes. But overall the film falls flat. No one else in the band is interviewed and Murphy’s answers are vague: he mentions disbanding LCD for ‘fear of failure’ even though he ‘thinks he isn’t’. It’s almost two hours of a contemplative Murphy walking his pooch Petunia, riding the subway and ignoring calls while he shaves – unfortunately, the film fails to deliver a genuinely moving, exciting farewell to the disco-punk pioneers.
Friday September 7 2012
Will Lovelace, Dylan Southern