I live in a very special place. Missoula, Montana.. population – 68,000. Small town. Beautiful town in a beautiful state. What really makes this place special are the people and the effort these people put in to make cool things happen here. I’ve seen amazing shows in this small town. I’ve seen amazing art in this town, and I’ve seen some amazing movies here as well.
Every year, Missoula hosts the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival which spans over a week across multiple venues. It’s a fantastic event bringing film makers from across the world here, and it’s a great opportunity to catch some awesome movies. I’m a fan of documentaries and I’m even involved in a project of my own and know the amount of effort, work, time and money involved to make a 70 minute piece. Distilling hours of footage into a workable story, etc. Just like being in a band, there is a tremendous amount of work with little ‘reward’ in the monetary sense, which just like in music, is usually a secondary thought any way.
Last night I had a chance to watch Mistaken for Strangers, a film by Tom Berninger. I’m a big fan of Rock Documentaries, so I had to check this out. Tom Berninger is the brother of Matt Berninger who is the singer of one my favorite bands – the National! Walking into this movie, I was expecting the standard rockumentary – these are rock stars, see how they rock, people love them, wish I was them, yadda yadda yadda. But instantly, this movie was different. The documentary was originally suppose to be simply about the band, but has developed into a story featuring the brother following the band, but also dealing and coping with his relationship with his brother. The brothers are not feuding brothers, but dealing with interesting sibling struggle of one being a rock star.. while the other is not. I also thought the movie was extremely refreshing showing the rock star life.. being not-so-rock-star. Lots of boring time on the road, but also how the band members treat this as job (a great job) but with an obligation to the fans and to their band mates. Can’t be hammered and get the job done.. right?
Tom’s sense of humor is very evident in the cuts, questions and overall tone of the movie which, in my opinion, was hilarious and emotional at the same time. I have to say, this may be one of the best rock documentaries I’ve ever seen. Amazingly refreshing… and oddly inspirational. After the movie finished, Tom Berninger did a Q/A and I couldn’t be happier for his success. Also, I wanted to note (Tom this is for you) Tom graduated from Montana State University.
Here is the trailer for the movie:
If you have a chance to catch this movie.. please check it out. If you’ve seen this movie.. please tell me what you think by commenting below!!