"Shut Up and Play the Hits" Film Review by St Pauls Lifestyle.
I enjoyed this film immensely. It filmed LCD’s last gig intimately but without sentimentality. Swinging angles and dynamic editing added pace. The film showcased the complexity and devotion to the beat that lies within LCD’s sound and live music. The personal elements of the film were present but not in your face and lead singer James’ relationship with his dog is adorable and funny. They are rarely parted and seem to ‘talk’ to each other!
The film highlights the loss, which is ours in that LCD will not gig again.
This in itself feels like an enigma – the band loves music; their music is great and musicians usually live to play and play to live. The question therefore as to “why stop?” is, I think a good one. An answer seemed to be evolving in the film: James is interviewed about this. The interview is interspersed with the gig footage.
Eventually, the interviewer asserts that ‘we are all defined by our failures’, searching for the ‘failure’ which defines James. I take serious issue with this. It is simply not the case that ‘failure’ is thus defining – rather our success at forever reaching outwards to the next step is more defining than all our failures put together. Failures by their very nature (in that they fail) are less influential than things that remain alive and relevant.
The answer that the film gave as to ‘why stop?’ was predicated upon the fact of failure being thus defining. This swayed the content of the film – I felt that the film was steered to search for a ‘defining failure’ and “ta dah!” – An insinuation emerged that stopping LCD may in fact be “the failure”. What rot. My view is that the film was unnaturally constrained by this negative – and wrong – connotation. There does not have to be this type of reason for LCD stopping. Maybe James’ decision to stop LCD was simply an artistically liberated act. We won’t know the true answer – for in directing the film towards the interviewer’s assumption, the real truth was not allowed to step out.
Whatever the reasons for stopping LCD, James is not accountable to us. We may continue to desire LCD live - and so we should – for as this film successfully and definitively demonstrates, LCD were a live force and worth such regret.
We wish James and LCD a happy and creative future.
More by Rose Paul HERE