Check Out: Mogwai’s Burning

Mogwai’s first ever live album and video is set to release in August and after sitting in on one of the first screenings of the film footage, I can tell you right now, this is one live recording that you’re not going to want to miss.

Burning is shot in a very minimalist/gritty black and white style and opens up with frontman Stuart Braithwaite maneuvering through masses of people in New York City. The first notes of “The Precipice” are heard during this time with an emphasis on background noise throughout the busy city shown. As time progresses more and more footage of the actual concert is revealed, pushing towards a perfect place to let the film’s true self flourish.

Many of Mogwai’s musical themes are visually represented by the filmmakers. Contrasts between humans and the constant industrialization around them are very evident and are made apparent through the perspective of the camera. Unfocused shots are used to disorientate the viewer as the music continues to assault the ears in a beautiful fashion. Camera shots of the band looking down at the crowd and the crowd looking up at the band also identifies a strange feeling of disconnect not only within the venue but also within the world we all live in.

The mixing of the film footage is top-notch as well. Directors Vincent Moon and Nathanaël Le Scouarnec did a great job; capturing all the small nuances and layers of a Mogwai show (especially with how loud the band normally gets) is no small feat but the production crew made it all work seamlessly.

I have one complaint though, and one complaint only. The length of the film and its setlist are very, very short. The footage runs only about an hour and covers a mere eight songs which is definitely not enough for true Mogwai enthusiasts. Rest assured though, the directors portray a live Mogwai show in the best way possible, with true satisfied emotion… so there shouldn’t be too much let down.

Look for a presale of the live CD, live DVD and live vinyl (which includes another set of songs not on the DVD!) in the coming week.


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