Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
A key US rock band of the 1990s, Dinosaur Jr have now become a veteran of the scene, but as this documentary shows, they still have a lot to sing about.
Freakscene plays out all the classic tropes of the rock-doc: the struggles of the early years; the breakthrough, success and disagreements between bandmembers, and the inevitable split, followed by a reunion. The difference here is that the film was made by Philipp Virus, the brother-in-law of founder member, primary songwriter and lead singer J Mascis. The result is more intimate than most band profiles, but also a mellower tone.
What makes the film essential, however, is the footage of Dinosaur Jr. in concert. At their peak (and in subsequent years) they proved to be a pretty formidable live act and Freakscene makes the most of archive footage. Interviews have a roughly-hewn quality in keeping with the live clips, giving the whole documentary a garage-feel in keeping with the band’s style.