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ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL

Director: SASHA GERVASI

U.S.A. • 2008 • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 35MM • 90 MIN


Winner of Best Documentary and Audience awards at Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2009.YOU WON’T BE ALONE IF YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF VETERAN CANADIAN METAL BAND ANVIL, BUT THIS BRILLIANT CELLULOID PORTRAIT WILL HAVE YOU ROOTING FOR THEM WITH ALL THE EMOTION OF A CLOSE FAMILY MEMBER BY THE TIME THE END CREDITS ROLL.
In the early stages though, it seems closer to Spinal Tap mock-doc spoof as we see archive footage of them onstage in Japan in the ’80s, sharing a bill with Whitesnake and Bon Jovi, then cut back to the present to find frontman ‘Lips’ Kudrow delivering school dinners for a living. Not that Anvil is extinct, since he and longtime drummer Robb Reiner (!) are still playing local bars, but their days of stadium gigs now seem decades behind them. Suddenly however, a phone call offers them a European festival tour: all they have to do is get the time off work…
Of course, the costs add up, but what’s money compared to keeping the dream alive? Actually, the true price is years of stress and confrontation as ‘Lips’ almost crumples under the pressure of knowing the sacrifices his family has made for him — that is, when he’s not taking out his frustrations on his stalwart sticksman. The band’s on-the-road travails prove comically shambolic, but by this time we’ve twigged that this is a film about more than metal. It’s about loyalty, resilience, and never giving up. It’s about putting two fingers up to anyone who ever told you ‘You can’t…’. A hilarious yet stirring tribute to these modern day heroes, this is, quite simply, an instant pop classic. — Trevor Johnston.

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