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ELECTRIC PICNIC: THE DOCUMENTARY

Director: NICK RYAN

2006 • COLOUR • BETA • 100 MINS


IN A SUMMER PACKED FULL OF MUSIC FESTIVALS, THIS STRADBALLY EXTRAVAGANZA STANDS HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE THE REST. THIS FEATURE-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY DOES ITS BEST TO DISTILL 100 ACRES OF JOLLY PICNICERS INTO AN HOUR AND A HALF AND COMES AWAY WITH A RESULT OF SORTS: YOU REALLY HAVE TO BE THERE, BUT IF YOU WEREN’T…
Once the sheep have been packed off for a few days and the riggers move in, it looks for all the world like any other festival, but director Nick Ryan is quick to introduce us to the micro culture of fascinating characters who tour the world’s festivals plying their trades and then if that isn’t enough entertainment in itself, the punters arrive. Thankfully short on drunkards yelling at the camera, there are some quality live performances clocked in: Davendra Bernhart, New Order, Alabama 3, Broken Social Scene, Basement Jaxx—not just quick glimpses, but full numbers—which really form the backbone of this feature, and as a people-watching extravaganza it delivers in spades. And like any good curiosity shop, it knows how to laugh at itself too.

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