MC5: A True Testimonial (Unreleased documentary 2002) [DVD9] MC5: A True Testimonial (Unreleased documentary 2002)
DVD9 NTSC | English DD 2.0 Stereo | 121+ minutes | Cover | ~ 7,75 GB
The MC5 Movie you may never see / The Original studio authoring 2003
MC5: A True Testimonial, also written as MC5 ☆ A True Testimonial, is a 2002 feature-length documentary film about the MC5, a Detroit-based rock band of the 1960s and early 1970s. The film was produced by Laurel Legler and directed by David C. Thomas; the couple spent more than seven years working on the project. The release on the video has been held up after many, MANY legal problems, and as of 2012, MC5: A True Testimonial has not been officially released on DVD.
Although the MC5 are considered very influential today, they were relatively obscure in their time. To make the film, Thomas collected photographs and film clips of varying quality, including U.S. government surveillance footage of the MC5's performance at the protests that took place outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He interviewed the surviving members of the band and people closely associated with it. In the editing room, Thomas matched the band's recordings to the silent footage he had collected. MC5: A True Testimonial made its premiere on August 22, 2002, at the Chicago Underground Film Festival. Three weeks later it made its international premiere on September 11 at the Toronto International Film Festival. In November of that year, the film was awarded an "Honorable Mention" as a debut feature at the Raindance Film Festival. During 2003 and early 2004, the film was shown at film festivals around the world.
Critical reception was overwhelmingly positive. The New York Times described the film as "riveting"; The Boston Globe said it was "everything a rockumentary should be and usually isn't"; and The Washington Post called it "one of the best movies of the summer". Wayne Kramer, the MC5's guitarist, said it was a "wonderful film" and John Sinclair, the band's one-time manager, said Thomas had done "a fine job". In 2007, Time Out London ranked it #48 on a list of the "50 Greatest Music Films Ever".
Though they would later become associated with the nascent stirrings of punk rock, during their brief career, the MC5 were better known for their radical lifestyle than their music. David C. Thomas' digital video documentary, MC5: A TRUE TESTIMONIAL, takes an impressive look at the band's turbulent life and times. Formed in Lincoln Park, Michigan in 1964 as a high school garage band, they were later inspired by the same industrial bleakness of nearby Detroit that spawned their spiritual brothers The Stooges. Guitarists Fred "Sonic" Smith (who later married Patti Smith) and Wayne Kramer piled on the distortion, creating a ferocious and unparalleled guitar-fueled din. Along with their rabble-rousing manager, John Sinclair, the band took inspiration from the Black Panther Party, forming the White Panther Party, a mock political organization based on unabashed love of drugs, sex, and guns. This invited harassment by local and federal law enforcement agencies. Revealing interviews with surviving members Kramer (who is the most insightful), bassist Michael Davis, and drummer Dennis Thompson, as well as a videotaped 1988 interview with the late vocalist Rob Tyner, paint a portrait of a band whose lifestyle created obstacles every step of the way. Cut in a rapid-fire style, the film is a heady, kaleidoscopic swirl of stills, talking-head snippets, and concert footage.
While the late '60s were an era which produced a large number of eclectic and influential rock & roll bands, few were as revolutionary in both their music and there message as the MC5. Formed in late 1964 by five high-school buddies from suburban Detroit, the MC5 -- vocalist Rob Tyner, guitarists Fred "Sonic" Smith and Wayne Kramer, bassist Michael Davis, and drummer Dennis Thompson -- started out as a fairly typical Midwestern garage band, but as the group embraced the passion of blues and R&B, the sonic wanderlust of free jazz and psychedelia, and the muscular power of hard rock, it evolved into an uncommonly adventurous act who became the standard for other Detroit "high-energy" bands to follow. Managed by poet and political activist John Sinclair, the MC5 also became the "house band" of the radical leftist group the White Panther Party, and was a fixture at political rallies in the Midwest, even after Sinclair was sentenced to ten years in prison for possession of marijuana. The band was a cause célèbre and a major draw in the Midwest, scoring a contract with a major record label and becoming the only rock group to play at the protest rallies staged during the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention. But soon the bandmembers found themselves on the outs with both the straight-laced music industry and revolutionaries who questioned their political commitment; drug problems, poor record sales, and infighting began dogging the group, and the MC5 soon faced a collapse whose humiliation outweighed the glory of their salad days. The band's legacy, however, never failed to impress music fans, and its example proved massively influential with the punk rock movement that bloomed a few years after the group crashed and burned in 1972. MC5: A True Testimonial is a feature-length documentary on the group and its legacy, featuring interviews with surviving members Kramer, Davis, and Thompson, former manager Sinclair, and many friends and family members, as well as footage of the group in its prime (including FBI surveillance film of the 1968 Chicago Convention performance).
~ Mark Deming, all media guide
There are very few films about rock & roll that are works of unmitigated genius, and even fewer music documentaries that embrace their subjects and hold up as brilliant filmmaking: Jeff Stein's The Kids Are Alright is one, and The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash could also qualify (albeit with an asterisk, as satire). This movie can also be counted on that list, and arguably occupies an even higher position in that it is a lot longer and more intense and provocative than Stein's movie, which are all reflections of how well it embraces its subject matter. For those unfamiliar, The MC5: A True Testimonial by David C. Thomas was a documentary about the renowned Detroit-spawned band, who became outlaws and wanted men in their own time for their political involvements, and whose music provided some of the direct underpinnings for '70s punk; the sound was good and loud, everyone who was relevant was interviewed, and the performance clips alone were worth the price of admission. But because of legal problems and creative disputes, the movie enjoyed only a very brief run (to generally rave reviews) in the United States in 2002, and was scheduled for DVD release in 2004, until more disputed legal matters ended up cancelling the release. What makes the DVD really special are the extras, which include the uncut versions of the various performance clips used in the movie, and also the sequences shot for but dropped from the movie. Additionally, there is the commentary track by Thomas and producer Laurel Legler, who are huge MC5 fans and walk you through every shot of the movie wearing both their respective hats, as admirers of the band and filmmakers, which results in one of the finest and most entertaining commentary tracks ever heard on a rock & roll movie. As of this writing (in March of 2006), True Testimonial is two years late in showing up on DVD, with no resolution in sight — but review copies were sent out, and those have occasionally changed hands between fans. If one comes your way, or someone offers to show it to you, any MC5 fan should jump right on the opportunity with both feet and no hesitation.
~ Bruce Eder, all media guide Chapters:
04. Robin Tyner
06. VFW # 1136
07. BLK 2 COMM
13. '67 Uprising
17. 5 Seconds
19. Chicago '68
20. FBI Vs. WPP
25. 10 For 2
26. Back In The U.S.A.
27. Looking at You
29. Phun City
30. High Time
34. Last Gig
36. Tonight / End Bonus Material:
01. MC5 Live Performances
02. Deleted Scenes
05. Production Photos
06. DVD Credits Accesible sólo a usuarios Category:
Rock DVDs, Music Video/Rock Movies, Music Video Videos, Documentary, Music Related, Rock And Roll. Director:
David C. Thomas. Director of Photography: Seth Henrikson. Producer: Laurel M. Legler. Music by The MC5. Featured:
Michael Davis, Wayne Kramer, John Sinclair, Dennis Thompson, Sigrid Dobat Smith, Becky Tyner. DVD info Release Date: Withdrawn
Studio: Avatar Films
Original format: DVD9
Limited Release in 2004 (300 copies) Accesible sólo a usuarios