My mini-review of last night's screening of Filmage: The story of The Descendents/All consists of two words: see it.
It's showing tonight in SF and tomorrow in Oakland, then heading to various parts of Canada, then Dallas, and finally NYC. (Dates are on the website below, along with the trailer.)
Here's the longer review.
Filmage is a documentary that looks back at the career of two bands (or, one band with different singers, if you prefer to think of it that way) that influenced a generation (or two, or three) of bands. They pretty much invented the pop/punk sound later popularized by bands like Green Day, Blink-182, and others.
The film is really the arc of Bill Stevenson, drummer and founder/leader of both Descendents and All, including the entire cast of characters that joined him along the way. It even covers his years in Black Flag (with some excellent footage), which are arguably the quintessential version of the band.
It was made by a couple fans (who happen to be film makers), and one former member of The Descendents. It's a labor of love, and the first time the band has allowed a documentary crew to interview them and follow them around on tour, after years of denying requests.
As the film makers said in the Q&A after the screening, this isn't a Behind The Music episode. I was blown away by the humor, fantastic interviews not only with band members current and past, but with a who's-who of punk (and rock) dignitaries, and of course the music, including a ton of live footage sent in by fans that goes all the way back to the early days.
If you like well made documentaries and good music, see this film.
(Tony Cervo is a long-time die-hard music fan. He's a contributor to the ListeningGame Podcast, an active concert-goer, member of the 20/30 Club, he has a better record collection than you do and was a drummer in a past life but no longer considers himself a musician.)