Coming to DVD and VOD today, Monday, November 24: METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER
Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s portrait of a metal band in therapy had its world premiere at Sundance in 2004. It went on to screen at Nashville, Philadelphia, Sydney, Ptown, Transylvania, Thessaloniki Doc, Athens, and Jerusalem, among many others, and to be released theatrically, winning the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary in 2005. Recently screened as part of DOC NYC’s Docs Redux section, this DVD re-release commemorates the film’s 10th anniversary, and also marks its debut on VOD platforms.
In 2001, as heavy metal rock icons Metallica set out to record a new album, they invited filmmakers Berlinger and Sinofsky to document the process. When band group therapist Phil Towle is introduced, it becomes clear that this will deviate from the standard behind-the-scenes, studio-focused rockumentary approach. After nearly two decades together, the band has to face serious communication and anger issues – not to mention individual struggles with drugs and alcohol, which soon remove lead singer James Hetfield from the scene for months. When he returns, his carefully controlled and limited schedule leads to increasing tensions between Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, manifested not in the stereotypical aggression of out-of-control rockstars, but in unexpected discussions of hurt feelings that lend a distinct air of couple’s counseling to the proceedings. As a result, Berlinger and Sinofsky engender curiosity in their film beyond the band’s existing fanbase, crafting an intimate and honest look at middle-aged performers trying to make their musical marriage work.