Getting a last minute invite to the Egyptian for a screening of the White Stripes tour documentary Under Great White Northern Lights was a thrilling prospect. I’ve been a fan of the band since their first singles so I was excited to see footage of their Canadian tour.
If you have not taken in a movie at the Egyptian, the experience is a good one. Not only is there a great selection of independent films being shown there, the place is operated by a non-profit so you can feel good about more than just taking in a good movie.
The premise behind this documentary is to follow The White Stripes on a tour that hit each Canadian province and territory. For the band to do such a tour is a real commitment to their fans as taking a jet to towns of 20,000 people probably costs more money than they could make. As someone who grew up a huge music fan, I know what it feels like to be thankful for a band to come play my city. The idea of a band going so far out of their way to play for people that rarely get to see big touring bands, really strikes a chord with me.
On this tour, the band made a point of playing three shows a day. Now if you’ve never been in a band, that degree of logistics is absolutely crazy. Naturally, they played one show in a larger venue; they also played two shows in very public places; pool halls, bowling alleys, town squares and even a city bus.
The footage of the movie combines amazing live footage with captivating shots of the band in picturesque settings. The director managed to shoot a good deal of close up footage on stage in 16mm and a handful of shots on video. The intensity of their performances makes for great watching. Of all the live footage I’ve seen of bands, this is hand down the best.
I know additional screenings are scheduled and the release date is soon to come. Do yourself a favor and see this on the big screen, then buy a copy to keep as this will warrant repeated viewings.
American Cinematheque at the Lloyd E. Rigler Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(east of Highland Avenue)
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