Metallica: The Monster Lives: The inside Story of Some Kind of Monster

Metallica: The Monster Lives: The inside Story of Some Kind of Monster

by Joe Berlinger, Greg Milner
     
 

Metallica is one of the most successful hard-rock bands of all time, having sold more than ninety million albums worldwide. Receiving unique, unfettered access, acclaimed filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky followed Metallica over two and a half years as they faced monumental personal and professional challenges that threatened to destroy the bands just as

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Overview

Metallica is one of the most successful hard-rock bands of all time, having sold more than ninety million albums worldwide. Receiving unique, unfettered access, acclaimed filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky followed Metallica over two and a half years as they faced monumental personal and professional challenges that threatened to destroy the bands just as they returned to the studio to record their first album in four years. While the documentary itself provides an insider's view of Metallica, the two and a half years of production (and more than 1,600 hours of footage) garnered far more than can be expressed in a two-hour film.

Berlinger's book about the experience reveals the stories behind the film, capturing the energy, uncertainty, and ultimate triumph of both the filming and Metallica's bid for survival. It weaves the on-screen stories together with what happened off-screen, offering intimate details of the band's struggle amidst personnel changes, addiction, and controversy. In part because Berlinger was one of the only witnesses to the intensive group-therapy sessions and numerous band meetings, his account of his experience filming the band is the most honest and deeply probing book about Metallica - or any rock band - ever written.

This is the book both Metallica and film fans have dreamed of - a stark and honest look at one of rock's most important bands through the eyes of the most provocative documentary filmmakers working today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'No rock band of remotely comparable commercial stature has opened their internal processes up to the kind of scrutiny allowed in "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster"...filmmaking duo Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky get discomfitingly close to their subjects...yet one needn't be a fan of Metallica or heavy metal to be engrossed throughout...theatrical prospects look upbeat, ancillary sales excellent."

- Variety

Alan Light
More a book about filmmaking than about music, This Monster Lives shows that tenacious reporting can still produce great narratives, even about the most mega of megaplatinum rock stars.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
In 2001, the hugely successful hard-rock/heavy metal band Metallica got together in a converted army bunker in San Francisco to record its first collection of new songs in years. Raw from the departure of their bass player yet determined to write and record together, the rock stars began group therapy with Phil Towle, a gentle-voiced therapist (or "performance-enhancement coach"). Far from hiding this image-smashing move, however, the band allowed acclaimed documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky to film, well, whatever. Even after Metallica lead singer James Hetfield slammed the therapy and left the recording studio, the creators of the brilliant documentaries Brother's Keeper and Paradise Lost were allowed to keep filming. What emerged two years later was a rock documentary, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, that is arguably as defining a portrait of the values and conflicts of our times as Gimme Shelter is of its time. In an absorbing narrative, Berlinger (with rock journalist Milner) describes just what it took-the myriad decisions and risks-to turn nearly 1,600 hours of footage into a story that delivers an emotional impact that is all the greater for being true. This book should be required reading for aspiring filmmakers because it reveals the huge difference between turning the cameras on a contrived situation that purports to be "reality" and making a cinema verit or nonfiction film. Berlinger shows that capturing truth is both art and science, and that the best efforts require that the filmmakers risk as much as their subjects. 75 b&w photos. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This companion to the acclaimed Metallica documentary that Berlinger codirected with Bruce Sinofsky is burdened by the expectation that it should reveal even more about the band than the film did. In this sense, Berlinger doesn't deliver, wasting too many pages justifying his editing decisions and philosophizing on objectivity. His autobiographical narration takes the reader through events portrayed in the documentary-the recording of St. Anger and the group's now infamous therapy sessions-but also touches on a few key moments absent from the film (e.g., the reason for St. Anger's maddening drum sound). While the movie's villain appeared to be therapist Phil Towle, Berlinger paints him as more sympathetic and caring. Metallica fans digging for fresh dirt won't find much here, but they won't be able to put the book down either. Buried among the author's myriad filmisms are some of the most revealing Metallica commentaries and criticisms ever written. Recommended for larger libraries with ample music or film sections.-Robert Morast, Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, SD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312333119
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
11/10/2004
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.88(h) x 1.15(d)

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