TORONTO: Pearl Jam Twenty, a film by Academy Award winning director Cameron Crowe, traces the first two decades of the band (Pearl Jam’s) journey. The film debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival this year where documentaries about musicians took centre stage. Other films featuring U2, Paul McCartney, and Neil Young were also screened at the festival.
Crowe and the band sat down after a screening of their film and talked about some of the music documentaries that really affected them.
Film-maker — Cameron Crowe
Can I do two? Okay, Gimme Shelter and Don’t Look Back. Gimme Shelter, because it’s just amazing, on-the-fly film-making and Don’t Look Back because it just captures the white-hot heat of somebody like Bob Dylan, who’s exploding and there are cameras and microphones everywhere.
Musician — Eddie Vedder
The Kids are Alright and Last Waltz. It reminded of the time I got caught smoking pot and got grounded for a week in the summer. And it wasn’t that bad, because all I did was listen to Last Waltz for 18 hours a day.
Musician — Matt Cameron
I saw Jimi plays Berkley and Jimi Hendrix (film). Those two films kind of blew my mind as a teen. And I also remember watching Freddie and his friends, about Freddie Mercury’s home life. It had nothing to do with the band Queen, just how Mercury was as a person. It was mind-blowingly cool.
Musician — Jeff Ament
There was a documentary that came out three or four years ago called American Hardcore. That was sort of the music that I learned to play and to see the footage of some of the Detroit bands and the Boston bands was pretty amazing.
Musician — Stone Gossard
Spinal Tap has got to be in there too. It really is something that affected me hugely.
Musician — Mike McCready
I would say one life changing film was Woodstock. My first concept of a rock singer ever was probably Roger Daltrey at Woodstock doing his thing. And Hendrix, of course his version of The Star Spangled Banner was the one that went into my soul and I grabbed it, grabbed it and I ran with it.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2011.