A Band Called Death (2013)
Critic Consensus: A Band Called Death is not only a fascinating portrait of a pioneering rock group, but also a tribute to family ties and perseverance in the face of hardship.
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Critic Reviews for A Band Called Death
An especially pointed variation on one of music's most oft-told tales: A band formed ahead of its time sits in muffled obscurity while others reap the harvest of what it first planted.
Fortunately, Bobby and Dannis, the surviving brothers, prove genial company.
If the brothers seem a little drunk on their own myth, they're also genuinely humbled by the band's rediscovery and warmed by the fact that their kids have carried on the family tradition.
A Band Called Death shines the light on a previously unexplored corner of musical history and does it in an accessible, straightforward manner.
Death never got very far, and their story is a fascinating one, told beautifully by Jeff Howlett and Mark Christopher Covino.
Audience Reviews for A Band Called Death
Or A Film Called Death... How appropriate for this film about the near-forgotten punk rock band, Death, that the entire film is haunted by death. It was something I wasn't really expecting. I was expecting a pretty straight forward music documentary about a band that time nearly forgot, like Searching for Sugarman or Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, but what I got out of a Band Called Death is a movie about death and spirituality. And the result is a film that is better than either of the other films mentioned. It starts off like Big Star, a film about a band that's future looked incredibly promising, but how its success was tragically short-lived. The third act is similar to Searching for Sugarman, a film about how the songs of this band resurfaced years after their inception. But what sets this film apart is the middle section about the death of one of the founding members of the band, who was also the brother to the other two members. It becomes this tragic story about how when dreams die, it slowly kills a part of a person. And how despair can only exist when hope is alive. The film spends a lot of time on pondering these issues through the story of David, and I found myself incredibly moved by this story. It really gives the film an edge that typical music documentaries don't have. If you're a fan of 70s rock, you need to see this film, and even if you're not, do yourself a favor and see this movie. Even if you have to get through the first 30 minutes (which I love, but you may not), the middle section of the film is emotionally powerful.
It's a documentary about the forgotten punk rock band 'Death', but I dug how it also told the story a close nit family & their long & intimate relationship with music
The loveable warmth with which "A Band Called Death" paints the titular proto-punk rockers is both the film's greatest strength and its greatest weakness. The Hackney brothers are charming and wonderful and listening to them tell stories from their youth feels like hearing from an old friend. On the other hand, their deceased brother and de-facto leader David is portrayed in such a sanitized manner that the whole thing ends up feeling a bit sugarcoated. Even David's wife barely registers as a source of insight, and it feels like we're missing the big picture as the ugly stuff like alcoholism and depression gets mere lip service in favor of highlighting David's almost prophetic wisdom and talent. Still, the story of the Hackney brothers and their resurgence is quite remarkable and makes for an entertaining and uplifting documentary.
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