It does offer a lot of insight into what went on behind the scenes right then and there, but not nearly enough for my tastes - then again, that's what happens when you truncate 6 years of footage into an hour and a half film.
I think the editors of this had a tradeoff - show a lot more but make it a lot longer, or make it short and sweet but cut out massive amounts of footage, and honestly I think they made the right choice here.
I liked this a lot, despite it not being 'a proper doc', etc. There's something about how honest it is - it doesn't try to cast Damon and Jamie in any light other than the one they cast themselves in - a lot of documentaries these days, especially if the doc is about someone famous and dead, are inaccurate. There are a lot of people in those who are old and can't remember very much, a lot of people who are simply riding the publicity wave, and a lot of people who gloss over the more touchy subject matter in order to portray the doc's subject positiviely, out of post-mortem respect or to masturbate someone's ego or whatever.
This one's honest, and the lack of secondhand interviews, or even firsthand ones, is a good thing.
This did inspire me to do something novel, if nothing else. It did back up my belief people take themselves too seriously (as Damon put it) not only in the music business but everywhere. Hell, if these guys can make Gorillaz and get famous and make lots of money AND do what they like/have fun, why the hell can't I?
I'll say this right off the bat, I'm a fan of Gorillaz. I was actually in England when they were promoting their first album before it dropped and the only thing out was the single Clint Eastwood. I even came back to England AS SOON as it dropped so I could get a copy, cause when I heard the aforementioned song I knew it was going to be a world wide sensation. So I was actually looking forward to the film. I started watching the film, with high hopes that the film would do nothing but talk about Damon Alburn and Jamie Hewlett while also giving us a continuous history of the band. This doesn't happen.
The film throws you into the band like a stranded cast away throwing a bottle into the sea. The film starts off with Alburn and Hewlett already making their first album with nothing but a 2 min explanation of how the band was formed. The reason why everything feels so forced is due to the fact that there are no talking head segments. I know a documentary film doesn't need talking head interviews (Titticut follies is the main defender of this claim) but you gotta realize that if you want the audience to care about your subject (even if more than half the world has heard of this subject and is interested already. due to the mysterious nature of the band) you have to let them meet the people you're trying to focus your film on.
To me it doesn't make sense NOT to do this. If I wanted to make a film about firemen, I wouldn't just hang around them and ask them how their days are going, I would ask them questions one on one about what it's like to fight fires, same goes for bands. Except you wouldn't ask a band what it's like to fight fires, unless fire is kind of their thing...anyway...
What I did appreciate about this film is that it captured the Gorillaz in their Hay-Day. (Not that they've fallen from grace but it's nice to see a rockumentary where the band doesn't fall from grace at one point) Plus, the film chronicles the history very well. CHRONICLES, it doesn't document, it chronicles. A lot of footage was probably taken in their spare time and along the way someone must have decided to make a film out of all of these pieces. That doesn't mean that just because you have a lot of home videos that you can accurately give a portrait of your family without talking to them. The footage only really serves as a time capsule in this film, nothing more. It doesn't really move anyone, it's just really a tape that has people on it, that happen to be doing something back in 2002.
Moving back to the subject of Gorillaz hay-day, Bananaz also does a great job of capturing what it was like to be on tour with Alburn and Jamie Hewlett. Because the Gorillaz concerts are something to talk about (what with their not really being a band and just cartoons and all) the film really starts to glisten. Not shine. Glisten. The concert parts of the films are too short for any real merit however. And not a lot of time is spent backstage either it really makes you wonder what marvelous concert moments fell on the edit room floor.
The three things this film does really well is chronicle the history of the band as well as provide a lot of back-stage footage as well as concert footage. In some rockumentaries, this is too much to ask for, but Bananaz does this with a smile and I'm starting to think this is why, BANANAZ HAS NOTHING ELSE TO OFFER. The film is nothing more than a home video made by Alburn and his friends. All of the times they talk about the band they talk about it for a matter of minuets and then its off to talking about how Alburn and Jamie Hewlett hate the pop entrainment community.
Animation vs. Music
Fiction vs. Reality
Film vs. Concert
Through up vs. Fart
Cigarettes vs. Damon