Monks - The Transatlantic Feedback (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Monks - The Transatlantic Feedback (2006)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

During the mid-'60s, a time when musicians were pushing rock & roll into a number of new directions, the Monks were one of the most radical groups of their day. Comprised of Gary Burger, Larry Clark, Dave Day, Roger Johnston, and Eddie Shaw, five American GI's stationed in Hamburg, Germany, during the height of the Cold War, the Monks started out as a cover band called the Torquays, playing the hits of the day to blow off steam while they waited out their commitments to the Army. However, the band members had some more ambitious ideas, and when they met Karl-H. Remy and Walther Nieman, a pair of Germans with an interest in music and contemporary art interested in managing a rock band, they reinvented themselves as the Monks. Wearing all-black clothing, bits of rope as neckties, and sporting tonsures shaved into their scalps, the Monks played noisy, stripped-down rock with a fierce, propulsive beat, fuzzy guitars, an amplified banjo, and lyrics that were openly critical of the military and the standard social order. While the Monks developed a small but loyal following and appeared occasionally on German television, the group was simply too unconventional to attract a large audience, and after the commercial failure of their album Black Monk Time, the group split up in 1967. However, the band's reputation lived on, and the album became a cult favorite among record collectors and fans of pre-punk garage rock. The album was belatedly released in the United States in 1997, and the group reformed to play a reunion show at New York City's Cavestomp Festival in 1999. Filmmakers Dietmar Post and Lucía Palacios recount the strange journey of this most unusual band in Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback, a documentary which features interview with the original members of the band, their friends and associates, and some of their better-known fans, including Jon Spencer, Peter Zaremba, and Genesis P-Orridge.


Critic Reviews for Monks - The Transatlantic Feedback

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4)

Post and Palacios make a compelling case for the Monks as neglected pioneers.

Full Review… | November 7, 2008
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback, an ambitious but unfocused documentary, bids to immortalize this short-lived if influential group.

Full Review… | October 31, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

The film single-handedly justifies its existence with stock footage of the band ripping it up on some Deutsch version of Shindig! circa '66, the kids in the audience awkwardly doing the Jerk because they don't know what else to do.

Full Review… | October 29, 2008
Village Voice
Top Critic

What makes it worth seeing is the blissful weirdness of the Monks' tale and music.

Full Review… | November 7, 2008

Brings home the tragedy of being ahead of one's time in popular culture.

Full Review… | November 6, 2008
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The work is significant because it found gold tucked deep in a rusted drawer way in the back of an armory and manages through stock footage and stillsâ"even a few live performancesâ"to reprise the caliber of talent The Monks were, both onstage and on wa

Full Review… | November 4, 2008
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for Monks - The Transatlantic Feedback

Wonderful documentary about a group of American G.I.'s stationed in Germany at the height of the Cold War who start a band unlike anything else, raw and aggressive in a confrontational manner, political at a time where the Beatles were still singing about holding hands. Hopefully this will bring in more people to the genius that was the Monks.

Aaron Shanley
Aaron Shanley

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