Global Metal (2007/Warner Bros. DVD)
C- Sound: C Extras: B- Feature: C+
by the front cover, it would be easy to assume that Global Metal is a collection of concert footage, perhaps associated
with some groundbreaking world tour. But
anyone who’s seen Sam Dunn’s previous documentary Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey will know
better. In both films, Dunn provides
surprisingly coherent and insightful commentary on the metal subculture.
In Global Metal, Dunn and his crew travel
to seven different countries (eight if you count the bonus material) and seek
out metalheads. Dunn professes a
background in anthropology, and it shows as he investigates each culture’s
particular relationship with this subversive and often looked-down-upon genre
the camerawork is less than stunning, but features the same type of B-roll
footage you’d expect to find in a decent documentary regardless of topic from
the globalized economy to the historical relationship between people and mice. The film is presented in a matted 16:9
widescreen format with varying picture quality depending on shooting
conditions, an inherent limitation of video.
The audio options give you the choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 and
the sound quality and mix are similarly uninspired.
features occupy their own second disc and earn point for quantity if nothing
else. In addition to a commentary track
(located in disc 1’s setup options), disc 2 contains Heavy Metal Baraka, which is essentially four minutes of additional
B-roll footage, a 23 minute outtake reel that is almost entirely uneventful and
unfunny, and ten extended interviews with some tremendous metal musicians. In addition, there’s an extra segment, focusing
on the metal scene in Bali,
was cut from the rest of the documentary.
Dunn may not be the next Errol Morris, he has managed to create a surprisingly
engaging and interesting documentary on an unexpected topic. Global
Metal is definitely a must-see for metalheads and comes well recommended
for cinephiles and those interested in global affairs as well.
- Matthew Carrick