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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Music > Politics > Rage Against The Machine & The Art Of Protest: Revolution Of The Head (Chrome Dreams/MVD Visual DVD)

Rage Against The Machine & The Art Of Protest: Revolution Of The Head (Chrome Dreams/MVD Visual DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Documentary: B-



Despite their politics and even commercial success, Rage Against The Machine is one of the more interesting, yet more overrated acts in music since the 1980s.  They had political things to say and they could even be “hardcore” about it, but it was also often a series of events where they were “fronting” and pressing buttons without really saying anything or getting anything accomplished except record sales.  The Art Of Protest: Revolution Of The Head (from the Under Review gang) shows their career and these limits.


A big success in the 1990s, they made it easy to be critical at a time when Bill Clinton was president, but for all they were saying, what exactly did they actually say?  Signed to Epic Records, they never got in trouble the way Warner did when Ice-T recorded Cop Killer and for all their anti-establishment, anti-capitalist rhetoric, they were sure getting rich quick.  With Michael Moore (who directed some of their later videos), they became some of the richest socialists in the U.S., so what were they complaining about?  Maybe it is just they through everyone (including their fans?) were so stupid and desperate that they would mistake them for being cutting edge.


It is no coincidence then that they broke up after the second Bush Presidency began, helped by the myth they perpetuated that there was no difference between Bush and Al Gore; something few are dumb enough to believe now.  It is something you perpetuate when you want to ruin the establishment whether you are an extremist Republican who wants to gut any traces of The New Deal or a communist/Stalinist who is trying to prove an opposite point (what a price to do that) by getting the same results.  Reunited in vain later, they are no longer as relevant and were only so much to begin with.  If they had been, they would have had better ideas, the Bush Years would have never taken place and the country would be in better shape.


Instead, they were as much of a problem as anyone they criticized and as this documentary inadvertently proves, were posers and exploiters who took advantage of bad situations and did not care about the results as long as it made them rich with their supposed anger and race-baiting.  Now, they seem as sincere as Ralph Nader, who both allowed the worst decade in U.S. history to happen, in part by being the “useful idiot” means to that end.  So much for their revolution or their music.  At least we get a lesson on real innovators before them here, ones they hijacked so they could cash us and them out.


The 1.33 X 1 image is of the usual high quality for this series with a mix of new video footage, stills and usually great film footage throughout.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is also decent as always.  Extras include text on the interviewees.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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