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About the Movie
Catching the excitement of a spectacular concert on film is an almost impossible task. All the senses are stimulated at live events in a way that can't be replicated onscreen. Director Jonas Akerlund's extraordinary film RAMMSTEIN: PARIS is the closest anyone has ever come to cracking this dilemma. His creative rendition of the all-new stage production they delivered at Paris Bercy in March 2012 takes the art form to a whole new level, capturing the rush and grandeur of Rammstein live the way the band has always deserved. The look this time is sweaty, grimy gothic veering off into Grand Guignol, a technical tour de force that captivates you even before the music has started, as the titles flicker by like an electronic malfunction to the sinister hisses and sighs of the industrial stage set. Steam and light pulsate to a dystopian beat, a flaming torch parts the crowd, and the hooded band march ritualistically through the audience to the stage via an elevated gantry, ratcheting-up the tension. Anyone who can tease the crowd for this long is confident of delivering, and Rammstein do so in spades. As the grinding lurch of Sonne mutates into Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen, fireballs shoot skywards from the guitarists' lapels, and soon Till's flaming hands are windmilling, smoke seeping from his nose and mouth as he sings. In Feuer Frei! three of the musicians have fire shooting out of their faces, the guitars burst into flames at the end of Du Riechst So Gut, and the boomeranging fireworks Till shoots over the crowd during Du Hast have to be seen to be believed. We've all seen concert films edited so headache-inducingly fast that you can't see anything properly. Akerlund's genius here is his ability to cut the action at a breathless pace which leaves you feeling exhilarated not disorientated. Like the car crash sequences in The Bourne Ultimatum, the variety of camera angles and frenetic speed with which they assault you leaves you feeling not so much dazed as, well - like you are really there. As they thrash though Asche Zu Asche, you realize that the lens through which we're seeing Rammstein has become a seventh band member. There are strange colors, textures, kaleidoscopic visual effects, distressed overhead crowd shots that look like insects, hallucinatory dissolves of flailing band members and unsettling flash frames like Till's intermittently satanic black eyes and forked tongue, fanged creatures cavorting in the crowd and electric lightning striking Flake's keyboards like a scene from Frankenstein's laboratory. This is a new kind of concert film, the live experience enhanced - as no one in the hall would have seen it. Most bands use the B stage at the other end of the hall for an acoustic interlude. Not Rammstein. As Richard Kruspe unleashes ominous electro beats from a keyboard, the rest of the band are whipped to the podium on their knees like groveling submissives by dressed-in-drag drummer Christoph Schneider for a version of Buck Dich that raises the tempo to fire alarm levels, its explosive conclusion echoing the version that got them arrested in America. But there is tenderness too, even a moment when the band stands in silence on the B stage smiling at the audience surrounding them, soaking up the love. A concert film is never the same as being at a concert, but RAMMSTEIN: PARIS is the perfect fusion of the band's extraordinary stage show with the film editor's craft. It is a visual feast, a celebration of Rammstein live that is both different to and in some ways better than being there - and a definite contender for the best concert film of all time.
The best concert film ever made. Period.
I don't say this lightly. This is the best concert film ever made.
The volume is indeed low, however. Don't forget to turn your tv down afterward.
A mixed bag...
I love Rammstein and their live shows are truly a spectacle. However, I didn’t think this particular release was very enjoyable. Rammstein puts on a great show as always but, the problem for me was with the Post Production techniques employed. I’ll start with the good stuff.
The show is shot beautifully and sounds amazing. There isn’t a lot different in this concert from the previous release “In Amerika” in terms of setlist and performance. However, what is really nice here is that some of the post-production really grabs the outstanding moments that occur within a Rammstein show. The pyrotechnics, the extravagant staging and dramatic flare is all captured and an opportunity is never wasted to capitalize on it. It is a shining example of the exciting moments of a Rammstein show.
The not so great…
On the other side of seeing all of the glorious moments, there are also a number of odd special effects choices and a breakneck editing pace that really takes away from the overall experience. There is no substitute for actually being in attendance when they perform but, some of the concert shows do a nice job of showing you why you should be there with everyone while these guys tear up that stage and find every opportunity to blast waves of fire and flashy particles right across your mug.
First, the editing. It really never lets up. A concert should have some quick editing but, should also know when to hold a few frames longer for the viewer to actually take in what is happening. With “Paris” the editing choices are really all over the place…with bright colors flashing between super high contrast black and white along with “special fx” overlays and some oddly repeated shots, it’s really a sensory overload that gets tiring after the first 3 songs. Unless a shot is composited over another shot and slowed down during some of Rammstein’s more slower paced tracks, the eyes never really have time to adjust to what they are seeing and just enjoy it. These composited shots are also out of context at times and not really all that enjoyable when you realize they are not part of what is happening on stage. Or they were filmed afterwards and inserted in for dramatic effect. All of this reads alright on paper but, when implemented the way it is here, is overkill…
The title texts… I’m not trying to poke fun here but, it really seems like an editor had purchased a plug-in pack for text and used every. single. one. they possibly could. They pop up before every song and while one may burn on your screen in flames and then burn off, another may be slowly spray painted in hyper green across the entire breadth of your screen (Mutter) and the cheese factor is high.. It goes from thematic to very silly and I personally, just don’t understand the reason for them.
While a lot of this can be overlooked as just “overproduced”, Paris really takes a dive with some odd special FX choices. From making Till Lindemann look like a blurry clown faced maniac over and over using the same shot, to Christian “Flake” Lorenz suddenly conjuring some very unrealistic looking lighting from the heavens and assaulting his keyboard with his wizard ability, it’s hard to sit there and not say “What is happening and why?”. It’s unfortunate because the show itself is great and the production value of the footage is very high.
It is just over produced. Somebody just didn’t know when to pull back and think what they were doing was plenty. They took it fifteen thousand steps further and made everything a hodge podge of impressive production prowess to amateur hour design and post production choices. Overall, Paris is still enjoyable and has merit by having a few moments to really grab the gorgeous parts of a Rammstein show it’s too bad that every frame is treated like a music video and we don’t get to see what looks like one of their best shows. If you have seen “In Amerika”, skip this.
Epic as always!
But the audio is so quite you have to turn the volume way up. Would still buy no matter what!