When I found out that Fathom Events, the special events branch of most cinemas around the country, was doing a one-night only 3D showing of Peter Gabriel’s recent tour I have to admit I was pretty excited.
Gabriel’s shows have become a lot more personal the past decade or so and having missed his performance in Chicago a few months ago this was a unique second chance to see him perform.
Apparently not many people felt the same way. Walking into the movie theater on Tuesday night I was one of 10 people in the audience. That’s just sad. When I was approached by Fathom to review the film I was under the impression it might somehow be hard to get in and press passes were somehow necessary. They obviously had not done much marketing for the film because no one seemed to know it was even playing that night.
In the end though, a film, unlike a live concert, is designed to be a very personal experience. Each time you walk into a movie the goal is to lose yourself, the addition of 3D has made that a lot easier the past couple of years. That being said the film itself managed to still be dull.
The blame for that lies more with Gabriel than anyone else. His new tour relies heavily on classical elements including a live orchestra and a lot of spoken word poetry. His approach does not translate well either onscreen or in a live show. There is simply not enough going on to justify watching the movie. While it is in 3D, only occasionally does the director make use of the medium. During songs like Gabriel’s classic "Red Rain" it does seem as if red rain is falling on you from above which is cool but extremely basic from a technical standpoint. Once or twice a graphic or two would float on screen and pop out at you but that happened very rarely and it seemed like not a lot of effort was put into making use of the 3D technology.
This is not to say the film itself is a total waste. The audience is given a unique perspective of the show as the camera edits back and forth from the stage into the audience. At one point it shows the perspective of people in the deep nosebleeds and seems to stay there for an extraordinarily long amount of time. The view becomes obstructed by two people throwing their hands up and cheering during the song blocking a good portion of the stage. It was a strange choice on the part of the director to include that shot.
Still, the sound and image quality were perfect throughout the entire movie. But the movie itself is too quiet and, in times, too dark. If this is what the ideal version of Gabriel’s concert looks like than it still needs quite a bit of work.
© Luminomagazine, by Jordan Brandes
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