So yesterday (23rd March at the time of writing), my friend and I were lucky enough to manage to get tickets to see a screening of Rammstein: Paris at the Electric Cinema in Birmingham… and what a hell of a night it was! I do admit, it was odd to sit in silence whilst watching the band perform a pre-recorded show on a screen, but it was an interesting experience. Still, I’d have liked to have partied a bit harder, rather than just nodding my head to the music and mouthing the lyrics.
As for the film itself, it was interesting on many levels. In some ways it was utter brilliance, and other aspects I’m not too sure on. The show in question that was filmed was at both nights of Bercy, Paris in 2012, as part of the band’s Made in Germany tour. Of course, as we all know, Rammstein shows are pretty damn spectacular and these nights were no exception (having attended the Birmingham gig myself during this epic tour, I can attest to this!)
I’d been wondering why it had taken so long for this to get released, as it was almost 5 years since the concerts had taken place, but upon seeing it, it was clear to see why. The production quality is absolutely out of this world, with minute attention paid to every single detail. Director Jonas Åkerlund proves that he’s the master of his craft here, and then some! The way the film flows is more like a long music video, or perhaps a set of music videos in this case (more on that in a second), and I was surprised how up-close some of the angles were. The visuals are sharp, it was stunning to see the detail in every frame. It really captures the essence of each moment.
The usage of special effects were quite intriguing too, if a hindrance at times. Before each song starts, a title card is presented of that song, in a style that suits the overall track. It is a neat and quirky little feature, but I felt it really pulled me out of the moment, and reminded me that I was watching the event on a screen. Also, the special effects were a mixed bag. For a start, there were visuals added into the performance that ranged from the genuinely interesting (such as Till’s face distorting as he mouths the screams during Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen), to the outright odd, and a tad cheesy (like when Flake literally emits blots of lightning out of his fingers as he plays his keyboard during Du Hast.) One effect that is used often, that I can totally get behind, is the usage of slow motion. It captures the pyrotechnics and stunts in such a beautiful way, it’s stunning to watch. Okay, I do admit, I am a bit old-fashioned when it comes to watching gig footage, as I want to relive those moments how they transpired, without anything to dilute those memories. I guess that’s the main objective of this film; this is Åkerlund trying something completely different. After all, standard format of concert films have been done to death, so why not spruce it all up a bit? With my rantings, I make it sound awful, but it’s actually still very, enjoyable and fun to watch.
A quick preview from the band’s offical YouTube page!
To keep the theatrical release to a minimum time-frame, some songs were cut (which I listed below. If you want to avoid spoilers, don’t look), and I was sad to see some great ones cut out. Then again, at 97 minutes, this is no short film! Luckily, the full concert will be viewable in all it’s 128 minute glory when Rammstein: Paris is officially released on DVD and Blu Ray on 19th May! Yes, I’ve already pre-ordered my copy, so expect a more detailed review once I’ve seen it in it’s entirety. I’m actually rather intrigued on how the other tracks will get presented; maybe all this extra visual snazziness will grow on me, and maybe even make more sense once I have the full picture?
Either way, I reckon it’ll be just as intense of an experience to watch, no matter what size screen you watch it on.