Wednesday, June 5, 2013

SFF Review: Mistaken For Strangers (Tom Berninger, 2013)

I like The National’s music, and over the last decade they have become one of the world’s great indie rock bands. When given the opportunity to watch an insider documentary of the band’s tour of Europe following the release of High Violet, this reviewer couldn’t help but be excited. Directed by well-meaning but incompetent roadie, Tom Berninger, the younger brother of the band’s lead singer, Matt Berninger, Mistaken For Strangers becomes something else entirely. For better and worse.

In moments of despair at his own inability to finish the documentary, Tom turns the camera on himself in a self-reflexive study as he struggles to find his place in the world, fulfill his own artistic aspirations and break out of the shadow of his big brother. It becomes a film about the creative process, of how an amateur filmmaker took on the challenge to make a rock documentary, and the bizarre experiences that aided and abetted the realization of that dream.

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