Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Look At The Special Features On The DVD Of No Manifesto: A Film About Manic Street Preachers

I finally have a physical copy of No Manifesto: A Film about Manic Street Preachers. Last month, I posted my review of the film. Then I brought you my interview with director Elizabeth Marcus, along with an exclusive clip of James Dean Bradfield from the making of the film, and then I shared with you another exclusive clip from the making of the film.

Well, today I'm here to look at the extras on the DVD. It would ridiculous of me to re-review the film so if you missed it, just read my review first 'cause I'm not going to rehash my points now.

But it's worth repeating what an extraordinary thing Elizabeth Marcus has done here. An American, she managed to earn the trust of this Welsh band and film them for a few years. She even got them to open up about the disappearance and legacy of Richey Edwards. The film's treatment of that topic feels remarkably respectful and solemn (when it needs to be) and she's to be applauded by fans for that. Watching the film on DVD on a big TV was a joy. The Richey parts seemed even more moving this time around.

So now you know what I think of the film itself so why should you buy the DVD? Here's why. I'm gonna give you my opinion of the extras on this one.

There's a load of Special Features on the DVD and here's my rundown:

Nicky and Sean 2005 Extended Interview

This interview runs for about 20 minutes. Sean Moore and Nicky Wire talk about the Manics' legacy, the shadow of Richey, the songs that would become Send Away The Tigers, and many more topics. James Dean Bradfield is not in the interview but that is presumably him wailing away on the guitar in the background.

Music Video - "I'm Just a Patsy"

This video for a live version of the cut is superb. Frankly, the song's never been one of my favorites from Send Away the Tigers but now I might have to revise that sentiment. Made up of film of the Manics in the studio and live, this live video is a nice extra for fans.

Breakfast in New York with James and Dave

This is a 19-minute segment in which James Dean Bradfield and producer Dave Eringa have breakfast with an off-screen Elizabeth Marcus and Kurt Enfeghr. The director and producer have a nice casual chat with James on a variety of music-related topics. The thing that makes this segment so much fun is James Dean Bradfield's assertion that he likes Electric Light Orchestra more than The Beatles. I don't necessarily agree with him but when he mentions one of my favorite ELO songs ("The Ballad of Horace Wimp"), I am at least closer to agreeing with him. Seeing JDB on the streets of NYC (presumably) is cool too.

When the Manics Met Rush

In this nearly 30-minute segment a viewer gets to be a fly-on-the-wall to the meeting between Rush's Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee and James Dean Bradfield and Nicky Wire of the Manic Street Preachers. With the departure of Richey Edwards, the Manics essentially became a power trio...like Rush? In a sense. And a fan of both of these bands such as myself was thrilled to see JDB expound upon his theory that bands like Muse and Smashing Pumpkins stole bits from Rush. The segment made me a little nostalgic 'cause Rush were the first real, proper rock band I ever got into heavily. Sure, I had Beatles and Devo records but getting my first Rush LP (1981's Exit...Stage Left) made me feel like I was a step closer to being a teenager. And I like to think that my love of the Manics now is a little bit adolescent in nature. I guess I've just never grown up and listening to the Manics I feel a connection that makes me think of the connections I felt to various bands as a teen (U2, Rush, Husker Du). And we get to see the NME photographer snap the iconic meeting of the bands too which is cool.

Past Present Future Tour 2005

This segment is 4 separate music videos for live versions of 4 great Manics songs:
"A Design For Life"
"You Stole The Sun From My Heart"
"Empty Souls"
"Archives of Pain"

Yes, this is the same video version of "A Design for Life" that the NME website was featuring a few weeks back. Elizabeth Marcus, Kurt Engfehr, and their crew have really done a fantastic job here with this one. Taking us backstage and into the audience, the video makes me love the song in a whole new way.

The other live videos are similar with the one for "You Stole the Sun From My Heart" focusing on the fans and the one for "Empty Souls" focusing on the backstage activity around the performance (the setting up of gear and stuff). The video for "Archives of Pain" showcases James Dean Bradfield in the first few minutes 'cause it's largely a solo performance before the other band members join in. It's quite a moving rendition, I must add.

If you want to order No Manifesto: A Film About Manic Street Preachers, please visit the film's official website:
www.NoManifestoFilm.com.