Published Jun 24, 2010Broken Social Scene's biggest fans can argue indefinitely about the indie rock collective's best album, best song, best member or best live show. But who ever really gets to defend their point in film? Director Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo/The Tracy Fragments) does and he has an advantage — you'll be on board with his view after the film's first take.
This Movie is Broken is much better than a regular old live DVD. It has the up-close visuals that even fans in the front row of the concert it was filmed at couldn't see. But it also includes a fictional love story interwoven with each song. The band footage was shot at a massive free concert at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre last July after BSS cancelled a ticketed show on the island due to numerous reasons. Many ecstatically lucky fans saw an amazing show, and being able to re-live it as it's played in front of you on film is as heart-warming as seeing singer Amy Millan push up drummer Justin Perroff's glasses while he's playing the encore.
It's the love story that brings the film down a notch though. While the concept is interesting, the execution doesn't feel very thought through. It follows Bruno (Greg Calderone) as he attempts to woo long-time one-way love Caroline (Georgina Reilly) after he wakes up next to her one morning. The catch: she leaves for school in Paris the next day. Caroline is incredibly cliché — the typical indie beauty who is mysterious, undresses casually, can't make up her mind and glows under the sun as she sits on bike handlebars. She doesn't get much deeper than that. Bruno's character and his friend Blake (Kerr Hewitt) are more dimensional in the story, but if there's any real love in this film, it's for the band and Toronto (even though it highlights the disgusting garbage strike). The scenery shots are lovely, especially after frontman Kevin Drew says a short speech on how much the band love the city.
Any hardcore Broken Social Scene fan — actually, anyone who has interest in the band — will be in awe of the concert footage, or at least will tap their foot in the theatre or nod along to songs. This Movie is Broken is cute and exciting, but it's basically a cheaper concert ticket with the usual overzealous fan romance going on next to you in the crowd. (Alliance)