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Awesome I Fuckin Shot That - review

09 AUG 2012 | Posted By: SineadStubbins

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Awesome I Fuckin Shot That - review

Beastie Boys
 
Beastie Boys
 
Beastie Boys
 
Beastie Boys
 
Beastie Boys
 
Beastie Boys
 
Beastie Boys
 
Beastie Boys
 
Beastie Boys
 
Beastie Boys
How do you grieve for someone you’ve never actually met?

After the passing of the legendary MCA or Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys earlier this year, it was difficult to know how to react. Do you shed a tear? Listen to Licensed to Ill for three straight weeks in mourning? Put up a YouTube video on Facebook and offer commiserations to other fans?

It may be a bummer to start a review of the 2004 concert film Awesome, I Fuckin’ Shot That! with ponderings on death (especially because essentially it’s a party film), but it’s hard to ignore the fact that a Beastie Boys concert like that is never going to happen again. It turns out the filmmakers have captured something much more important that perhaps even they anticipated.

Awesome I Fuckin’ Shot That! began with 50 audience members, 50 hand held cameras (which were later refunded at the store) and a sold out concert at Madison Square Garden. The idea was to create a concert film without the fancy special effects and flattering camera angles, but to represent the true gig experience.

Once you get over the nausea of the shaky handcam, AIFST! completely tricks you in to thinking you are in that sweaty stadium, bouncing around to Mixmaster Mike. There are no edited segments or behind the scenes interviews, what you see is exactly what the audience saw. So prepare for toilet breaks, expensive beer and lengthy instrumentals!

What hits you first is the Beastie Boy’s energy. Dudes are old now, and by all rights should have reached their cool expiration about 10 years ago. But as soon as they jump on stage in their matching tracksuits and launch into “Triple Trouble” they are the fucking raddest guys on the planet. If anything, Beastie Boys have shown other bands how you can grow old and still remain cool.

The second is how immersed you become in the experience. If we’re all going to be honest, concert movies are usually pretty boring, but somehow this film keeps you enthralled for the full 90 minutes. Even the bits that are a tad tedious like lengthy jamming, are all the more endearing for their inclusion. It’s easy to forget that the Beaties’ are actually great musicians.

When the crowd applauds, you feel like standing up and cheering. When the opening beats of “Sabotage” come on, you want to mosh with everyone else. When one of the cameras points to Ben Stiller in general admission, rapping along to every word and wearing a backwards baseball cap, you’re like “Fuck yeah! Why wouldn’t Zoolander be here?”

Maybe it’s the knowledge that the Beastie Boys are effectively no more, but there’s something special about AIFST. Near the end the three MCs enter the crowd to sing “Intergalactic” throwing themselves in a pit of fans at the back of the stadium. Looking more thrilled than the fans, Mike D and MCA grin at each other as if to say “how the fuck did we get here!?”. Because you let your fans fuckin' shoot that!

Awesome, I Fuckin' Shot That!
is playing at the Melbourne international Film Festival.
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