Terrible documentary.

debateOprettet af Jacob Pertou lør, december 15, 2012 21:45


I do not know what the premises of this ”documentary” were, as I do not understand any French apart from ”je conduis tres bien” and ”deux baguettes”. But what I saw was absolutely horrendous. A bunch of random geriatrics randomly exchanging blah-blah, for nearly an hour. It was more a rapidly compiled low-budget retrospective on the scene of French subculture, than anything interesting for TD or Nico fans. On four essential accounts it fails miserably:

1) The lack of concert video footage! How can you make a TV documentary then? That's why God made the radio. Three quarters into the feature, five or six semi-bald men watch a Nico performance on a big screen in the Reims Cathedral. For what reason? The producers mix Tangerine Dream's performance with that televised show they did in Paris the year before. Why not make a documentary on that instead. It had Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze and Guru Guru on the bill! Much more interesting. We don't need another Ricochet disguised as TD at Coventry Cathedral.

2) No interviews from the musicians involved! Okay, Nico did a solo set, and does not walk among us anymore. Peter Baumann is not in music anymore. Chris Franke is busy in Hollywood. But Edgar Froese isn't afraid on reflecting on the past. He is sorely missed.

3) Uninteresting people. I mean, why is the current mayor of Reims so largely involved? I know no one of the people. A spectator from the show. Wow. There were nearly 5000 of them, so who cares?

4) Poor editing, and no suspense, whatsoever. A lot of anachronistic memorabilia is included. The ending says it all. What a load of trash.

This is the worst thing related to Tangerine Dream since the book on Klaus Schulze from 2008. Avoid it, and listen to Nico's performance from the night on Spotify, as well as TD's legendary show on Tangerine Tree Volume 30: Reims 1974.

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Oprettet af Marc fre, december 21, 2012 13:04

And, as a a last comment from my side on this topic, do not forget that it has been showed on France3 Champagne Ardenne, i.e. : a regional television (Reims is indeed the biggest city from the Champagne Ardenne region). This can also explain why the documentary has a more regional/local perspective on things, not being intended to be shown to international audience (even if it is the case because of the web).That being said, congrats Jacob for your excellent blog.

Oprettet af Marc fre, december 21, 2012 12:46

Hi all,I am also a French speaker (but Belgian, not French ;-) First I think that we could keep in mind that the topic is "debate" and so it is just nice to have different opinions on the subject. Now that I have seen the whole footage, I feel able to confirm what I wrote earlier. It is IMO not a bad documentary about the social and cultural context of the times. I was really touched to hear about how such concert/music did influence some of those people for the rest of their life. And some of the interviewees really were important actors of the time (Assaad Debs for ex.) and the anecdotes they recall are very well known for the hard core fans, but not for the broad public (which is the target of such a film).For the rest I agree with Jacob that the visuals are not of a stellar quality, and that the whole thing seems a little static. But you definitively need to understand the language to evaluate the content properly.Perhaps they should have given it another title ("Remembering Rheims" or something like that)Regards

Oprettet af klaus Radiola tor, december 20, 2012 23:02

Olivier, je suis français, I'm french. I've seen the documentary, I know what i'm talking about. I wish the film was great, but it wasn't. Just the usual clichés and blah blah blah about french rock scene in the early 70's. Too bad.

Oprettet af Jacob Pertou tor, december 20, 2012 18:51

Glad enjoyed it Olivier – and good for you. I have seen a lot of music documentaries before, and I can detect, whether it being in Zulu, Swahili or Russian if it is a good documentary. There's no dramatic means used, no suspense or excitement. The way Benoit Garel's pseudo-documentary is edited is dull, the tableaus are really bad, and the lack of footage is just embarrasing. Mixing audio from a TD concert with video from a one year older concert is inexcusable. Watching old men watching a screen with Nico in Reims is just beyond pointless. I have never seen anything like that before.

I do not find many of the people prolific either, and they just ramble on. Apparantly, like Klaus Radiola says, it's not informative either. It should have been a radio documentary.

The documentary is called "Reims – Rock Goes To The Cathedral", so obviously it should be about Tangerine Dream and Nico, not 90% about French subculture, and this is a Tangerine Dream blog, so my criticism is fair. So what brought you here, if I may ask?

And unlike you, I went for the ball, not the man.

Oprettet af Olivier Bégué tor, december 20, 2012 18:25

Dear readers, How can anyone just from anywhere without any knowledge of french language can split and speak with silly comment about a film they dont even understand a single word and what it talks about !You certainely thought it will be a film about T.D ? why would it be ? Would it be more interesting to talk about the whole story on bringing T.D to the succes and light via this huge and unique concert or would it be better to speak only about music and gear ? Before criticizing and split on those (nowadays) old person - (you certainly think your young ??) - but so strongly human and passionate, you better take french courses or wait for the subtitles version. And see the film from the inside and not only from you own conception of it !Speak fast (as you did) is not recommanded.

Oprettet af klaus Radiola tir, december 18, 2012 23:02

Totally agree with you, Jacob. Most of this documentary is just old guys telling the same old stories we have heard countless times. Worst of all, the footage is not even Reims 74, but Paris 73 (but they didn't mention it, so most people will probably believe it's really from Reims). Boring film. Much ado about nothing.

Oprettet af Jacob Pertou man, december 17, 2012 16:00

However, nothing negative can be said about your contributions of memorabilia, which is excellent as always.

Oprettet af andy k søn, december 16, 2012 16:47

Kind of agree - almost

Oprettet af Jacob Pertou lør, december 15, 2012 23:11

And, by the way, where is KDM, who was the stage manager of TD's show in Reims?

Oprettet af Jacob Pertou lør, december 15, 2012 23:06

Thanks for your comment Marc. That correlates with my remark: "It was more a rapidly compiled low-budget retrospective on the scene of French subculture than anything interesting for TD or Nico."

Still it fails at being fairly interesting.

Oprettet af Marc lør, december 15, 2012 22:58


I have not yet listened to the whole thing but it seems more to be a social and cultural portrait of France back then, emphasizing the importance of music (and TD music in particular) to the youth. Hence the testimonies of now old men, as well as some historical producers from the time. It is a documentary around TD rather than a film on TD. And perhaps it is not that bad in that perspective (but of course you need to understand French to appreciate). Regards.