It Might Get Loud

It Might Get Loud @ The Zinema 2

Andrew Olson

Reader Weekly

It Might Get Loud, the documentary about guitar idols Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White lived up to all of the hype, and it even taught me quite a bit about the different rockers.

Initially I felt like The Edge of U2 was not in the same class as a Jimmy Page or Jack White, but learning more about his roots gave me great respect for what he does.

It Might Get Loud, created by David Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth), gives viewers an inside view of what a guitar player really is. The film explains the upbringings, hardships, and technical aspects of playing the instrument that has created some of the greatest songs ever written

If you read my articles you may already know that I am a huge fan of Jack White. I saw The White Stripes from 5th row at the Orpheum, The Raconteurs at First Avenue and a year later at Lollapalooza inChicago, and last summer I even traveled across the country for The Dead Weather and saw them in Salt Lake City and Denver after being blown away in Minneapolis. I probably ride a fine line of being a Jack White groupie, but I do believe he is the best guitar player since Jimi Hendrix.

It Might Get Loud is serious and goes very deep into the stories of Jimmy Page and The Edge, but for Jack White it is only fitting that the movie perpetuates the myth rather than delving deep into the facts. White at one point in the film has a young actor play himself at nine years old while the real Jack White tries to teach him his secrets. Driving in a 1960s T-Bird, living in an abandoned farm house, and using cartoon images gives White’s story a different feel than the other two guitarists.

The Edge and Page explain in the film about the importance of specific guitars and even the sounds that the different woods make. This is set against White opening the film by fashioning a guitar out of some junk at his farm. He then says, “Who says you need to buy a guitar?” Later White talks about how much he loves to wrestle with a poor working instrument and challenge himself. He likes the struggle, while The Edge is all about precision and very specific sounds and effects.

The documentary plays off of the different guitarists’ personalities, and each one is captured very differently by the film maker. The scenes with The Edge show him growing up, returning to his old school where the band formed, and in a practice area of his house overlooking a beautiful river. In his home he is surrounded by the various amplifiers and special effect machines he uses. It is futuristic and seems as if he lives in an electronic-nirvana sound booth, floating above the water. All of the scenes with The Edge have a slightly blue tone to them, and it reflects who he is well.

The scenes with Page are of him growing up, playing for many bands and corporate jingles, and reminiscing at the Old Rectory at Dittisham, where Led Zeppelin once recorded. When he plays guitar without Zep what stood out most were his trademarked gratifyingly puckered facial expressions he makes during his close-ups and how his songs stand the test of time. He is one of the gods, and his royal aura is filmed with lots of color.

For Jack White, who opens the film, the tone is new millennium pop and yet an eccentric passion to keep the past alive. While Jimmy Page at one point shows off his massive collection of cassettes and records in his posh house, White later sits at his beat up farmhouse playing a scratchy Son House record on an old fashioned record player. The different segments telling White’s story offer some small bits about his life, but you are left without an understanding of who Jack White really is. One thing you do learn is that he is the tenth child in his family and grew up in the Spanish section of Detroit. His talent is evident in the final scene when the other guitarists try to keep up when they all play The Band’s “The Weight” together.

Maybe it’s White’s youth that shines through, but it does help when you can sing and play. Jack is a character, Jimmy Page is an artist who could have been a painter, and The Edge is what he is and says he could have done anything.

Sitting in the smaller theater and watching the film felt like I was invited into a very private room and having an intimate story told to me. You really are let into the process of how much goes into their art, and if you remotely admire their music you need to see this movie on the big screen. The sound and picture at the Zinema 2 frame an excellent film that brings three people together and tells a story of passion and dedication.

Jack White had his own view in the opening when he says, “I plan to trick all of these guys into teaching me their ticks… When the three of us get together what’s gonna happen? Probably a fist-fight.”