Saturday, December 19, 2015

Daft Punk Unchained

Directed and shot by Herve Martin-Delpierre and written by Martin-Depierre and Marina Rozenman, Daft Punk Unchained is a documentary about the seminal French electronic duo who are considered the forefathers of the modern wave of electronic dance music. From the band’s early years as part of the alternative band Darlin’ to becoming icons in electronic music, the film doesn’t just play into their work as artists but also maintain a sense of mystique about them as they rarely do interviews as well as not make any kind of public appearances unless they’re wearing costumes as robots. The result is a fascinating film about one of the finest groups to ever come out in the world of electronic music.

From their formation in 1993 after being part of the French alternative rock group Darlin’ with future Phoenix-cofounder Laurent Brancowitz, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo would form the duo known as Daft Punk based on a review for their band as well as going to raves which were hot in those times. The film plays into not just their early beginnings but also the sense of mystique that has loomed over the band ever since the late 1990s where they started wearing masks and such to avoid what is typical of promotion in those days. On the first day of the new Millennium, the two would wear masks and such claiming they have become robots as it only increased their mystique even more as well as being more inaccessible to the press where they’re rarely seen unmasked.

Featuring interviews with collaborators such as Kanye West, Giorgio Moroder, Paul Williams, Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams, and filmmaker Michel Gondry. The film plays into not just their influence but also the albums they made and why they didn’t want to play by the rules with the industry. While they would use videos to promote their music, it would be their legendary performance at the 2006 Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California that would make them a very popular live act. The film also features rare audio interviews with Daft Punk that only adds more to their mystique. Director Herve Martin-Delpierre would also compile many rare archival interviews with the group before their decision to mask themselves as well as play into many of the stunts and such that played into their music and how they presented it.

Especially as prominent EDM figures such as Pete Tong and current EDM star Skrillex reveal exactly what Daft Punk has done for the genre. Through some stylish editing and the usage of music that had influenced Daft Punk including film footage from Brian de Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise. While many who talk about Daft Punk revel into their importance, it all plays into what the group is really about which is making good music and making it matter no matter if it’s retro or innovative.

Daft Punk Unchained is an excellent film from Herve Martin-Delpierre. Not only is it a film that fans of the group will enjoy but also will introduce those unfamiliar with electronic music the group’s importance for the genre. In the end, Daft Punk Unchained is a superb film from Herve Martin-Delpierre.

© thevoid99 2015

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