Starring: Jack White, Jimmy Page, The Edge
Directed by: Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”)
Turning his attention from climate changes to key changes, Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) creates rock ’n’ roll heaven in his newest documentary “It Might Get Loud.”
Featuring guitarists Jack White of the White Stripes, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, and The Edge of U2, Guggenheim makes the rules simple: Toss the trio into a comfortable environment where they can swap stories and talk rock history, leave a few electric guitars and amplifiers laying around, turn on the camera, step back, and see what happens.
The musical experiment isn’t like putting chimpanzees in a cage full of Legos and hoping for the best. If you’re familiar with the careers of White, Page, and Edge, it’s pretty obvious what is going to occur if given the time to bond during the course of one afternoon: one hell of a jam session.
Between the electric guitar strumming, Guggenheim gets to the root of each man and their deep-seated passion for their craft. White, Page, and Edge might be the most diverse group Guggenheim could have assembled, but once you see the respect they share for each others’ musical styles, the gathering of guitarists causes sparks. No matter which generation you relate to the most, “It Might Get Loud” definitely turns up the volume.
The one-on-one time Guggenheim gets with each man is also priceless. Traveling back to where music became the cornerstone of their lives, Guggenheim is able to draw fascinating opinions and musical philosophies out of them as if he has known them forever. Edited into these intriguing interviews is archive footage of past performances with different bands. It almost feels like the men themselves have invited you into their homes to share something special; something that will be added to their legacy once all is said and done.
While each of their biographies is worthy enough of its own documentary, the most revealing scenes of the film are when the music is flowing out of them as a small ensemble. Once White, Page, and Edge get passed the sometimes-awkward small talk, there’s more to be expressed on the strings than any dialogue could ever compare to. In one scene, Page is playing alone as White watches attentively and smiles as if the two just shared a moment than no one else experienced. It’s that connection between the musicians that makes “It Might Get Loud” a once-in-a-lifetime moment no real rocker (or wannabe for that matter) should miss.