Monday, July 10, 2006

The Japan Times doesn't know metal.

Japan times review of "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey."

My response to this article, mailed today, is below:

I feel obligated to write you and inform you that I found Giovanni Fazio's "review" of Metal: A Headbanger's Journey to be poorly conceived, poorly written, and overly-dismissive of an entire sub-culture.

Flatly put: I don't think Fazio knows what he's talking about, and his insistence on insulting music that I care about is condescending and incommensurate with his duties as a journalist. Just review the film, OK?

From his pronouncements on anthropological distance for the sake of study (laughable) to his disturbing lack of insight about metal and underground music ritual, it seems Fazio was more interested in talking about what he thinks of metal more than reviewing a flick.

"The metal subculture -- and many others -- ultimately propagates a lie: take me as I am, it insists, an outsider; accept me for my uniqueness and difference. But in the end, metal offers more of the same: conformity, and a more rigid and narrow conformity than most. The film's scenes of crowds at metal shows, uniformly clad in black resemble the mass conformity of fascism more than any individuality."

Is this guy a socio-political doctoral candidate or a movie reviewer? Fazio mentions both fascism and conformity without expressing any knowledge of the intricate and varied nature of metal music or show ritual. He also seeks individuality during a defined group ritual, which is like me going to mass and screaming "WHERE THE LADIES AT?"

The trappings of "fascism" exist anywhere with group rituals... don't get hung up because you saw a bunch of black tshirts.

"When so much of the style is obsessed with Satan, death and occult imagery it can't really complain about being demonized."

Really? Does Napalm Death 20 plus year decryal of late-stage capitalism or Carcass' appeal to vegetarians have anything to do with Iron Maiden's operatic fantasies? Does Godflesh's maudlin obsession with decay and broken dreams have anything to do with Slayer's adrenaline-fueled descriptions of transgression and hell?


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Anonymous Don said...

Excellent response. Fazio's reviews are usually lacking in that "critical distance" he so values.

10:10 PM  
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