Pearl Jam Twenty
Director: Cameron Crowe
Pearl Jam, one of the most popular rock bands of the 1990s, rose from the ashes of Mother Love Bone in the booming Seattle music scene. Through rare footage Cameron Crowe’s documentary shows how the band broke through and how its singer Eddie Vedder turned from a shy outsider to a consummate leader. The band’s members are portrayed as idealistic musicians who were uncomfortable with overnight success. However, they used their popularity to avoid making music videos and to challenge the monopoly of Ticketmaster in North America. Crowe’s film is an interesting historical record but he has assembled it through fanboy glasses. He stresses the band’s longevity, but pretty much shrugs off the forgettable second half of their career. And yet, it seems to go on forever, and looks to be ending for the last 30 minutes. Incidentally, Crowe’s Seattle-set second film Singles features members of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains.