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LOW IN EUROPE

Germany, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Mooks Backbeat Music on Film)

Director: Sebastian Schrade

Low in Europe Germany

'Joy Division meets Simon and Garfunkel' is how Minnesota trio Low describe themselves. The band play dark, brooding but soulful songs stripped to their bare essentials: slow tempos, quiet voices, powerful lyrics, and minimal instrumentation. Director Sebastian Schrade climbed into the tour van with Low, braving sleep deprivation, road hypnosis, warm beer, cold food and 1,000 cigarettes to document last year's tour across Europe and the UK.

Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker formed Low in 1993 as an experiment in playing quiet, minimalist music; Zak Sally joined on bass in 1994. They have built an impressive (and possibly a little obsessive) following. Live, the band become another proposition altogether, transfixing audiences despite their lack of rock volume, choosing venues that suit the contemplative nature of their folk gothic music, including a breathtaking cathedral in Britain.

The documentary is told in backstage revelations, highway discussions and chats in bars rather than in formal interviews. Most importantly, it includes abundant performance footage and a fascinating encounter between Low and grindcore veterans Napalm Death.

D Sebastian Schrade P/WS Hit & Run Film TD Video/Col/2003/50mins

Sebastian Schrade was born in Reutlingen, Germany in 1967. Films include: Helden (1995, short), Schneckentot (1996, short), Hans im Dunst (1997, short), Berlin Tango (1999).

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