Apocalypse: A Bill Callahan Tour Film – Movie Review Canadian Music Week 2013

Apocalypse: A Bill Callahan Tout Film

T-Mak World has extensive coverage of Canadian Music Week here

March 8 2013 – Canadian Music Week (CMW) is a multi-faceted festival that runs in Toronto, Canada every March. Last year T-Mak World saw and reviewed 34 bands and interviewed 10 more. This year we expand our coverage to movies! Yes it is true, CMW features a movie festival as part of its programming and this year it is entitled Canadian Music Week FilmFest 13. The three day film festival runs from March 21-23rd and features 8 films that all screen at the TIFF Lightbox. The full schedule can be seen here. Advanced tickets are priced at $10 each and can be purchased online at www.ticketfly.com or through www.cmwfilmfest.com. Day of screening tickets will be available at the TIFF Bell Lightbox box office. The movie plays March 23rd at 5:15pm.

Today we review Apocalypse: A Bill Callahan Tour Film. The description on the film’s CMW page reads:

“I think when I’m performing live, it’s really just the realest me there is,” says Bill Callahan (Smog) in this wonderful tour film that features intimate interviews and performances from the notoriously private Callahan’s 2011 tour.

The movie is a concert film with some commentary scenes in between songs. I must admit I have no idea who Bill Callahan is and that fact alone really made this movie uninteresting for me. The concert scenes are shot in various bars across the United States and the commentary is set in the backdrop of tour stops in that city. 

Just in case you are wondering who Bill Callahan is let me save you a trip to Wikipedia – here is the entry on him:

Bill Callahan (born June 3, 1966),[2][3] is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, who has also recorded and performed under the band nameSmog. Callahan began working in the lo-fi genre of underground rock, with home-made tape-albums recorded on four track tape recorders. Later he began releasing albums with the label Drag City, to which he remains signed today.

The movie feels out of place for Canadian Music Week (note the Canada part). A little bit too much American rah rah for me in the typical way Americans romanticize the good and the bad of their country. If I am going to watch a concert movie from an artist that I have never heard of at Canadian Music Week I would prefer it be a Canadian musician on the road across Canada. This movie simply did nothing for me. I  guess fans of Callahan would enjoy watching this movie, but for non-fans its a really uninspiring way to spend  60 minutes.

Verdict: 2 out of 5 – This is a film that is purely for a fan of Bill Callahan or his music. Since I am neither this movie was not very interesting for me, and the 60 minute investment that I put into this movie was not worth it (for me). Too much Americana for Canadian Movie Week – I would have rather seen a documentary on the newly departed Stompin Tom Conners. Not a bad film I guess, but just a film not for me.


Directors: Hanly Banks
Running Time: 61 Minutes

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