1 GIANT LEAP; WHAT ABOUT ME? (Border DVD)

 |   |  1 min read

1 Giant Leap: I Have Seen Trouble (with Michael Stipe)
1 GIANT LEAP; WHAT ABOUT ME? (Border DVD)

Well, this should keep you occupied for a few days of solid viewing.

This new project by 1 Giant Leap (Duncan Bridgemen and Jamie Catto) took three years to film and edit, and had them travelling from Gabon to the most remote place in China, as well as doggedly trying to nail down REM's Michael Stipe to record his vocal part. (It was worth the effort, his song is a standout.)

The premise is simple: the duo take a rhythmic backing track to various musicians (some famous, most not) and have them add an instrumental or vocal passage. So one piece of gorgeously meandering music may have African drums, Indian flute, a Chinese singer and Japanese koto. (I made that up, but you get the picture).

But wait, in this case there is more, much more.

Because they gave themselves loosely philosophical ideas to explore they got some interesting people also contributing in snappy soundbites: Bob Geldof, Stephen Fry, Noam Chomsky, author Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Billy Connolly . . . All sharing the same context as throat singers Huun Huur Tuu, rappers, kd lang, a choir from small African village, some hilarious Chinese women who (tongue-in-cheek) acclaim television as their key to happiness . . . 

This double-disc DVD is the story of that process in various forms. There are 12 short films around the themes, a two hour movie version (some of the same footage but also some not) and the rapid cut television series. It is a colourful, provocative, fascinating dive into global culture and while you won't agree with everything that is said by various people, that is also part of the point.

Rather than a complete and closed conversation What About Me? is actually more like a discussion board for ideas and ideologies. Don't expect answers, they aren't here.

But what is showcased in beautfully shot and rather exotic footage are the various voices of the planet, people singing their culture, or sometimes just taking the piss out of the two English guys who have turned up in their village.

It is a lot of fun -- and over two discs there is a lot of it. Save it for a rainy weekend. It'll fill the time effortlessly. 

Share It

Your Comments

Alexandra - Dec 24, 2008

This is so uplifting, extra-ordinary and inspiring. Wonderfully crafted film and a delightful celebration of the humanbeing and its ability to create music. I watched both DVDs back to back. An amazingly beautiful joyous project.

post a comment

More from this section   Film articles index

BOOZE IN THE MOVIES: Through a glass, darkly . . .

BOOZE IN THE MOVIES: Through a glass, darkly . . .

For a few days in my late teens I stayed on Moturekareka, an island just south of Kawau Auckland's Hauraki Gulf. The sole other occupant was alcoholic old Snow who lived in a crude shack lined with... > Read more

THE UNFORGIVEN, a film by JOHN HUSTON (Triton DVD)

THE UNFORGIVEN, a film by JOHN HUSTON (Triton DVD)

Not to be confused with Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven -- or the excellent if short-lived outlaw-rock band of the same name -- The Unforgiven from 1960 is one of John Huston's ambitious Westerns, cast... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER NICK SMITH concludes communism is good for something . . .

GUEST WRITER NICK SMITH concludes communism is good for something . . .

Some of the best pop music ever written sprang from the need to sing about the forbidden, particularly by dipping into that well-spring of denied human desire. In western culture, forbidden... > Read more

R.E.M. GREEN REISSUED (2013): This is a call . . .

R.E.M. GREEN REISSUED (2013): This is a call . . .

When Green was released in late 1988, Allan Jones in Melody Maker said he was reminded “how much REM are the group that U2 so deafeningly want to be: visionary, bold and lucid, prophets of... > Read more