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 at Elsewhere articles index

FIVE MINUTES OF HEAVEN, a film by OLIVER HIRSCHBIEGEL (Madman DVD)

FIVE MINUTES OF HEAVEN, a film by OLIVER HIRSCHBIEGEL (Madman DVD)

Although this seems to have all the hallmarks of a stage play adapted for the screen, Five Minutes to Heaven (by the director of the gripping Hitler-bunker drama Downfalll) is based on a true story... > Read more

LENNONYC, a doco by Michael Epstein (DocPlay)

LENNONYC, a doco by Michael Epstein (DocPlay)

Released 10 years ago and now on DocPlay, this two-hour documentary shines a spotlight on John Lennon moving to his newly adopted home in New York City and the disturbing politics of the period.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

PHOTOGRAPHER ALFREDO BINI PROFILED (2012): Point and shoot, and be shot at

PHOTOGRAPHER ALFREDO BINI PROFILED (2012): Point and shoot, and be shot at

As a career change, it couldn't have been more dramatic or life endangering. In a few fast years Alfredo Bini went from being a factory manager in Italy to a freelance photojournalist being shot... > Read more

PAT METHENY, REVIEWED? (2020): Uber killed the taxi curb-car

PAT METHENY, REVIEWED? (2020): Uber killed the taxi curb-car

The exceptional American guitarist Pat Metheny played one of those gig which jazz aficionados love . . . and those who don't “get” it just hate. I fell between the two. But... > Read more