søndag den 6. november 2011

CPH:DOX | Andrew Bird: Fever Year

Innumerable Santa hats, free beer streaming plentifully from the back of horse drawn carts, the occupants merrily united in song. Downtown Copenhagen is teeming with inebriated folk celebrating the launch of Tuborg’s annual Christmas brew. It is J-Day – the infamous date in Denmark’s calendar when one should be prepared to witness the unthinkable. And that we did. 

Buried in a cosy cinema below the revelry, fifteen or so strangers were greeted with birdsong. In her directorial debut, Xan Aranda captures the essence of Andrew Bird’s creative evolution, and that of the man himself. She chases the feverish virtuoso through the final months of a gruelling yearlong tour, all the while he chases the ghost. Bird steadfastly believes that the evolution of his music is imperative to its survival, likening the process to that in the animal kingdom. His rigorous fifteen-year touring career is a testament to this. 

Bird is satisfied on stage; here his music exists in a malleable state, free of the constraints inherent in the recording process. A lingering fear of repetition repeatedly thrusts him back onto the touring circuit where, he explains, his songs regain elasticity and his shows exist as shared moments privy to only those present. Clearly such a whirlwind lifestyle does have its drawbacks; true to the title Bird was afflicted with a perpetual fever for the duration of the tour. 165 shows later, and on crutches, Bird returns to the family farm to reclaim himself, to play for the sheer joy of playing, free of pressure, free of expectations.

In 'Andrew Bird: Fever Year', Aranda has eloquently pieced together a poetic masterpiece for the senses. Not only has she gifted Bird’s ever-faithful audience with insight, but more importantly, a shared memory. Bird, who owns all of the commercial rights, has no plans to show the documentary beyond the festival circuit.

And so we rejoin the festivities, whistling.

Further screenings:
Empire Bio | Thursday 10/11 | 22:30 | 75 kroner

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