Feature Film | James Murphy By John Wilson
Someone great is gone.
"And it keeps coming 'til the day it stops," wails LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy during the four-hour Madison Square Garden performance marking the band's end and serving as the framework to the documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits. It's particularly appropriate for the band, whose meteoric rise to dance-punk demigods ended just as abruptly. Filmmakers Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace follow Murphy in the 48 hours surrounding the show, interspersing footage from an incisive interview with pop-culture philosopher Chuck Klosterman, which gives the idiosyncratic Murphy the opportunity to explain his motives for calling it quits. LCD Soundsystem doesn't break up because of clashing egos, spiraling drug habits, or critical backlash, they end on the highest of high notes precisely so those things don't happen. In the future, when dictionaries are composed of video entries, Shut Up...will almost certainly be the entry for "bittersweet." Southern and Lovelace use quite a bit of concert footage, but because of the access they had, the shots of the band tell more of a story than any interview ever could. One is overwhelmed with the singular sense that something is truly, irreversibly ending, like a college graduation or teenage years. The film will be much less accessible for those unfamiliar with LCD Soundsystem, especially since there are no efforts made to identify anyone onscreen, but the film allows you to experience a profound and important moment for a group of talented people, and Shut Up and Play the Hits is well worth it.
|Shut Up and Play the Hits Clip|