The selection of instant streaming options on Netflix is constantly shifting. It is easy to find live concert footage of your favorite musicians, as well as somewhat controlled documentaries on the making of various albums. For someone who wants a bit more in-depth view of various aspects of the music entertainment industry, you have to look a bit harder for riveting documentaries. Here is a list of five of the most extraordinary, bizarre, and fascinating music-related documentaries currently available via Netflix instant streaming.
5. Until the Light Takes Us – Directed by Aaron Aites, Audrey Ewell
This movie gives viewers an inside look in to the “Inner Circle” of the Black Metal subculture, more well known for the murders, suicides, and church burnings than its music. This documentary does not offer much of a cohesive perspective or a thorough history on the mayhem that took place in the Black Metal scene of the 90’s. But it does offer rare, candid interviews with a number of performers associated with the notorious Norwegian music scene.
4. Last Days Here – Directed by Don Argott and Demian Fenton
The subject of this film, Bobby Liebling, was the singer in a Heavy Metal band of the 80’s, Pentagram. They were thought to have great talent and potential. But like so many amazingly gifted acts, they never really “made it”. And like so many artists who skyrocket at a young age, Liebling had no other skills to reply upon once the band and his success faded. Filmed mostly in his parent’s home, the movie takes interesting turns as he falls in love with a much younger fan and attempts to break lifelong addictions for one last chance in the spotlight.
3. I Think We’re Alone Now – Directed by Sean Donnelly
80’s pop star Tiffany and two fans’ obsession with her is only the tip of the iceburg in this documentary. A low-budget film, “I Think We’re Alone Now” goes beyond the simple exploration of pop star fanaticism. What viewers think will be an expose about one-hit-wonder shopping mall singer Tiffany and her enthusiastic fans turns out to be a much more interesting study of lost souls. One man in this film has Asperger’s and the other is an alcoholic intersex individual with Tiffany delusions much greater than any reality either has ever known. This documentary will leave viewers wondering where exactly does one draw the line between innocent admiration and dangerous obsession.
2. Anvil – Directed by Sacha Gervasi
After it’s creation and release, this documentary was picked up by for distribution by VH1, adding to its popularity. Originally headlining with acts like Bon Jovi and Scorpions, Anvil never saw the record sales their fellow rockers experienced. In this film, we see two if its down-and-out members working blue collar jobs and hoping for one more comeback. Momentum builds as we witness Anvil give it another go with a European tour and spends a month in the studio recording new material. But, ultimately, it may be the band’s members—not fan appreciation—that will make or break this band.
1. You’re Gonna Miss Me – Directed by Keven McAlester
The subject of this documentary is Rory Erickson, whose 13th Floor Elevators band carved the path to Psychedelic Rock in the 1960’s. On his wild rise to stardom, Erickson was busted for drug possession and made an example by the Texas court system. The three years he spent imprisoned in an institute for the criminally insane, combined with years of mind-melting drug use, inherited schizophrenia, and creative genius made for a lifelong cocktail of tumult—as this film displays. Knowing how influential his music was on generations of musicians and fans, it is shocking to see the life he now lives and the family struggles he faces in his attempt to come out of a decades-long maddening mental haze. The film ends with a dangling glimmer of hope that will impel viewers to follow up on Erickson’s story since the film wrapped.