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Instrument (2001)

 NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Price: $15.97 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Instrument + Keep Your Eyes Open: The Fugazi Photographs of Glen E. Friedman
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Dischord
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2001
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ZDQID0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,234 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This DVD features a collaboration between filmmaker Jem Cohen and the Washington D.C. band Fugazi, covering the 10 year period of 1987-1996. Far from a traditional documentary, this is a musical document; a portrait of musicians at work. The project mi

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind The Scenes With Fugazi August 5, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Well, I know I've been curious. I've wanted to look behind the Fugazi curtain to hear and see what goes on when the band writes, tours and records. Fugazi's new Instrument video and soundtrack CD provide an all-access pass to the inner workings of one of today's premier bands.
I ordered both from Dischord and watched the video (a few times, I'm not ashamed to admit) before listening to the soundtrack CD, and I think that's the way to do it. The documentary, shot nonstop by Jem Cohen on tours, in the studio and at rehearsals, shows the members of Fugazi doing what they do best: making music and going to all of the places it takes them. There are several laugh out loud parts -- a well-meaning fan who incorrectly recalls Ian's days in Black Flag, while mispronouncing his name, Guy plotting the death of a Hollywood legend, Joe's futile attempt to tell everyone about his Iggy Pop dream, Brendan rigging a motel showerhead with Dial soap, a slick MuchMusic correspondent who enthusiastically mangles their lyrics...It's a feel-good flicka that leaves me wishing that Guy had a dance studio I could sign up for.
The Instrument soundtrack includes demos of songs that haven't evolved into regular album tracks and raw working 'drafts' of now-familiar songs, some of which are included in the documentary's music bed. A dream come true for any Fugazi fan.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How Special Of You, Jem June 19, 2000
By Michael
Format:VHS Tape
I love this movie...and I hate this movie. Some of it, particularly the early concert material, thrills me more than just about any rock footage, ever. As a collector of punk/hardcore video (Pistols, Clash, Iggy Pop, Minor Threat, X, Circle Jerks, Big Black, Sonic Youth...) I don't give such praise lightly.
Fugazi are equally powerful in the interview segments, where they come off as more intelligent, passionate and witty than on their records. Everything this band is about is represented (in some form or other) in this film, and I'm stunned by Cohen's skill and concision in portraying them so vividly in just two hours. To watch it repeatedly is to fall in love with Fugazi.
Somehow these highlights only make my frustration with the film worse. Some stretches are infected with the dreaded "Rattle and Hum" disease: "casual" interviews more boring than disarming, a confusing chronology, and some unspeakably artsy b & w footage of blurry buildings, slow-motion jamming without live sound, and dazed concertgoers. This stuff would be forgivable from a freshman film-school angle if it didn't seem to necessitate butchering some great band performances.
Because Fugazi are basically about music, especially live music. And my main objection is that this movie, for all its wit and integrity, gives no sense of what Fugazi were like in concert. No song is shown from beginning to end; they are all interrupted, disemboweled, or shown at varying speeds with average studio jams dubbed over them. Think about it--a stage performance is a pure presentation of thought and emotion that needs no reinterpretation. Quite often you wonder at the arrogance of a film-maker who imposes his artistic vision over that of the band.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting documentary for a landmark band February 11, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'm not going to explain Fugazi to you, if you're reading this you probably already love them. So, on to the DVD. It's a documentary, by Jem Cohen, who collaborated with the band since 1987. You get plenty of live footage, studio stuff, outtakes, touring moments, and a mass of interviews that NAIL exactly what Fugazi is all about. Well, worth this Fugazi fan's money, and well worth yours too. I can't say that about many other bands.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This documentary is great in that it combines both 8mm, 16mm, and video medias. It also uses sync, and non sync sound. The musical collages, and demos where amazing. I liked this film because it showed both behind the scenes footage (interviews, band @ grandparents house)with stage performances. It is amazing how this film brought so much intense emotion to fugazi's music with slow motion, silences, and the use of text through out the film. I think that anyone who enjoys fugazi will love this film.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A journey into the mind of a very unique band March 27, 2002
By R. Fox
I've liked Fugazi for some time now, perhaps several years, but all I knew of them up until I saw this video was the CDs I had and the select interviews I'd been lucky enough to stumble across along the way. Of course, everyone who's into HC or punk knows exactly who Ian Mackaye is, but as for the band as a complete unit operating together, I was all ears.
The actual film is very stylishly shot and put together. There's loads of on-stage antics, both comical and musical, straight away proving that the band can be fun, even though their albums can sound a bit serious and sombre at times. There's lots and lots of stock footage of the band giving interviews and small talks about what they're up to both on the stage and off, and there's also lots of really interesting footage of fans giving their views of the band outside the stage doors before and after shows. Now, this to me was especially intersting, because I found out that after just half an hour after the film had started that the band had a very definite view of what they do, so I was keen to hear what the fans thought. Some loved it and were very descriptive as to why they thought the band were so good (revolutionary, alternative and original are words that cropped-up), some just found them as they took them and went along after hearing just one song, and some folks really didn't like them, saying stuff like Ian Mackaye was a rock star and they were just full of it.
It makes sense that a band like this can cause such diverse views about them. The thing is about original, and especially alternative artists, is that there is a certain kind of front to their sound that implies either a welcoming gesture of 'Hey, we're here. Hope you like it!', or it can be taken as 'Step aside, we're too cool for you!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD if you love Fugazi
This is a must have DVD if you love Fugazi. Well worth the money. The live performances are awesome! Great band and great live shows.
Published on November 23, 2009 by K. Franz
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite band documentary of all time.
I'll never forget about 8 years ago when a friend of mine handed me this dvd. I watched it that evening, and it brought tears to my eyes. Read more
Published on May 8, 2009 by Ricky J. Leitner
5.0 out of 5 stars A close, personal look at an amazing and important band
I must admit that I became a fan of Fugazi late in the band's career; perhaps a year or two before they released their last album "Argument. Read more
Published on October 6, 2007 by S. Reddy
4.0 out of 5 stars Fugazi vs. Audience
The most prominent thing I took away from this film and from my experiences seeing Fugazi several times in the early - mid 90s is how often the band found itself at odds with... Read more
Published on April 30, 2007 by Daniel Richmond
3.0 out of 5 stars The Grateful Dead of Punk
Well, it starts out with good footage of a show in Washington state. They then hack off the end of the song they are performing. Read more
Published on December 26, 2005 by Pozzytraction
4.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmmm
I realy want to give this 5 stars but......

First off this is supposed to be a documentary of Fugazi, who they are, what they do etc... Read more
Published on August 8, 2005 by Gogol
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well peiced together documentary
I thoughorly enjoyed this disc. I found it entertaining, cathartic, funny, and a darn pleasure to watch. Read more
Published on July 1, 2005 by Mark
3.0 out of 5 stars Way Over-Directed
Fugazi is one of the best live bands ever. This doc tries way too hard to mimic Fugazi's arty rhythms. When the band is rocking on stage; all is right. Read more
Published on May 6, 2005 by Chris Kirk
5.0 out of 5 stars Get It NOW
If you are even reading this these reviews......Then Buy it!!! You will not be sorry
Published on February 5, 2005 by James T. Enright
5.0 out of 5 stars minimalist poetry in action
This is a fascinating documentary.

It's well edited and evenly paced.

Fugazi is poetry. Read more
Published on March 19, 2004 by PSM/Bokor
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