A Skin, A Night & The Virginia EP
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This is a documentary about The National by French filmmaker Vincent Moon, who followed the group during the creation of their acclaimed 2007 release, "Boxer." It's an insightful and beautiful glimpse into the band's creative process. The DVD is packaged with a separate disc, "The Virginia EP", which contains twelve tracks of demos, a cover, live versions, a radio session, and b-sides. Look for them on tour with REM and Modest Mouse in May. Coachella confirmed.
Top Customer Reviews
Providing further insight into the creative process, The Virginia EP collects nearly all of the b-sides and demos (a rare extended version of "Brainy" is missing), as well as select live recordings from this fruitful period for the National. Songs like "Santa Clara", "Tall Saint", and "Forever After Days" show that even the tossed-aside material from Boxer is staggering. Meanwhile, the lighthearted "Blank Slate" and "Slow Show" demo illustrate the ways in which the songs change, grow, and find identities of their own. The EP tells a story of creative exploration parallel to "A Skin, A Night" that reveals even more about the band and their journey from studio to stage.
"A Skin, A Night/The Virginia EP" is a perfect companion to the intricately detailed beauty of Boxer that I would highly recommend to any fan of the National.
As to the "A Skin, A Night" DVD (62 min.) (I rate it 3.5 stars), please be aware that this is not a documentary, or a concert DVD, but instead a deeply subjectve FILM by Vincent Moon. It brings mostly behind the scenes looks of the band working on the "Boxer" album, interspersed with comments from the band how they got started and how long a road it has been to finding success (only with the "Alligator" album did they climb out of debt from earlier ventures, comments one of the guys). This being a film, I don't expect I'll be watching this again and again, as you wouldn't most movies. But it stands well on its own, a subjective mood reflection on the National.
As to "The Virginia EP" (12 tracks, 49 min.) (I rate it 4.5 stars), it brings a collection of B-sides, demos and live tracks, and it is fantastic. The initial three tracks are awesome: "You've Done It Again, Virginia", "Santa Clara" and especially "Blank Slate" are all tracks that would've fitted nicely onto "Boxer". The demos are surpisingly well-fleshed out for being demos, and my favorites are "Forever After Days" and "Slow Down". As to the live tracks, "Fake Empire" and "About Today" are fantastic, and I can't help but notice they were recorded at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels (in November, 2007), where I saw many a show in my early years before moving to the US.
I've had the good fortune to catch these guys live a number of times now (most recently at the Langerado Festival in South Florida in March of this year) and they are electric live.Read more ›
Vincent Moon is trying desperately to make The National a legend. It's almost like he's hoping either the lead singer will die early or the band will become really famous eventually, and he can claim dibs on their first documentary. Moon does the right thing in bringing the music to the forefront, but it hurts the interviews, which I could barely hear or understand. Tons of time is wasted on meaningless scenes of NYC or nearly empty rooms. They hyper saturated color is annoying to watch. No one is as dramatic as Moon makes The National out to be. It's absolutely dreadful as a rock doc, a film, and a document of recording one of the great albums of 2007.
Moon should have watched "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" to learn how to make a movie about making a great album.
I do not blame the band in disappointing me with this film. Call me blindly loyal to The National, but the fact of the matter is that they did not create this film - Vincent Moon did. And what about it disappoints me?
I feel that any documentary about a band has a certain responsibility to the fans of the music. Obviously the director has the right to create whatever film he wants to create, but people aren't watching A Skin, A Night because Vincent Moon filmed it. They are watching for the same reason I am watching, and that is to receive the pleasure of learning more about the band and the album that we love. Instead, Moon gives us what I believe to be a somewhat self-indulgent, abstract film that consists of dull "artsy" shots from a gritty camera, sprinkled with enough valuable clips of the band to keep me watching, but that ultimately leave me dissatisfied and simply pissed off.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terrific band, terrific album. One of their older ones and hard to find. Contains some great songs from one of the most important bands of this decade.Published on February 23, 2014 by Richard T. Bogle
Great album. I can't speak ice anyone else but these guys are stars. Guy buy the bum guys and you will SeePublished on October 22, 2013 by akil ahmed
You never get a really true insight of any band in a documentary setting, do you?. Members of the group discuss this phenomenon. Read morePublished on May 26, 2013 by Traxler
I don't see it listed anywhere that this a PAL dvd. My dvd player will not play PAL region DVDs. So I'm unable to watch it on my television and now I'm returning this... Read morePublished on October 26, 2012 by Paul Leonardo
I love The National and was excited to see some behind-the-scenes stuff in the documentary. Unfortunately, it's just lame, art school dropout stuff.Published on September 13, 2010 by Joseph G. Morse