Released on Netflix April 8th Metal Lords has talked a lot about themselves, albeit perhaps for the wrong reasons. Critics and fans alike kept tabs on the film as its production featured the names of Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and DB Weiss. However, the film’s appeal goes far beyond that curriculum its producers: Metal Lords is a coming of age cute based on metal, which knows how to conquer the audience with constant references to the best rock music of the last decades and with a story that amuses, fascinates and even moves. Consider Metal Lordsbut it also means to serve one long line of comparisons with School of Rockthe musical training film par excellence, directed by Richard Linklater, which has meanwhile become a generational cult.
Metal is power, metal is speed
That There are many similarities between Metal Lords and School of Rockso much so that at various moments it seems that the work of Peter Sollett (Freeheld – Love, Justice, Equality) draw heavily on the narrative and stylistic clichés introduced by Linklater only twenty years ago.
For example, as is usual with musical films, both are films built around a clash of bands, which will give rise to rapid maturation of the group of protagonists. The musical challenge is certainly the engine of both productions, which use the event as a propeller for their entire narrative. However, the main characters of the two films are to be changed. In case of School of Rockas a matter of fact, The focus of the story is an adult, played by a Jack Black in a state of grace who, unsurprisingly, called School of Rock the pinnacle of his career. In case of Metal LordsThe absolute protagonists, however, are three sixteen-year-olds, namely Kevin (Jaeden Martell), Hunter (Adrien Greensmith) and Emily (Isis Hainsworth).
In fact, the big difference between the two films is that one has a man as the protagonist who is about to make a late transition to a society-imposed maturity, while the other revolves around that Identity formation process of three teenagerswith all the attachments and connections of the case, between first loves, school rivalries and friendships formed and destroyed.
To a grown-up eye, the plot is of Metal Lords it seems frivolous and stereotypical, with rather predictable and in some ways almost obvious situations. Backward, School of Rock has a more mature and complete history, despite that Jack Black’s co-stars are ten-year-olds, whose vicissitudes seem far removed from the adult world. On the other hand, the incredible ability to appeal to a transgenerational audience is one of the strengths of Richard Linklater’s film: if you want to know more, we invite you to read our review of School of Rock. On the contrary, the production signed by Benioff and Weiss does not detach itself from the label of Film for a very young audiencewhose main purpose is to propose a Teen Drama Alternative to the highly sentimental titles already plentiful on Netflix: even in this case, however, you can read our review of Metal Lords. What the two titles have in common, apart from the enormous stylistic, narrative and qualitative differences, is a very strong love for rock musicwhat in the case of Metal Lords apparently, it carries a precise “extreme” connotation.
The musical passion of the authors of the two films can be seen very clearly in two scenes that are very similar to each other: there are two moments that are actually quite short, but which are precisely because of this that they take on a conciseness They break up the narrative with didactic lists of songs and albums listen. While in the school of rock, the “teacher” Dewey Finn recommends bands like that Led ZeppelinI dark purple egg queenthe (very long) list Hunter gave Kevin includes groups of the caliber of engine headof Black Sabbathof Iron Maiden and gods Judas priest.
It takes little to find out which were bestowed by Dewey and Hunter they are actually “homework” for viewersa series of songs to listen to alongside composing the soundtrack of the respective productions following the vision to understand the reasons for the existence of the two films, which undeniably stem from a passionate love for rock.
Growing up with music
On the other hand, one analyzes the huge panorama of come of age More recently, we can’t help but notice that music plays a central role in education and in music individual cultural background of each teenagerat least according to US directors.
Think Richard Linklater production, full of coming-of-age movies starting with childhoodNominated for an Oscar in 2014, she goes through the beauty Everyone wants somethingfrom 2016 to get to the spiritual prequel of the latter, Life is a Dream (1993), et al very new apollo 10 and a half, which also released Always on Netflix in early April (you can also read our Apollo 10 and a half review if you’d like). There is a strong musical connotation in all of these productions, with the soundtrack serving not only to further immerse the viewer in the historical period in which the action takes place, but also explain the personal taste of the protagonists, who often recognize themselves in those of the director himself. On the other hand, simply stating what a character’s favorite song or album is is often enough to give the audience a clear idea of their character, ideas, and beliefs.
The film most emblematic of Richard Linklater’s passion for music is Everyone wants somethingthe straight from the title reminiscent of the Van Halen song of the same namepublished in 1980, the symbolic year of the decade in which the come of age American filmmaker’s university, ideal continuation childhood, which ends once the protagonist reaches college acceptance age. Anyone who has seen the film will remember it throbbing presence of “My Sharona” of talentpublished in 1979, at the beginning of the Eighties. However, if you haven’t seen Linklater’s 2016 title, we recommend checking out our review of Everyone Wants Something.
In turn too Apollo 10 and a half it has a very strong musical connotation, but this time it comes from the sixties, whose most emblematic songs (at least as far as the United States is concerned) often appear in the film’s soundtrack. In short, if there is a director who fully expresses the idea that the Music is an essential part of any adult education from a young age, this is Richard Linklater.
However, let it be clear that the films directed by Richard Linklater or directed by Richard Linklater Metal Lords it is not an isolated case. Another interesting example of integrating music as an integral part of a film come of age and is the “strong” descriptive element of its protagonists Licorice Pizza, a masterpiece by Paul Thomas Anderson Also hit theaters in Italy just a month ago (and which we already praised in our Licorice Pizza review). The film, set in 1973 (the year of the great energy crisis that affects the plot of the film itself), is real musical time capsule of the seventieswhich includes songs like “July Tree” by Nina Simone, one of the jazz masterpieces of the second half of the twentieth century, “Stumblin’ in” by Chris Norman and Suzi Quatro and “But You’re Mine”. by Sonny and Cher, which is one of the most iconic and appropriate, also because of the thematic affinity complex love between Gary Valentine and Alana Kane.