Category Archives: Unstaged

Duran Duran Unstaged DVD Review

I love getting new Duran Duran merchandise and my most recent purchase, Duran Duran Unstaged on DVD, arrived in my mailbox a couple of weeks ago.  I figured that I have had plenty of time to watch thoroughly (what I suffer through for this blog!) in order to provide a solid review.

Cover:

The cover of the DVD is not what I was expecting.  When Unstaged first happened in 2011 to when there were screenings here in the States, the image accompanying it was always this one:

Original Unstaged

This image isn’t a bad one.  After all, it goes really well with the All You Need Is Now album cover.  Yet, the DVD came with this image:

Unstaged front

In some way, the fangirl in me like this one better as the guys are all featured.  That said, I have to wonder about the inclusion of the lead singer of My Chemical Romance in the upper left.  Anyway, I like seeing the band members in full on performance-mode.  That said, will buyers be confused when they find out that it isn’t just a “regular” concert performance but a David Lynch production with various images combined with that concert performance.  In that sense, the original cover might be more appropriate.

The Show

Now, I have seen Unstaged at a movie theater and I have seen it on my computer screen.  Watching it on DVD was better than the computer screen (my monitor isn’t all that good!) but it wasn’t as fun as seeing it in the theater.  Then again, all things Duran would be better in a theater.  I have now been lucky enough to see Live from London, A Diamond in the Mind (at our Durandemonium convention in 2013) and Unstaged in theaters and all three were better in that format!  Of course, though, I will take what I can get!

The Special Features

There are 10 of them:

  • Reunited
  • Backstage
  • In the Studio
  • First instrument, concert and song
  • Starstruck
  • Q&A
  • Nick’s dream
  • Simon’s dream
  • White light
  • Trailer

Reunited

This special feature is a compilation of individual interviews with the band members discussing the band’s reuniting.  Nick and Simon focused on how they never left while John and Roger gave background info about when and where it took place.  The other focus of these interviews was Mark Ronson and seeing him DJ.  I remember having seen all of these interviews before when Unstaged was about to happen.

Backstage

This clip has no talking to it but shows the band backstage, getting ready, warming up before showing a bit of them performing.  This feature was new to me.  I only wished there was more to it!

In the Studio

This is the EPK that was released prior to the actual release date for All You Need Is Now.  I still love this and love that it reminds me of how much I adore the album, All You Need Is Now.

First instrument, concert and song

This part goes back to those individual interviews in which each band member is asked about their first musical instrument, first concert and the first song that made them cry.  Again, these were not  new interviews.

Starstruck

More individual interviews followed in this one.  In this case, the band discussed when and who first made them starstruck.  While these interview clips were like the rest, I don’t remember having seen these before.  To me, anything I haven’t seen makes it worth the price of purchase!

Q&A

This was the strange Q&A that David Lynch led before the show.  He spoke in a weird “language” and read questions that people sent in (where?  how?  I don’t remember!  Does anyone?).  Some questions were were all members and others specified certain band members.  I remember having seen this before as well.

Nick’s Dream

This one was new to me!  In this one, Nick discussed his dream, which he concludes was due to being tired and jet-lagged causing people and things to be out of sync!  Good thinking!

Simon’s Dream

Unlike Nick’s dream, Simon retelling his dream wasn’t new to me.  I did appreciate that at the end Simon did not have any idea what his dream meant.  That made me laugh the first time and this time as well!

White Light

Like Nick’s dream, this one was unfamiliar to me!  In this one, Nick is sitting in a darkened room.  It is unclear if he is talking about a dream or a story.  It sounds like he can definitely be a dream but he claims it happened.  Hmm…

Trailer

Last but not least is the trailer to Unstaged.  As I watched it one more time for this review, I decided that I have seen the trailer a bunch of times.

Overall

Most of the special features were ones that I have seen before and are available on YouTube.  That said, there were a couple of clips that were brand new to me.  I always love seeing new Duran footage.  I also really appreciate having all of these clips together in a format that doesn’t require me searching online, then having to make sure that they are what I was looking for, etc.  No, they are all together here, adding up to a nice extra 25 minutes.  Not bad.  Would I have liked more new parts?  Of course, but I am glad to have what is here for my Duran collection.

-A

Duran Duran Unstaged on DVD

Anyone see this posted on Duran Duran’s Facebook and Twitter this week?

Unstaged ad

That’s right.  Duran Duran’s Unstaged will be coming out on DVD in less than 2 weeks in the United States and Canada!  To refresh everyone’s memory, Unstaged was a film by David Lynch from a live concert that took place in Los Angeles in March 2011.  It wasn’t quite a concert film but it wasn’t quite something else either, but a combination of Duran Duran live with strange images and projections from the mind of David Lynch.  This DVD won’t be exactly new footage as some of us (coughRhondacough) were there that night while others of us reviewed it from the YouTube stream.  (You can read about Rhonda’s experience here and my review here.)  Unstaged was also shown in movie theaters as well, which many of us got to experience (read those reviews here and here.)  Despite having seen it streamed online and in a movie theater, I’m still pretty excited by this DVD release.  Why?  I’m excited to see how I view it now and I’m excited for those extras!

If you read my review in March of 2011, you can tell that I wasn’t super thrilled with it.  I didn’t know what to expect and it showed.  I found some of the images problematic and I missed just seeing the band perform live, which is more of what I expected based on other concert films.  Yet, when I went to see it in the theater, I knew what to expect and could really enjoy it more!  Yes, perhaps, my enjoyment increased due to seeing the band on the big screen!!  I have to admit that I have seen the band on the big screen three times (Live from London in November 2005, A Diamond in the Mind at Durandemonium in October 2013 and Unstaged) and each time has been REALLY awesome!  Is it seeing the band larger than life?  Is it being in a room with other fans?  A combination of both?  Maybe.  Thus, I’m interested to see how my reaction changes again after seeing it at home, in my own living room.

Of course, beyond seeing it for a third time, I’m pretty excited by those extras.  I’m always excited to see DVD extras.  According to the photo above, there are 11 extras.  Here is the list:

Trailer
Reunited
Backstage
In the Studio
First Instrument,
Concert & Song
Star Struck
Q&A
Nick s Dream
Simon s Dream
White Light

I suspect that we might have seen some, if not all of those.  I am also sure that many/most/all might be available on YouTube, but they aren’t all listed together and I can’t just watch all of them together.  Plus, I’m also confused by what I can find on YouTube.  For example, if I look up Duran Duran Unstaged Trailer, I find these videos and more.

Which trailer is the one on the DVD or will it be a completely new one to me?  I look forward to finding out!

I do wonder about a couple of things, though.  First, I wonder why it is being released on DVD vs. blu-ray.  I would have preferred to get it on blu-ray but I do understand that it might have been easier to produce on DVD for various reasons that are beyond my knowledge.  Second, I know that it has been released somewhere beyond North America but I can’t remember exactly where.  Australia?  If you know, let me know!  I also wonder why it can’t be released worldwide?!  I’m sure that there are lots of other fans who would love to own, just like I am!

What do the rest of you think?  Are you excited by this DVD release? Will you be ordering it, if you can?

-A

 

I Look at You Differently: My Unstaged in the Theatre Experience

Last week, Rhonda went to see Duran Duran’s Unstaged in the theatre with a friend of ours and she wrote about her experience in this post.  As someone who attended the actual concert, she had a unique view, which affected her enjoyment of seeing Unstaged now on the big screen.  I was not fortunate enough to be there at the Mayan Theatre in the spring of 2011.  Instead, I watched it from the comforts of my living room and reviewed it here.  I had watched some scenes/songs since but not the entire thing.  Still, I knew what to expect.  I wasn’t expecting to change my opinion about it but I was looking forward to spending time with some nearby Duranie friends and hearing Duran Duran in a movie theatre setting.  After all, I knew what it was like to see A Diamond in the Mind on the big screen during Durandemonium, our 2013 convention.  Besides, any day and time, you get to scream, clap, or shout for Duran with Duranies is a good day!

My little group of Duranies started off small as it began with just two of us from my place on Sunday morning.  Soon, we had picked up a third.  About 45 minutes later, a fourth completed our set and off we were.  ThUnstaged marqueee movie theatre where it was held in the Milwaukee area was in a little shopping center/mall area.  It totally reminded me of the same setting we had for the screening during the convention.  It was a nice area and provided us plenty of opportunities for food beforehand.  When we arrived at the theatre itself, we *squeed* a little when we saw Duran Duran on the movie marquee as we all stopped to take a picture of it.  Once inside, our excitement renewed when we were able to take pictures of the sign outside that particular screen’s door showing what was coming up next.  Again, we had a need to take more pictures.  We made ourselves comfortable and I decided to mingle a little.  After all, I had a few Daily Duranie wristbands left.  Perhaps, I might tell some people about this little blog I know, I thought.  Many of the people I chatted with before the “show” seemed excited by the blog.  Yet, it was clear that many of these people, while fans, weren’t so…dedicated, obsessed, focused on the day-to-day activities of the band and their fans.  I wished that there was more time as I would have loved to find out how they heard about the event to begin with.  One person did tell me that she is never online and she heard about it through the newspaper.  Really?  Fascinating.

Soon enough, it was time for the very loud previews to end andUnstaged door those familiar sounds of a Duran show that was to begin.  I found myself on the edge of my seat, wanting to get up as I would in a show but definitely not knowing what this crowd would be into.  I clapped and sang during the first couple of tracks but was dying to get up.  It seemed SO unnatural to stay seated.  Thank goodness for my friend, Lisa, who declared at the beginning of Planet Earth that she was getting up.  Yes!  Now, the party can really start!  Of course, it still took awhile for this to feel completely comfortable since the crowd beside my group remained in their seats.  I didn’t really get that since a couple of them were definitely dancing in their seats.  That said, we did sing, clap, shout “switch it off” and gave John his usual introduction chant.  At the end of the show, I again reached out to make contact with the rest of the crowd, which only numbered like 16 including us.  One woman did say that she was there on the Wednesday when it screened and that, while there were more people then, we were definitely more fun!  Oh yes.  Yes, we were.  Interestingly enough, while we were more fun, a couple actually got up and left in the middle of it.  I wonder why.  What were they expecting?  I wonder if they were expecting just a clear live performance or a behind-the-scenes documentary or what.

Expectations for this sort of thing does matter.  It definitely shadowed my thinking when I saw it “live”.  At that point, I was so starved to “see” the band and a show that I didn’t want anything extra.  I just wanted them.  It isn’t that I’m not feeling that way now but I know what to expect.  I also know that if I want a pure live show,  I can put on A Diamond in the Mind anytime I want.  Also, at the time the event happened and streamed on YouTube, we had a choice between cameras.  I don’t remember all of the details but I do remember that there was the crowd camera, for sure.  Thus, initially, I switched through them, which probably took away from me enjoying it.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there are still some elements of Unstaged that are not only NOT needed but harm the overall feel.  Those things are obvious including the Barbies, the mice, the sausages, etc.  That said, I found myself enjoying it a lot more this time around.  Was it that I knew what to expect?  I’m sure that helped.  Is it because I knew that the audience was probably going to be a little weirded out, especially since most hadn’t seen it and I have a strange need to stick up for anything Duran does when with people not in the fan community?  Is it the atmosphere of a movie theater?  Being with different people this time around?  All of the above?  Probably.  I just know that I felt a lot more relaxed while watching.  I wasn’t pushing to have it be something it is not.  I liked that the setlist was different and I was reminded of how much I adore Mark Ronson and what was accomplished with All You Need Is Now.  That reminder isn’t a bad thing.

-A

Unstaged group

The WI crew at Unstaged–From Left to Right:  Lara, Jennifer, Me, and Lisa!
 

One Night (not exactly) Only! – Unstaged on the big screen!

It is Thursday, and I have ONE question for you, Duranies!  Have you seen any good movies lately?!?

With three kids and a schedule that makes most men cry – I really don’t get out to the movies much. (I don’t get out of my CAR much, either!) That said, last night my husband and I made an exception and drove to Anaheim Hills, California to meet up with my friend Krista.

All three of us had been in the audience at the Mayan Theatre in Los Angeles on that fateful night in 2011 when it was filmed, so for us, it was a special opportunity to relive a memory. I very clearly remember standing in the rain that day, already sick with a cold and shivering (the things we’ll do for this band….), and my husband ran to a nearby store to buy a scarf, mittens and sweatshirt for me. I had no idea what to expect from the show aside from the fact that I knew the Mayan was a small venue, and that the band would likely be playing new music. If you’d like, you can read my original review from the show. As I composed this blog this morning, I re-read my review. Interesting how distance gives you clarity and much different prospective. I had eventually seen Unstaged online, but I hadn’t yet seen it on a big screen, and I am pretty sure my husband had never seen it, so I was curious to see what he thought.

I’m going to be completely honest, I didn’t really understand what David Lynch was thinking or what he was trying to communicate with some of the images he chose, but that’s art. I was fine with most of it, but I still didn’t really get the mice, hand puppets or sausages on a BBQ. That said, I can’t deny that seeing the band on a big screen is a huge draw(just as it was when we did the special screening of Diamond in the Mind on a big screen for Durandemonium – one of the best things we planned for the entire convention, in my opinion!).  The theater that we attended was about 60% full, but everyone stayed seated.  In hindsight we should have sat in the back so that we could have gotten up and danced because I could barely contain myself and no one else around us danced. In fact, Krista and I kept singing along and doing all of the familiar hand Simon hand motions and clapping, and aside from the woman in back of us who announced that Krista and I were her kind of people, no one did much of anything.  My husband was very quiet during the show and didn’t even look sideways at me when I forgot who I was with and cheered for someone on screen. (Which someone?  HA….I’ll never tell!!!) We also watched for glimpses of ourselves on screen and were able to find all three of us, which was fun.  It was definitely a really fun memory to relive, overall.  My husband didn’t really appreciate the filters and graphics that David Lynch used either, which didn’t surprise me. He said that he just focused on the band, which made me chuckle. Don’t we all??

Hard to believe that this show took place 3 and a half years ago now. Where does the time go? We’d only been doing the blog for about six months by then, and now we’re about to turn 4.The show was before Simon’s vocal problems, before the two trips Amanda and I took to the UK, and before we completely lost our minds and planned a fan convention. So much has changed, so much has stayed the same. Here we are, on the cusp of a new album, a new tour at some point, and it only seems fitting to take a good long look back before we take a few steps forward.

Rhonda & Krista
Krista and I after the screening

-R

The MoMa Q&A Session and Press

In true Daily Duranie fashion, I’m going to write one more blog post about the big screening of Unstaged at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that took place last Monday, November 4th.  Yeah, I’m sure that some of you think that we keep talking about it because we don’t have a lot else to talk about.  Let’s face it.  There isn’t a lot going on in Duranland.  Well, some of that might be true, but it is also because there is more that needs to be said.  We haven’t discussed the question and answer session with the band that was streamed live and can still be seen on the museum’s website.  Also, Duran has gotten some press from this event that I also want to acknowledge.

The other day, we received a tweet from Ken Scrudato, the author of an article on BlackBook about Duran’s Unstaged, which you could all read here.  To say that I was surprised that Duran was still getting press about Unstaged is a slight understatement, even with the screening, since it is something that happened over 2 years ago.  I would have thought that it was considered old news.  I’m glad that Mr. Scrudato decided to cover it, though, as I like Duran getting any kind of good press and this was that!  I also won’t lie.  He had me reading with the first two lines about style and about how Duran is an “unstoppable phenomenon”.  That is how I feel about Duran and my fandom.  I couldn’t stop them or my fandom, no matter how much I try.  I like that he mentions how Duran looks to modern art for inspiration and always strives to work with others who also have vision, even if I shudder with the author’s decision to include Timbaland in that list.  Clearly, the author was a fan of this production, which I will admit changed the format of the usual concert film.  I’m not sure I agree with him, which is evidenced by my review of Unstaged when it aired, which you can read here.  I still appreciated reading about it from an outsider point of view.  I wished, though, that he would have covered the question and answer session, too.

Speaking of the question and answer session, I watched it live on the stream and have watched it again since then on the MoMa website.  If you haven’t seen it or want to watch it again, you can watch it here.  The question and answer session was about 30 minutes long.  Like many panels like this, there were a couple of moderators who asked questions before the members of the audience could ask questions, too.  The guys looked good as they were dressed up and seemed very relaxed.  Perhaps, they were almost too relaxed as they weren’t being very serious as they gave each other a hard time with Nick calling Simon and John “damn lazy” and John pointing out Nick’s socks, for example.  I have to admit that I always enjoy those moments between them as they always show me that the band members actually like each other!  Besides, I’m glad for those moments as I didn’t learn a lot new.

The moderator questions weren’t that exciting or many and asked about how controlling David Lynch was and about the Girls on Film video.  I did appreciate what Simon and John said about the “genius” of David Lynch and about how one person can get away with really odd visuals because of who they are but if others did the same, it would be considered “crap”.  I think that is true–not just of David Lynch but about artists, in general.  Once someone has a reputation to being a “genius” or creative or whatever, they don’t have to defend themselves as much, for sure.  The rest of the question and answer session focused on questions from the audience.

Some of the audience questions made me truly groan.  First, you have some guy saying that his sister has hoped for a hug from John Taylor for the last 30 years in order to ask John to give her a hug now.  Even the band seemed annoyed with that as Nick asked where the David Lynch question was and Roger said that it wasn’t a proper question.  I’m not sure if that person considered that John might not want to give his sister a hug, but was placed in a horribly awkward position.  It could open up the rest of the audience to ask for the same thing.  Then, of course, you have the person who asked about whether or not the band had watched other David Lynch films, which they had already talked about in the beginning of the session, which John pointed out.  Beyond that, there were questions that I have heard a bunch like favorite song to play live or thoughts on the internet’s impact on music.  The only question and answer that caught my attention was the one about if commercial success has hurt Duran.  Simon pointed out that it hurt them with the critics but do they care?  Nick responded with a “Hell no!”  I did like hearing that their focus is to make music that turns them on.  While they want “hits”, they have to like the music they make first.  Thank goodness.

Now, I couldn’t not comment on Simon’s mentioning of a guitar player.  At one point, the moderator said that he would answer if he was made a member.  Simon responded without thinking, “Can you play guitar?”  With that, the audience booed and John joined in.  Simon seemed embarrassed to me after that, which he should.  May this just be evidence that the fan base is ready to make Dom official.  I would say that we have been for a VERY LONG time.  Then, these types of situations wouldn’t happen again!

Overall, it was nice to see the guys all together, answering questions, and having some fun.  Clearly, they were in good spirits.  I can’t help but wonder if all the positive interactions with the fans beforehand had something to do with that.  I have come to the conclusion that the power of fans shouldn’t be underestimated.  I know that the best show we saw on the summer tour of 2012 was the Durham show, in which we co-hosted a preshow meetup with like a hundred Duranies.  Did the band not feed off our energy?  I feel like they did.  Then, just yesterday, we received a comment from a regular at Late Bar (the club we went to as part of Durandemonium!).  This comment mentioned that the rest of the club fed off our positive energy.  Perhaps, capturing the fan energy is something that Duran needs to think about moving forward.

-A

All alone ain’t much fun

I had such high hopes and expectations for myself. Really, I did…and in fact I was doing just fine until this morning. When the MoMA screenings were announced, I barely blinked.  I thought it was a cool event for those close enough to be able to attend, and pretty much let my attention go elsewhere after that. Given that I’d just gotten home from Chicago and was already nursing a pretty good case of the flu – I really didn’t care that I was going to miss it. After all, I can’t go everywhere. Seeing Duran Duran is not a part of my job – well, not a paying job. I’m not independently wealthy either, and I’ve been put on a fairly permanent traveling “hiatus” (to put it politely). I also considered the fact(s) that I’ve seen Unstaged twice – once by being in the audience when it was filmed and once here at home.  While I think it’s very cool that the film is being screened at MoMA and that the band will be there, I need more bang for my traveling buck, to be fair. I even felt a little “lack of motivation” about the entire affair, to be honest. Remember – this blog is purely about ME, not how I expect everyone else in the community to feel or react.

I’ve mentioned a few times that I think for me personally – lately I’ve been trying to find the right place for the band to reside in my head and heart.  I don’t know if I’ve really grown out of the band, or if I’ve grown out of the squeeing fan I once was, or if I’m just really tired of all (what *I* consider) the nonsense that goes along with being a fan. I still very much adore their music. I still have a lot of respect for the history of this band, and a lot of love overall. I can’t really decide where I stand, only that I know I can’t continue to try and be at every single event (not that I ever did that anyway, but I wanted to!) – and I certainly can’t fly around the world just to see them. There are simply limits to what I can and will do, and today those limits are much more significant than they were even two years ago. I think that’s something called “being reasonable”…but I’m new to this sort of deal so I’m not really sure. (sarcasm, people. It’s sarcasm.)

So with all of that in mind, I’ve mostly ignored the entire thing. I’ve seen friends mention that they are flying from California to attend – I applaud them as I think to myself, there is absolutely no possibility I’d do such a thing right now. I’ve watched as new friends, fresh from the convention have made plans to meet in New York City. Even Amanda mentioned that she’d considered going, but that she couldn’t take more time off of work. I can honestly say I didn’t even consider it. I knew I couldn’t, and if I’m not super careful I won’t be going anywhere for at least the next year. For me personally, IF I go anywhere, and unfortunately for me that if is a pretty huge IF, I’d have to wait for them to tour. Who knows??

I’d managed to keep myself pretty busy and uninterested until this morning, when I dared check Twitter. As I said, I had SUCH high hopes for myself because I’d managed to ignore the entire thing without much fanfare. I even dared think to myself that perhaps I was finally a recovering DD “addict”!  However, my friends are checking in, heading to NYC by train or even airplane, and the funny thing is that I’m not really that envious about the screening or even the VIP cocktail party in my first thoughts. No. I’m just envious that they get to see one another again. Meaning my friends. It is in these moments where I feel like California is truly an island on the other side of the damn world. It’s the side-effect of having gone to so many shows and events in the midwest and even on the east coast. My friends do not live here, and many of them these days live on the east coast(ish). I don’t know if any of these people understand how much I miss them as they travel to see the band tonight. Sure, I’d love to see Duran Duran again. Of course. I think that goes without saying, really. But what I’d really like is to actually see my friends. The people that matter. The people that I really can trade 14 DM’s with on Twitter without them thinking I’m psycho, the people to whom I can say “Hey, I was thinking about you this morning…” without someone else who doesn’t even know you at all calling you a frumpy American (true story!)….and most importantly, the people who you can actually message or comment to online will actually respond. That whole “two-way communication” thing has become more important to me these days.

Naturally I hope that everyone who attends tonight has a fabulous time. I’m sure I’m going to read plenty of “I saw ___________ and got hugs from _______________ and it was amazing!” posts, and I think that is wonderful. I would imagine that given my incredible sense of luck, since I am not going to be present,  the VIP cocktail party is going to be outstanding, and everyone will meet every single member of the band, have lots of wonderful photos and memories that I can’t even begin to imagine. At least, I really hope that is to be the case for everyone attending, and sure – there is a part of me that wishes she could be there to join in the fun. I just can’t help but think that for me personally, it’s become a lot less about the band, and a lot more about missing the people I’ve met along the way. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a unique point of view or not, but it’s the one with which I’m struggling most today.

-R