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Chills/Martin Phillips doc

Chills/Martin Phillips doc
June 18, 2019 03:59AM
I've read about this when the filmmakers were raising money on Kickstarter. It's finally premiered, and the Guardian has reviewed it:[www.theguardian.com] Hopefully it will soon be available in the U.S.
Re: Chills/Martin Phillips doc
June 21, 2019 11:39PM
I was a funder on Kickstarter and I have been waiting eagerly to see it! But in the meantime I did see the Chills in February and had great conversations with Martin and the other band members - got the whole band to sign the set list from the stage! - and that is one of my undisputed musical highlights in many years.
Re: Chills/Martin Phillips doc
August 21, 2019 04:51PM
So any Chills/Flying Nun fans out there, I finally saw the Chills documentary last night - it came out to the Kickstarter donors two weeks ago, but I was traveling. The archival stuff is fantastic; it's remarkable how well documented the early Dunedin scene was, as well as the Chills early tours in the UK and Europe. And Martin Phillips' own personal archive is nonpareil, and critically, he kept extraordinary detailed journals of tours and the creative process for decades. The guy is/was a world-class collector. I would use the word hoarder, but his archive appears to have been well maintained and documented, even if a lot of his collection was of cheap toys and gizmos. But wow, the shots of Phillips' little house in the Otago Penninsula with the 45s, concert memorabilia, comic books, plastic toys (he liked Trolls) ... he even kept a neat stash of his drug paraphernalia, stored in a Star Wars backpack in his cabinetry. The entire context of the filming of the documentary is Phillips' potentially lethal medical crisis, driven by hepatitis C and years of alcohol and drug addiction, and him reviewing the arc of his career. Needless to say (spoiler alert!) he doesn't die. Indeed, this movie catches him rehabilitating his health, reinvigorating his creative process, and leading toward relaunching the Chills as a touring outfit internationally, although it doesn't focus on the most recent music or touring; it's a largely retrospective reflection that is heavier on the early days. But well worth viewing in its own right as a music documentary in general, and essential for fans of the Chills of course.



Post Edited (08-21-19 13:52)
Re: Chills/Martin Phillips doc
August 21, 2019 05:18PM
Longer, with more context:

I saw the Chills documentary, "The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps" last night - it came out to the Kickstarter donors two weeks ago, but I was traveling.

For anyone for whom the name "Martin Phillipps" or the band name "the Chills" is unfamiliar, they were one of the founding bands of New Zealand independent music at the tail end of the 1970s, and by the end of the 1980s they had a record deal in America and were respected, if never major sellers, in the UK, Europe, Australia, and college radio audiences in America. The song "Heavenly Pop Hit" is the closest they got to the attention of mainstream audiences. I lived in the band's hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1994, right at a time when Martin Phillipps' dreams of global success were crumbling in the face of his inability to hold a stable band together and the challenges selling records of intimate, wistful, joyous but obscure pop. And, when things started getting really bad, Phillipps' slide into heroin and depression and alcoholism, which sidelined him in the international scene for much of the past two decades. But I didn't know that when I lived in Dunedin; I had known their music in America and picked up their compilations while living mere miles from where he had decamped to his parents' home in despair.

The archival stuff in the documentary is fantastic; it's remarkable how well documented the early Dunedin scene was, as well as the Chills early tours in the UK and Europe. And Martin Phillipps' own personal archive is nonpareil, and critically, he kept extraordinary detailed journals of tours and the creative process for decades. The guy is/was a world-class collector. I would use the word hoarder, but his archive appears to have been well maintained and documented, even if a lot of his collection was of cheap toys and gizmos. But wow, the shots of Phillips' little house in the Otago Penninsula with the 45s, concert memorabilia, comic books, plastic toys (he liked Trolls) ... he even kept a neat stash of his drug paraphernalia, stored in a Star Wars backpack in his cabinetry. The entire context of the filming of the documentary is Phillipps' potentially lethal medical crisis, driven by hepatitis C and years of alcohol and drug addiction, and him reviewing the arc of his career. Needless to say (spoiler alert!) he doesn't die. Indeed, this movie catches him rehabilitating his health, reinvigorating his creative process, and leading toward relaunching the Chills as a touring outfit internationally, although it doesn't focus on the most recent music or touring; it's a largely retrospective reflection that is heavier on the early days. But well worth viewing in its own right as a music documentary in general, and essential for fans of the Chills of course.

In February of this year, a quarter-century after I lived in Dunedin, I finally saw the Chills touring on their first American tour since 1996. It was a transporting experience. If you've loved a band for decades but never seen them in concert, there is an innate fear that the experience won't live up to expectations. In fact, the band was tremendous, the song selection was generous and wide-ranging, and Martin himself was extraordinarily gracious, appreciative, and welcoming to the audience. It was a great, great show in every aspect, and now with the documentary I can see the painful process that brought Phillips to that point after hitting rock bottom.
Re: Chills/Martin Phillips doc
August 22, 2019 02:25PM
Thanks for the review. I've seen that this has been released on DVD in New Zealand. Hopefully it will find distribution around the world.
Re: Chills/Martin Phillips doc
August 23, 2019 12:26AM
I played Submarine Bells just two hours ago. god bless this website.

Trouserpress online since 2004 (much applause)!
Re: Chills/Martin Phillipps doc
June 02, 2020 11:59AM
This is (...as of only a week or two ago, I think) now available for streaming and download purchase in the US.
Re: Chills/Martin Phillipps doc
June 07, 2020 08:32PM
It is! A mere $5.99 rental on Amazon Prime, I believe.
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