Tuesday 13 June 2017

Film Review: Rammstein – 'Paris' (DVD)

Dir: Jonas Åkerlund

It may have seemed odd to a few people that 'Paris', another live DVD release, was scheduled so soon after the band's last one 'Amerika' which was only released in 2015. The answer comes in the fact that 'Paris' is not a live document in the same way that most rock/metal DVDs are. This production is a “Concert Film”, that may sound pretentious, but it is for a good reason.

'Paris', while carrying on the proud tradition of great live Rammstein DVDs, actually has more in common with the likes of Talking Heads' 'Stop Making Sense' or Led Zeppelin’s 'The Song Remains The Same'. Yes it is a concert but with 25 separate cameras, two nights of filming, and additional footage rapidly interspersed with the main show it creates something new, something that was quite rightly exhibited in cinemas prior to its DVD release.

The live mix coupled with the rapid cutting between shots, and subtle use of post-processing effects and additional footage basically turn this into one long music video. If you've previously seen Jonas Åkerlund's video for 'Ich Tu Dir Wehr' you will recognise the editing style. But still, even that doesn't quite scratch the surface of 'Paris'.

The 'Made In Germany: 1995 – 2011' tour on which this was filmed saw Rammstein not only coalesce the best of their sonic output into their setlist, but also the best of their pyrotechnics. From the face-mounted flame-throwers of 'Feur Frei' to the incredible fire-shooting metal wings of 'Engel' it is a master-class of choreographed insanity. Yet the addition of the 'B' stage out in the audience (accessible by a lowered bridge) gives the band the opportunity to a) get closer to the audience, and b) enjoy a more stripped-down performance for a few songs (...bar of course Till Lindemann's infamous ejaculating strap-on).

The songs are performed with precision and passion, the live mix is excellent, and the visuals are a feast for the eyes. 'Paris' is one of the rare examples where a live document of a performance actually does the band the justice they deserve. Rammstein have upped the game of live DVDs consistently since they release 'Live Aus Berlin' in 1999, but this may just be unbeatable.  

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