All Together Now

all-together-now-posterWith its premise – a group of teenagers meeting in a wood at night for a series of underground concerts – All Together Now had all the ingredients to either be a horror movie or some kind of raunchy romp. Writer/director Alexander Mirecki is however interested in visiting other themes, delivering instead a lighthearted tale, where social commentary, existentialism, humor and indie rock collide in a disorderly manner.

Despite its small budget, this debut feature has a lot going for it, starting with production values. The direction is simple, concise making the most of its limited resources while the dark grainy photography finely reflects this hectic, noisy night it depicts. Performances are also convincing, avoiding the awkward amateurism inherent to most indie films.

Treated almost as a character, the concert is the center of this story. From psychedelic to garage, indie and art rock, I found most of those bands to be pretty enjoyable, which is pretty subjective as you might not appreciate these music styles. But, more importantly, this is a somewhat ambitious film when it comes to the themes it – lightly – tackles. There are some characters looking for their own identify, some social commentary about corporations exploiting the world and a look at generation gaps between teenagers, twenty-somethings, thirty-somethings and clueless adults. This doesn’t mean that All Together Now is a solemn work though, as the film’s overall tone is amused, several sequences injecting some goofy humor with various levels of success.

That said, despite all the elements rooting for it, I found myself losing interest in both the characters and story after a while. As I was looking for reasons for my disappointment, I realized that All Together Now is a movie about rock’n’roll without a rock’n’rol soul. The script lacks authenticity, giving you the feel it was written by a group of nerds fantasizing about rock adventures – and based on the Q&A following the screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival, I don’t think I’m that far from the truth. If you’ve been to events like this – trust me I have been to hundreds of concerts – you probably know there is much more debauchery happening while here we’re just presented with a bunch of nice kids, the only traumatic moment involving an adult. I’m not saying that I was expecting some Gimme Shelter-like chaos but All Together Now is unfortunately way too candid for what it’s trying to be.

Director: Alexander Mirecki – Actors: Lou Taylor Pucci, James Duval – Running Time: 1:24 – Year: 2013 – Country: USA

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Fred Thom

Fred Thom

Editor-in-Chief/Founder/Film Critic at Plume Noire
The founder and editor-in-chief of Plume Noire, Fred Thom covers film festivals and writes movie reviews. He was born in Marseilles, France and is now living in Los Angeles, California.