M/A/D | Documentaries
The Stooges are the greatest rock ’n’ roll band ever. Try and argue that assertion with Jim Jarmusch and he’ll counter with this documentary that makes its persuasive case by cranking the volume for archival footage and imparting anecdotes with as many hooks as “Search and Destroy.” Being the rare documentarian who’s qualified to engage The Stooges’ ringleader Iggy Pop as an iconoclastic equal, Jarmusch illustrates these glamorous degenerates’ influence on music and the maverick director’s own filmmaking.
Of course, Jarmusch is also rarely a documentarian. However, his second foray into the form (after 1997’s Year of the Horse), is every bit as accomplished (vintage concert footage is carefully curated) and inspired (contemporary interviews are shot in public bathrooms) as fans would expect. There’s an inherent—and electrifying—urgency to the film too: if Jarmusch has seen fit to finally make another documentary, you can be damn sure that it’s because he believes that it’s essential.
“[Pop] possesses a rare ability to alternate seamlessly between inspired flights of deranged stupidity, breathtakingly articulate assessments of aesthetics and technique, and killer one-liners. (’I smoked a big joint by the river one day and realized I was not black.’)”— José Teodoro, Cinema Scope
"A wonderfully eloquent documentary… The director’s enthusiasm and erudition combine with his cinematic expertise to create one of the great rock documentaries of recent times."—Geoff Andrew, Sight & Sound