By: Addison Wylie
At this year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Monty Python: The Meaning of Life captured the British comedians rehearsing for their final hurrah as they recounted cherished memories. Katja von Garnier’s concert doc Forever and a Day about German rock band Scorpions treads similar ground, but also made me feel the exact way the Pythons did – indifferent but not enough for me to completely disregard it.
Forever and a Day is formulaic and padded, but it’s bound to please fans of Scorpions. The music is cranked up loud, and Garnier gives movie goers a front row seat to multiple, extravagant shows. In between songs, the musicians share their history and tell memorable stories; from tales of their time on the road, to surface-deep reflections on aging, to more frightening moments including frontman Klaus Meine damaging his vocal chords.
It’s clear Forever and a Day is only here to feature the musicians take one last bow following their emotional farewell tour. Katja von Garnier – perhaps worried that a more artsier, riskier approach would rock the boat – gives fans exactly what they want with no surprises. The filmmaker could learn a thing or two from documentarian Andy Grieve, whom both delivered on expectations and offered additional pizazz with Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police.
If you’re an avid Scorpions supporter, Forever and a Day is worth the trek to your local multiplex where the in-theatre experience is very close to matching an ideal night with the legendary rockers. If your passive knowledge of Scorpions doesn’t exceed their popular hit “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, watching this doc isn’t such a high priority.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie