I don’t know if this was the first mockumentary, but it’s the first that became as amazingly popular as it did. This was partly because it is so well done, and at the time no one in it was famous, so many of the people who saw it thought it was real. I can see why. This film captures the essence of the rock and roll lifestyle while also directly paroding it.
It’s genius showing this band as pure underdogs, hilarious for its audience, but also creates a story of a band that isn’t bad (the music is all written and performed by the actors playing the band, and it’s all pretty good actually) but never captured the public’s interest. They’ve already completely changed their self-image once and throughout the movie they are slowly going through another change as they continue to lose their audience. Though the first change was from early rock and roll, think Elvis or the Beatles before they started doing drugs, into a harder approach, like Led Zeppelin or the like in the 70s. Now, in the 80s they’re trying a new approach again and starting on a path of prog-rock.
You get to see why they never found their audience. The music they play, though you can hear the influence of other bands, all seem to be about objectifying women more than anything else. It’s as if the band was made only to grab the success of bigger bands of the time and just wanted to get laid.
I think secretly this is a movie that’s about getting older. If you listen, their songs from the sixties, when they were barely teenagers, are all fairly childish in their lyrics. The songs they play now, written in the 70s as they try to cash in on their previous success, are mostly about sleeping with girls, meanwhile the songs they’re writing now are mostly things concerning religion and other realms of higher thinking. Of course, then they write Sex Farm just to prove me wrong, but whatever…
Why it’s on the list: I’m still not sure if this the first mockumentary, but it’s probably the best one. Also, it’s one of the most true to life stories about the troubles of being in a band. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun watching a band bomb on stage.