Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

December 2, 2003 News

The Sundance Film Festival has announced their first wave of films accepted for this years festival and we are excited to announce that "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" has been accepted into the prestigious American Spectrum division. The film will make its debut during the festival held in Park City, Utah from January 15-25, 2004.

Does this documentary film come as a surprise? Not to those who followed the recording process of St. Anger thru the Metallica.com section "Jump In The Studio." Daily visitors to this section saw the documentary crew in action, kinda like a behind the scenes of the behind the scenes.

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Eagle-eyed viewers of the 'Paradise Lost 2: Revelations,' DVD will have noticed that filmmakers, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, mentioned in their biographical section that there was a future project centered around Metallica. At the invitation of the band, Berlinger and Sinofsky were invited to start filming the band writing and recording, as well as gaining unprecedented access to their private worlds, starting in April of 2001. Nothing has been off-limits, meaning the duo have amassed 1,200 hours of footage embracing everything from Phil Towle sessions to 2 am riffs. Says Sinofsky, "We told Cliff (Burnstein) when he asked what kind of film it's going to be, 'why don't you ask Lars, James and Kirk what kind if of album it's going to be?'"

Berlinger, Sinofsky and Metallica first met each other when the duo were making 'Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills' about the three West Memphis teenagers who were accused, and convicted of, a murder many feel they didn't commit. Berlinger and Sinofsky cautiously asked if they could use some Metallica music in the film (at the time the band hadn't consented to such requests before) and were warmly surprised to find that the band agreed and refused to charge a fee so supportive did they feel of the project. "It was really very, very cool of them," remembers Sinofsky, "and they supported the follow-up too. It was really the start of a deep and personal relationship which has grown between us all."

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It's therefore no surprise to hear that Berlinger and Sinofsky first approached Metallica about a project centered around them six years ago. "They weren't ready to be completely open back then," explains Sinofsky. "They said when they were ready they'd come to us, and they have. And Joe and I are extremely excited. It very intimate, very personal and I think it will excite the band too. Joe said early on that if we were going to make a film we wanted to know we were going to get access. If we look at one of our films and realize that other people could've got it, then we've failed."

"Joe and I have dealt with some really difficult subject matter," says Sinofsky. "You don't wish bad news on anyone, but it unquestionably makes for drama and you're there to capture it. So the band going through some flux and some growing pains is the kind of material a filmmaker prays for. Of course, on a personal level you don't want people to go through their tortures and dealing with their demons, but ultimatley for the Metallica fan, they will see things they've never seen before. And to quote Joe, 'I think right now we hit upon an amazingly important band going through some amazing changes."

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Lars turning the camera on Co-Director Joe Berlinger

Sundance will be the first official screening of the film, which will be released later in the year. Dates and times of the Sundance viewing have not been announced yet, but you can check out their site for more information about the festival at http://festival.sundance.org/, and of course stay tuned to Metallica.com for more information as it becomes available.