Alanis Morisette: Jagged Little Pill-LiveIn Short: Decent compilation of Morisette’s 1995 tour.

The Movie:

I’ll admit to being a fan of Morisette’s 1995 album “Jagged Little Pill”, which contained a few great songs(“All I Really Want”, “Hand In My Pocket”) and one seriously overplayed one (“You Oughta Know”) that may have been a part of the overexposure that lead to the lack of sales for Morisette’s follow-up. Although “Jagged Little Pill” live does bring forth the intensity of Morisette’s live performances, the filmmaking aspects of the movie itself really leave much to be desired. The film is edited wildly between many different shows and is interrupted by shots of the band and Morisette behind-the-scenes. Filmmaker Grant Gee was far more consistent and successful with his documentary of the band Radiohead in their documentary, “Meeting People Is Easy”. Here, most of the video seems like it was shot for MTV; in other words, a little too much editing, a nearly non-stop camera. The other side of the shooting looks not nearly as good, with shaky handheld camera work. The behind-the-scenes clips would be welcome if they were more interesting; most of the clips are strangely shot and repetitive; we see interview after interview, not gaining too terribly much insight into the singer.

As one would expect from a film like this that seems to be shot in many different ways, the video quality varies wildly as well; scenes go from crisp and clear to dark and grainy to looking as if they were shot with a home video camera(which is more than likely). In other words, it runs the entire span of possibilities- great to terrible (sometimes all within a matter of moments). Sound quality also is quite different throughout, from enjoyable representations of the sort of ambience that one would find at a concert to simply being basically clear to hazy and slightly muddy. Even at its best, it doesn’t work quite as well sound-wise as some of the other concert discs that I’ve had the pleasure to watch, such as Sarah McLachlan’s “Mirrorball” or the previously mentioned “Meeting People Is Easy”. Like the video and the film itself, it’s simply cut into oblivion; awkwardly edited into a whole documentary.

The music itself isn’t bad at all, but the way that this film is edited together, it really doesn’t give the music the presentation it deserves. It would have been nice if the footage from only one concert was used instead of cutting between what seems to be tons during the span of one song.


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