As “The Last Waltz” was for the Band and aging hippies, “Shut Up and Play the Hits” is for indie dance-rock’s LCD Soundsystem and the kids who were in high school on 9/11. Eleven songs from the group’s epic farewell gig at Madison Square Garden last spring make it into the mix, although co-directors Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace are less interested in concert-docu stylistics than in pondering the meaning of frontman James Murphy’s decision to pull the plug on LCD and stage the band’s “funeral.” A shrewd distrib could market the pic as generational eulogy rather than fans-only souvenir.
(Docu – U.K.)
Much like the band’s self-conscious synth-pop itself, “Shut Up” is initially satiric but ultimately disarming in its emotional resonance. Overlong scenes of laid-back Murphy shaving and walking his French bulldog gradually lead, with the help of audio-track questions from writer Chuck Klosterman, to the 41-year-old rock star’s meditations on his parting gesture as a communal exercise in coping with mortality. Appropriately, the audience factors significantly in concert scenes, wherein songs such as “Losing My Edge” and “All My Friends” strike both euphoric and elegiac chords. Sound is pleasingly piercing.