Review Summary: An experience you won't forget.
There’s solace in knowing a member of Rammstein is as floundered by this live project as me. I think I’ve spent as much time staring vacantly into space wondering what the hell happened here as I have actually watching it. Asked as a passing question in an interview which largely attempts to filter out information for a new Rammstein record, Richard was asked what he thought of Rammstein: Paris
, and his passive response about sums up everything I’ve felt for the album; unsure whether he loves it or loathes it but gives credit to the unique efforts being made from its creator: Jonas Akerlund. For those unfamiliar with the name, Jonas is a long-running friend and director responsible for a good chunk of Rammstein’s controversial music videos, including “Mann Gegen Mann” and “Pussy”. Indeed, from a technical aspect, Rammstein: Paris
is an impressive feat; a concert that was filmed over the course of two nights in Paris using 26 cameras to get every angle imaginable. Jonas’ painstaking attention to detail has developed and directed a DVD that flows with the songs here: shot and edited in the same way he would a music video. The results from this style of directing is uniquely distinct, captivating and even emotional at times; on the other side of the coin it can be hideously nauseating, ugly and infuriating.
It’s true, you won’t come across a filmed concert like this, but its idiosyncrasy is a blessing and a curse. The obvious problem from this is most notably the unorthodox tempo cuts which are an acquired taste and will leave many seasick before the end of it. It’s like merging a music video with a conventionally shot live show, and it’s hard to ever fully settle into it. The artistic vision is taken to the nth degree here and you can’t fault the effort that went into it, but where some ideas work, more tend to hinder the positives. The soft, faded cuts on “Mutter” develop a poignant atmosphere and extravagant grandness with the pyro and slo-mo frames, but its constant shifting onto the next shot is what causes so much damage here. Your eyes can’t settle onto anything before being transported onto the next visual; it gets to the stage where silly amounts of technique, filters and ideas all merge onto the screen at once, becoming a matter of indulgence over practicality. These moments have you breaking away from the band and their songs to question just what the hell’s going on.
It’s a tough one to give a score on, because the pros and cons are tied right down the middle. This is a beautifully shot show; the stage production emits a wonderful aesthetic, and the crystal-clear picture displays every bead of sweat, every string on the guitar and every hit on the drum skins and cymbals in a way that is both distinct and breath-taking, but the fundamentals for this package are wired wrong. You aren’t given the chance to stop and smell the roses – take in all these great visuals – and it left me questioning whether these efforts fell in vein. Maybe if Rammstein: Paris
was offered a conventional option, as well as Jonas’ intended vision, I could have appreciated this more. As it is, it’s a DVD I’ve struggled with since its release, but the overall message has endured, which is ultimately a missed opportunity. It’s well worth experiencing, but just make sure you have a vomit bag next to you.
FORMAT/VERSION: D̶V̶D̶/̶/̶BLU-RAY/̶/̶2̶C̶D̶+̶D̶V̶D̶/̶/̶2̶C̶D̶+̶B̶L̶U̶-̶R̶A̶Y̶/̶/̶4̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶+̶2̶C̶D̶s̶+̶B̶L̶U̶-̶R̶A̶Y̶/̶/̶2̶C̶D̶+̶B̶L̶U̶-̶R̶A̶Y̶(̶F̶A̶N̶ ̶E̶D̶I̶T̶I̶O̶N̶ ̶S̶T̶E̶E̶L̶B̶O̶O̶K̶)̶
SPECIAL EDITION: N/A