Shut Up and Play the Hits | Movie review
A doc chronicles the last four hours in the life of LCD Soundsystem.
A fitting valedictory to a band that made its own rules even whey they weren’t needed, Shut Up and Play the Hits counts down the last four hours in the life of LCD Soundsystem as the group plays its final concert at Madison Square Garden. Directors Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern spend as much time after the fact with James Murphy, the band’s former frontman and creative prime mover, as they do onstage, pondering whether his decision to turn off the spigot was the right one. Even for fans, the treatment may seem hagiographic, but to his credit, Murphy insists on his own ordinariness. His stage presence is devoid of posturing but not without grandeur, if only because songs such as “Losing My Edge” and “Someone Great” tap into emotions too big to contain. Murphy’s gift is mixing the propulsive beat of dance-rock with poignant and plain-spoken lyrics, a symbiotic release of physical and emotional tension. But the songs, great as they often are, don’t quite equal the small, quiet moment the day after the disbanding, when Murphy surveys the band’s gear—a storage space full of analog synths and cherished memories. LCD Soundsystem is dead, but Shut Up and Play the Hits lives on. (Late shows at Facets Cinematheque Fri 31, Sat 1, Sept 7 and Sept 8; available on VOD Tue 4.)