AFI Film Review – Gogol Bordello Non Stop

Gogol Bordello Non Stop— Directed by Margarita Jimeno, this international Documentary competition offering profiles Gogol Bordello, the New York based ‘Gypsy punk’ band whose frenetic brand of in-your-face extreme exhibitionism has been shock-and-aweing the East Coast underground scene for nearly a decade. Gypsy/punk fusion may sound like strange bedfellows, but after all, ‘It’s all music,’ say the band who are comprised of a sweeping mix of ethnicities, corely comprised of immigrants from Eastern Europe (hence songs like ‘Immigrant Punk’) with the cheeky odd Yank, African and Chinese-Scot thrown in besides. Their welcome-to-hell explosion of bipolarized multi-cultural music smacks of everything from Johnny Rotten to Bela Bartok to Cirque du Soleil, and their motto of think locally, fuck globally sums up the mass appeal that makes everyone from Manu Chao to Madonna want a piece of the action. (We’ll forgive them for the latter.) As a refugee from Soviet Russia, the band’s founder and front man Eugene Hutz’s onstage ravings have an undeniable resonance that generates what he calls an ‘alarming energy’ amongst Gogol’s minions. Jimeno does her best to capture the insanity as well as the essence of this acutely inventive ensemble her use of deep color and quick cuts, but in watching it one does rather get the feeling that with Gogol Bordello, well, ‘you had to be there.’ Recommended (Gogol Bordello screens Nov. 1, 7:10 p.m.; Nov. 5, 12:30 p.m.)

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Film writer and social media marketing professional. 2019 Social Ambassador for the 10th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival. Previously: social media associate at Warner Archive and script writer for Turner Classic Movies. Working on a Montgomery Clift biography due late 2020.

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