‘Pearl Jam Twenty’

The new Cameron Crowe documentary ‘Pearl Jam Twenty’ was showing tonight at the Brattle Theatre. I decided to go to the 7:30 show. When I got in Harvard Square,  I saw a huge line forming outside the Brattle, which I didn’t expect. Everyone in line had already bought their tickets beforehand. I asked at the booth and was told that the 7:30 show was “completely sold out”. (I think that sold out does not really take any adverb of this kind, was it completely sold out as opposed to partially sold out? If something is sold out, it is sold out, and that’s that.) The 10pm show was not sold out, that was two and a half hours away.

I lingered outside the theatre until everyone went in. People were still picking up tickets from will call. Then a couple came, and a guy asked them if they needed one ticket, because he had one extra. The couple said OK, but when they asked for another ticket, the person at the booth told them it was sold out. “I don’t want to wait around 10”, the guy said. But he already had bought the other guy’s extra ticket. “I can take it off your hands”, I offered. “Oh, yeah? That’d be great”, he said, so I got my ticket.

I found a seat on the fourth row center. And nobody came to sit in front of me. No gigantic head of a seven-foot tall person in front of me. I am the woman who manages to find a ticket to a sold out movie and then watch it with unobstructed view. Sometimes.

Oh, and how was the documentary? It was good, but not great. It felt like there was something missing. It was lingering over things and situations that were already shown, like the band’s early days. I disliked the filmmaker’s presence in the documentary: the voice over in the beginning, the shot of himself doing an interview of the band for a magazine. It felt like a summary of their career –it’s been twenty years already– but the components (mainly highlights of their career) were put together in a somewhat disjointed way. The interviews come off as very polished. The shots from the live shows are great, the music is great. If you like Pearl Jam’s music, if you are a fan, you will definitely love it.

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