Chaos reins beautifully in “Burning”

On a dark back lit stage and in grainy black and white moving images, Mogwai’s sold out three-night residency at Williamsburg’s Music Hall is brought alive in “Burning.”

Filmmakers Vincent Moon and Nathanael Le Scouarnec capture the Scottish band in a 48-minute performance under a magnifying glass with extreme close ups that create a personal connection for the viewers to the five-piece post-rock outfit. This connection reveals the raw emotion in both the film and the music.

With shots of front row concertgoers, the film captures an intense relationship between fans and this terrific band.

In between songs, Moon and Scouarnec often visit scenes universal to any New Yorker: riding the subway, taxis speeding down skinny streets, walking across the avenues. These scenes can strike a chord with anyone familiar with New York (I moved here in May and I felt the connection immediately).

The roller-coaster ride of a concert is as epic as it is beautiful. During the opening credits, the film transitions into a tranquil New York City rainstorm with shots on the harbor and on the streets before returning to the stage where the band performs “I’m Jim Morrison, I’m dead.”

“Burning” goes from the calm before the storm to chaos within seconds, all while still retaining its artistic beauty. With fast camera shots, flickering strobe lights and a powerful crescendo of music, Mogwai takes its fans on a pulsating adventure unlike any other.

“Burning” was shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art on Saturday, Sept. 11 as part of the College Group at the MET program.


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