Instrument: Ten Years with the Band Fugazi

4 April 2015
An analysis of the film, “Instrument: Ten Years with the Band Fugazi”, directed by Jem Cohen.

The paper shows that the film “Instrument: Ten Years with the Band Fugazi”, directed by Jem Cohen at first seems to have no particular perspective upon its subject. It discusses however that when a viewer looks at the film more closely and carefully applies a critical cinematic eye to the filmmaking process, a solidified interpretation begins to become clear. The author of the paper shows that by not having an ostentatiously obvious “take” on this punk band and the particular music the band has produced, the director has revealed his own moral orientation in favor of personal simplicity and a lack of hype in the production of music. He shows too that the director has chosen to focus on the band because Fugazi is one of the supreme manifestations of the punk scene, a scene that emerged as a radical movement in youth music but largely became commercialized but Fugazi stands apart in sharp contrast to all of descents into commercialization, however, and still remains pure and true to its roots. The director’s own simplicity of style reflects its subject’s simplicity.
“The film’s belief in the purity of the band is primarily reflected in the film’s unpretentious format. The director simply followed the band’s progress over the course of ten years, from backstage, to on-stage, to meetings with fans, even to the grandmother’s home of one of the band members. Rather than choosing a short period of the band’s history, the film follows a story arc over an extended period of time. Thus the documentary does not attempt to create a sharp, swift narrative about the seduction or perils of fame. Rather, it features the artists from Fugazi talking about their work and playing their work through various ups and downs of concert touts and through various stabs at music distribution and creation. The perspective the artists are able to bring to their work over such an extended period of history gives the documentary an authenticity and a full reality that similar manifestations of the ‘rock-u-mentary’ genre lack.”

How to cite Instrument: Ten Years with the Band Fugazi essay

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Instrument: Ten Years with the Band Fugazi. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved June 3, 2020, from
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