4 January 2012
Directors: Chrome Dreams
190 minutes, 2010
"Brian Wilson Songwriter 1962 - 1969" is a documentary film in which the rich tapestry of music written and produced by this brilliant 20th century composer is investigated and reviewed.
Each new documentary about "Brian Wilson" or "The Beach Boys" adds another drop to the ocean of product already available. Many of them are the same old story, with poorly-researched information and no original music.
This is most certainly not the case with "Brian Wilson: Songwriter 1962-1969". At three hours of interview and analysis spanning two discs, the new release from Sexy Intellectual stands head and shoulders above its peers.
The documentary consists of two parts, broken up between Wilson's work pre- and post-1964. The second part is much more interesting than the first, with interviewees focusing as much attention on Wilson's prowess in the studio as on his burgeoning skill at employing polychords and relatively avant theory to turn simple melodies into what he liked to call his "pocket symphonies".
"Bruce Johnston" supplies the brunt of the commentary about "Pet Sounds" and the disaster following the evaporation of the SMiLE project. Picked as his replacement for the tours that Wilson eventually refused to play, preferring instead to stay in the studio, Johnston has a vantage point from which to make some fairly keen observations about Wilson's behavior in the studio.