Still of Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace in Shut Up and Play the Hits
Shut Up and Play the Hits
Directors: Dylan Southern, Will Lovelace
Sundance Film Festival
In the opening moments of Shut Up and Play the Hits we see James Murphy, lead singer of LCD Soundsystem, waking up in his bed with his French bulldog sleeping on his chest. It’s the morning after LCD Soundsystem’s final show at Madison Square Garden, so Murphy is understandably a little groggy. He drags himself out of bed, pulls on some pajama pants and takes his dog outside to pee. Here is the lead singer of what was one of the most popular bands in the world and his life is so god damn normal. Southern and Lovelace were interested in making a film about the calculated and controlled demise of LCD Soundsystem because they wondered why. “Why would Murphy, at the height of LCD’s career, decide to disband?” Shut Up and Play the Hits was created using footage from the day after the final sold-out show, an interview that takes place a week before the final performance and, of course, extensive footage from the sold-out final show. Admittedly, I am a casual fan of LCD Soundsystem and never had a chance to see them play live. Although the live footage was fantastic and managed to capture the group’s energy, I thought that it was used excessively throughout the film. I realize this is probably because I’m not a super-fan, since the man sitting next to me started dancing every time LCD started a song. Luckily, the film still has plenty to offer for people like myself. I found the interviews with Murphy to be very insightful. Throughout the course of the film, Murphy discusses the mythical qualities of certain musicians, life outside of the music world and what it means to grow old in the business. Shut Up and Play the Hits may not be wet dream inducing for casual-listeners of the band, but any music lover will find something they like here.