Wacken 3D - film review

At Wacken 2014, a special press screening of the upcoming Wacken 3D film in the nearby town of Itzehoe, and Metalmoments was of course on the spot to give you the low-down of the latest drop in the vast ocean that is Wacken memorabilia.

The film is, as the name so subtly implies, completely filmed in 3D, and the main photography was shot during the 2013 edition of the festival, after which a huge work has been put into the assembly of the film, choosing what should be in it and what shouldn’t.
The final result is a film that in many ways resembles the life of the festival – the main two parts are the following of a select group of festival visitors and the following of a select group of Wacken Metal Battle bands. Both of these storylines if you will, begin with the person/band showing and getting settled at the festival, then follows their experiences through the festival, only to end with a few choice words before everyone heads home after the festival is over.
Spread throughout the film are interviews with more famous artists who performed at the festival, as well as shots from select concerts.

At some point, someone had called this a Wacken documentary, and in the aspect of showing life without staging it this seems to hold true, but in all other aspects the categorization is far from true.
A documentary is something that, while sometimes taking a stand-point, strives to show all different sides of the issue is bringing into focus, and does not shy away from showing bad sides as well as good.
Wacken 3D, in all aspects, is a party movie. It shows a festival almost exclusively from the view-point of the fans of Wacken, be they in bands or regular folks, and it shows the festival experience at its best at all times, avoiding all forms of trouble or discontent. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it might be interesting to some to actually know what they are getting into here.

On a positive side, we here have a film which has a beautiful image side to it and one where the 3D actually contributes something to the experience, something that is oh so rare these days.
It is also a very well assembled film, in the way that it gives the audience a great feel for the progression of the film – it is split up into day-to-day sections, and through the film you can see how the festival area is affected by the many visitors, and how the visitors are affected by living at the worlds’ largest metal festival. As it drew to an end, exhaustion was felt – not in a bad way, but basically that very same way you feel when an actual festival comes to an end and it is time to drag your carcass home, drained of energy but filled to the brim with new memories and experiences.

Less positive was that some of the songs were allowed to play for a bit too long. This isn’t a live concert film after all, and in the few instances it happened, it dragged the momentum of the film down.
Also, on the flip-side of the positive 3D remark above, I don’t think the film will be as effective, and might even feel a bit too long, if watched only in 2D. As I have not seen it like this, and since I don’t even know if plans are to release it in a 2D version, this is merely speculation though. There is no doubt however, that if the film is to be watched, it should be watched in 3D, and this is coming from a person who avidly avoids 3D films whenever possible!

That being said, Wacken 3D is definitely a film worth recommending to all metal fans, whether they have visited Wacken or not! The footage may be from 2013, but the soul of it is timeless and can be revisited time and again.
The best use for it is to play it with friends as a warm-up gig before visiting the actual festival, or any festival for that matter.
It can also be used as an introduction to someone not accustomed to the festival experience, and in this respect it could be combined with Wackens’ earlier film endeavour, Full Metal Village, for a broader spectrum of views.

Wacken 3D is hitting cinemas now, and is set for a Christmas release of the DVD/BD versions in Germany. An international release is in the progress, but nothing is set in stone at this time.

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