"A great intro/retrospective look at one of rock's strangest anomalies."
Not quite rock, not quite punk, not quite ska.. not quite anything. They Might Be Giants is one of the strangest and most respected bands putting themselves out there today. Gigantic: The Tale Of Two Johns takes a look at this bizarre marriage of musical tastes.As a fan of They Might Be Giants for over a decade, I found this film to be as endearing as it was informative. Covering from the Johns early days, moving to New York, playing tiny shows, and eventually becoming the national act they are today, Gigantic is like a cinematic interpretation of the trademark TMBG congo-line.
Interspersed throughout the film are clips of songs (which admittedly, I wish had been the whole songs - I got cut off singing along), revealing interviews with the band, management, former management, and friends, bits of live shows spanning their careers, and also a very neat set of clips where fans of the band (and a lot of famous folks) do spoken word versions of their favorite lyrics from songs.
This film reminded me a lot of a really good Behind The Music. Though, it went a lot further in depth than most of those specials did, obviously. There were many great anecdotes shared by the band about their learning the way of the music industry, amongst other things. They said upon arriving New York City, trying to join it's punk rock scene "By the time we got there, it was all dried up." These types of set backs had their effects, but didn't slow 'They' down. The Johns made their own niche, and have had a legion of fans spring up world wide.
Having come from a meager beginning, shooting up to a major label, and seeing how management (and mismanagement) can make or break major label success, the film offers insight that anyone even thinking about working in the music industry could benefit from.I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it felt a lot like getting to know old friends a little better. The only complaint I have is that I know They Might Be Giants is far from over. That leaves this one has the potential to become dated. I do think however, I could stand to see a Gigantic 2 in another 10 or 15 years.