A film that entertainingly follows the personal journey of Tom Berninger (who doubles as the director and subject) as he goes on tour with his older brother, Matt Berninger, the lead singer of the Brooklyn-based band The National. What is it like to be on tour with this breakout indie rock band? How does it feel to live in the shadow of an older brother who has already realized your dreams of fame and artistic success? You are about to find out in this intimate and revealing documentary.
In 2010, after ten years and five albums, The National embarked on their biggest tour yet, and lead singer Matt Berninger invited his brother Tom along for the ride as a roadie. Tom, an aspiring horror filmmaker and heavy metal fan, decided to bring his camera along to record the experience. In the process he created not just a portrait of the band, but of two brothers at different points in their life. Follow this metal head as he is baffled by the indie rock world, experiences some wild nights on tour, and struggles with his ambivalent feelings about his brother's success.
Starting out with big ambitions and Matt's full support, it is not long before he jeopardizes his position by slacking off on the job, getting drunk, oversleeping and dropping the ball. What starts out as a music doc offers an earnest, behind-the-scenes look at Tom's endeavours and subsequent tumble from grace. As tensions boil between them, the film Tom meant to make falls apart, and what evolves is a touching, authentic, and delightfully wry portrait of two brothers who could not be more different. A must see for fans of The National, great music, or anyone who has ever had a complicated relationship with a sibling.
Directed by Tom Berninger , U.S.A., 2010, 75 mins.Wall Street Journal interview Huffington Post interview WBEZ interview