Coachella

2005, R, 120 min. Directed by Drew Thomas.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Feb. 10, 2006

Coachella

First things first. If you love – or even like, or are somewhat curious about – the contemporary musical spectrum and you haven't yet attended the annual Coachella Music and Arts Festival, you ought to think about attending this year. Every April, in the desert outside of Palm Springs, on the perfectly manicured pitch of the Indio Polo Grounds and beneath one of the most expansive and azure skies on Earth, some 80,000 music lovers, artists, freaks, geeks, stray KROQ deejays, and, occasionally, a drunken Liam Gallagher and sib Noel gather in this literal oasis for two days of music and revelry in what (forgive me, Austin City Limits) is the single most consistently entertaining and downright fun music festival in America. The perpetually festival-mad UK may have Glastonbury (too muddy), and Reading (eh …), and Scotland's T in the Park (no coffee, dammit!), but we Yanks have Coachella, and, speaking from experience, it rocks the proverbial house like no other. Where else can you see Iggy Pop & the Stooges back to back with Morrissey, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Belle & Sebastian, Bright Eyes, and Nine Inch Nails? Nowhere but in this rambling, celebratory documentary, which covers performances from all six years of the festival's history (though, annoyingly, doesn't bother to tell you which year you're actually watching at any particular time) but nonetheless manages to catch the laid-back, slow-fi charm of the actual event. Utilizing 16 HD cameras and focusing not only on the music but the attendees as well, it's a pretty accurate picture of the Coachella experience. "I lost my friend," says one young woman, wandering among the midday throng. "She's got all the money, she's got the schedule, I have nothing. And I'm lost. I have no idea where I'm going." And yet you've never seen anyone looking quite so charmingly beatific and untroubled. Such is the nature of the event. Coachella the movie nails it. "I am you!" shouts everyone's favorite dog Iggy Pop in a moment of blissful rock & roll abandon. And he's right. Especially at Coachella.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Coachella
Coachella Lineup: Not Amused
Coachella Lineup: Not Amused
Why does Muse headline all festivals? Conspiracy!

Abby Johnston, Jan. 9, 2014

Dust in the Wind
Dust in the Wind
No local love in Indio.

Austin Powell, Jan. 22, 2008

More Films
Alone
Neo-slasher is quietly effective and bloodily harsh

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 18, 2020

Ravers
Dance, zombies, dance!

Sept. 18, 2020

More by Marc Savlov
Shortcut
Mangled Italian creature feature should be even shorter

Sept. 25, 2020

I’ve Got Issues
Mournful, doleful, hopeful Austin comedy finds empathy in the edges

Sept. 18, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Coachella, Drew Thomas

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle