SXSW Film Reviews
This documentary on the all-female concert tour is both overlong and undernourished, and the end result is likely to sustain interest for only the most avid Lilith fan.
Lilith on Top
D: Lynne Stopkewich. (35mm, 100 min.)
Stopkewich and company shot 600 hours of footage for Lilith on Top, and the final cut is certainly comprehensive in its examination of the all-female concert tour. Still, the film is both overlong and undernourished, and the end result is likely to sustain interest for only the most avid Lilith fan. The spectacle is brought alive by the rich colors of the 35mm print (echoing Scorsese's Last Waltz), and the images do a remarkable job of capturing the community spirit and goodwill produced by so many musical collaborations. But too often the film lapses into musical interludes that serve only as montages, and juicy topics like racial diversity and abortion are given short shrift. Poignant moments abound (especially during founder Sarah McLachlan's last performance), and Lilith participants have the good humor to poke fun at their own image (ask Queen Latifah), but by film's end, the salute to the festival erupts into a hootenanny that trades thematic depth for artist affinity. The soundtrack, however, is mighty fine. (Paramount, 3/16, 3:30pm)