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UNTIL THE LIGHT TAKES US black metal movie / THE EGG horror film

I find it strange that we now have so many documentaries on Norwegian black metal, and yet none of them deals with the actual music at any major depth. That being said, it was nice to watch Varg debunk the basis for all the media-created sensationalism that has come to surround this movement. Oh, and Hellhammer proved himself to be an even larger idiot than Frost.

I think Until the Light Takes Us does better than focusing on the music in depth, it focuses on the impetus behind it. If you want to learn about the music on it's own there are plenty of resources for that already, namely the music itself.

World DVD infos:

Quote
The big news: The UK and International Double DVD is now up for Pre-order.  Release date is 15 Dec (we're also screening at ICA in London starting that day - see below).  I know a lot of people like to wait until it's closer to release, but this is not a good time to do that.  This is seriously limited.  (We can not fulfill orders to German territory, Australia, NZ, USA or Japan.  These countries have distributors who have their own versions, scroll below.  We're not allowed to sell this version there, but you can get the Disc 2 extras that aren't on those versions, on our website, just skip Bundle#1.)  Everyone else, order here while they last, using the "Buy Intl DVD" Button under the pic: http://www.blackmetalmovie.com

Details:
Until The Light Takes Us
Limited Edition - All new packaging and art, designed by Christoph Rambow
Number of discs: 2
English, Spanish & French Subtitles
PAL, Region 0

4 hours of Extras including:
* 36 minute Black Metal short film of deleted scenes, edited into a mini-film from our original first cut
*Alternate ending
*Outtakes
*The Cutting Room:  features musicians not in the film including: Enslaved, Ted "Nocturno Cutlo" Skjellum from Darkthrone, and Jørn
"Necrobutcher" from Mayhem, plus more with Ulver, Immortal, Jan Axel "Hellhammer" Blomberg, Gylve" Fenriz" Nagell and Kjetil "Frost" Haraldstad
*46 more minutes of Varg Vikernes
* a 45 minute class on the history of black metal with Fenriz - possibly the most evil use of a rolling chalkboard and pointer ever committed to film (this is our personal favorite)

Please help us spread the word on your forums, blogs facebook, etc.  We have a press release for any journos/writers who want them!

We're down to our last 4 theatrical posters.  Write me if you want to try to snag one of those, only the first 4 people to write can get them.  $20 plus shipping.

You can also write us if you want to buy the North American DVD or Blu-ray.  The single disc makes an excellent stocking stuffer for all your nieces and nephews, and we have 50 of these.
We also have smaller quantities of the Double and Blu-ray.

A few people have asked if we can send the Blu-ray to Europe.  The answer is yes, but it's NTSC, region free.  So it might play, but it might not.  Up to you if you want to chance it, but we're not doing refunds if you decide to.  If you want to play it safe, get the UK/European Double DVD instead. Write us with any questions.

To order the UK/International DVD: http://www.blackmetalmovie.com

Upcoming screenings:

26 November
Tallinn Black Nights FIlm Festival/ Just Film
Tallinn, Estonia - Solaris Cinema


5 Dec - Amsterdam - Melkweg Mediaroom

www.melkweg.nl

 

8 Dec - Brussels, Belgium - Cinematek

(The Royal Belgian Film Archive)

15 December -  12 January, London
ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts

International distribution (remember, if you're in a one-disc DVD region, you can watch ALL the extras here, just skip Bundle #1: http://www.blackmetalmovie.com/moviepage.html).

North America: DVD and Blu-Rays are now in stock.  4 hours of extra features on the Blu-ray and double DVD.  Ships to America, Canada, Mexico and South America.  http://www.factorytwentyfive.com/until-the-light-takes-us/  You can also order it straight from us.  Email us for that.

Germany:
Rapid Eye Movies is distributing the film in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (all German speaking countries).  http://www.rapideyemovies.de/.

Japan : Nikkatsu is distributing the movie. 

Australia/NZ: Single Disc DVD out now via Shock Media.  Order here: http://www.jbhifionline.com.au/dvd/dvd-genres/special-interest-documentary/until-the-light-takes-us/538174

Truly Awesome T-shirts and Hoodies designed by Christophe Szpjadel here: http://www.darksundistro.com

Thanks guys,

Audrey and Aaron
--
www.blackmetalmovie.com   

It sucks living in an area where the double dvd version won't be released, I only recently managed to get a copy of the original and can't wait to see more so hopefully some copies will get circulated around before too long.

A few minor gripes: it would have been good to interview ihsahn of emperor, matallion of slayer zine and erik hundvin who produced most of these bands rather than frost, garm and some alternative type post-modern artist. also the "black metal satanica" section in the extras works to the film's detriment given the vast audience base, unless they just chucked that in to show how much the genre has degenerated as a whole.

DVD release for brokebackers:

Quote
The big news: The UK and International Double DVD is now available.  Release date is 15 Dec (we're also screening at ICA in London starting that day - see below).  I know a lot of people like to wait until it's closer to release, but this is not a good time to do that.  This is seriously limited - do not wait to order!  (We can not fulfill orders to German territory, Australia, NZ, USA or Japan.  These countries have distributors who have their own versions, scroll below for details.  You can get the Disc 2 extras that aren't on those versions, on our website, just skip Bundle#1.)  Everyone else, order here while they last, using the "Buy Intl DVD" Button under the pic: http://www.blackmetalmovie.com

Details:
Until The Light Takes Us
Limited Edition - All new packaging and art, designed by Christoph Rambow
Number of discs: 2
English, Spanish & French Subtitles
PAL, Region 0

4 hours of Extras including:
* 36 minute Black Metal mini-feature that includes people not in the film.
*Alternate ending
*Outtakes
*The Cutting Room:  features musicians including: Enslaved, Ted "Nocturno Cutlo" Skjellum from Darkthrone, and Jørn "Necrobutcher" from Mayhem, plus more with Ulver, Immortal, Jan Axel "Hellhammer" Blomberg, Gylve" Fenriz" Nagell and Kjetil "Frost" Haraldstad
*46 minute special feature with Varg Vikernes
* a 45 minute class on the history of black metal with Fenriz - possibly the most evil use of a rolling chalkboard and pointer ever committed to film (this is our personal favorite)

Please help us spread the word on your forums, blogs facebook, etc.  We have a press release for any journos/writers who want them!

We're down to our last 2 theatrical posters.  Write me if you want to try to snag one of those, only the first 2 people to write can get them.  $20 plus shipping.

You can also write us if you want to buy the North American DVD or Blu-ray.  The single disc makes an excellent stocking stuffer for all your nieces and nephews, and we have 48 of these.
We also have smaller quantities of the Double Disc and Blu-ray.

A few people have asked if we can send the Blu-ray to Europe.  The answer is yes, but it's NTSC, region free.  So it might play, but it might not.  Up to you if you want to chance it, but we're not doing refunds if you decide to.  If you want to play it safe, get the UK/European Double DVD instead. Write us with any questions.

To order the UK/International DVD: http://www.blackmetalmovie.com

Upcoming screenings:

26 November
Tallinn Black Nights FIlm Festival/ Just Film
Tallinn, Estonia - Solaris Cinema


5 Dec - Amsterdam - Melkweg Mediaroom

www.melkweg.nl

 

8 Dec - Brussels, Belgium - Cinematek

(The Royal Belgian Film Archive)

15 December -  12 January, London
ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts

International distribution (remember, if you're in a one-disc DVD region, you can watch ALL the extras here, just skip Bundle #1: http://www.blackmetalmovie.com/moviepage.html).

North America: DVD and Blu-Rays are now in stock.  4 hours of extra features on the Blu-ray and double DVD.  Ships to America, Canada, Mexico and South America.  http://www.factorytwentyfive.com/until-the-light-takes-us/  You can also order it straight from us.  Email us for that.

Germany:
Rapid Eye Movies is distributing the film in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (all German speaking countries).  http://www.rapideyemovies.de/.

Japan : Nikkatsu is distributing the movie. 

Australia/NZ: Single Disc DVD out now via Shock Media.  Order here: http://www.jbhifionline.com.au/dvd/dvd-genres/special-interest-documentary/until-the-light-takes-us/538174

Truly Awesome T-shirts and Hoodies designed by Christophe Szpjadel here: http://www.darksundistro.com

Thanks guys,

Audrey and Aaron
--
ORDER THE DVD NOW! www.blackmetalmovie.com   

Quote
Until the Light Takes Us
Well, guess who got letter of the week in Time Out NY? That would be Brett Stevens , writing in to tell them that they should give black metal its due (and by the way to check out our movie). Thanks Brett!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Until-the-Light-Takes-Us/68782874275


Quote
I really liked the list, but maybe it's time to include Norwegian black metal. It has been slowly mainstreamed over the past 15 years and now it's part of our cultural currency. There's a great documentary about it called "Until the Light Takes Us" that gets into the music, the radical environmentalism-culturism behind it, and the murders, church arsons and mayhem that followed.
By Brett Stevens (not verified) on 11/21/2010 at 11:06 pm

http://newyork.timeout.com/arts-culture/film/599047/the-50-best-documentaries-of-all-time#ixzz17fUjzRbI

Seen today.

I find it strange that we now have so many documentaries on Norwegian black metal, and yet none of them deals with the actual music at any major depth. That being said, it was nice to watch Varg debunk the basis for all the media-created sensationalism that has come to surround this movement. Oh, and Hellhammer proved himself to be an even larger idiot than Frost.

I think Until the Light Takes Us does better than focusing on the music in depth, it focuses on the impetus behind it. If you want to learn about the music on it's own there are plenty of resources for that already, namely the music itself.

From my two viewings of this movie, I would say "focuses on the impetus" behind the music is a strong term. It's split between impetus from Varg's side, hypocrisy by Fenriz, relation of scene-related events from everyone and a rough investigation of each actor's personality and how this relates to the music. Certainly, the aim was never to give a detailed analysis of the music in terms of its composition, genealogy, and so forth, but there's some skirting around some issues, and I don't even think it's intentional.

As for what would improve it: more interviews from other key scene members, as well as deeper exploration of isses Varg addressed, but Ferniz seemed not to (whether he was questioned on them or not is anyone's guess), with key members and tying the threads together. Examples: How is Varg's killing of Euronymous related to his disdain with the scene at the time, if at all? Was it a case of Varg viewing Euronymous as a "weak" leader, or a clash of personalities leading to a (pre-meditated) self-defense situation? Bit of both? How does Fenriz's apparent disdain with "modern black metal" link up with his feelings about society in general, and the phenomenon of cultural "dumbing down" or "selling out"? Or is he just a music-/modern-art-man? What justification does he give for his more "provocative", newer material, because "makes you want to kill yourself" is emo, not provocative in any sense, and, how does this link up with his stance on most of the new, "modern black metal"? Is he not a part of the very thing he claims to dislike? And so forth. Note: I haven't seen any extra footage (besides Hellhammer talking about "Death Breath"), so my opinion may be severely misinformed.

So, I would say, from my understanding, it seems that the directors, perhaps inevitably, sought to find an impetus for the music and the extreme actions related to the black metal scene by investigating the personalities of some key members. This is a reliable method as any, but the thing is: personalities change over time, and I believe the personalities of Varg, and especially of Fenriz, essentially the progenitors of the norwegian black metal scene from the perspective of this documentary, have changed to the point where an incomplete representation of norwegian black metal is given. Perhaps probing deeper on certain issues, and emphasizing how this affected the music and scene at the time, may reveal more of what the situation (music, people and actions) was like at the time. Of course, this approach may just degenerate into the current muscial/political/philosophical opions of the scene members.

That being said however, I think the documentary goes much further than others I have seen in exploring black metal beyond the "satanist music" filter, and actually puts the church-burnings in some sort of context, for instance. Varg's ideas on Christianity, Norwegian culture and society in general are also telling of his motivation for, not only his music, but his world-view really. But again I feel this could have been expanded (though further claims of Varg-worship may have been made about the movie).

Maybe it needs another play (if I have to hear Bjarne Melgaard say "I think Frost is like a dark aaaangel" again though, I might puke).

News:

Quote
Hey guys, we're very sorry, but the International DVD might be a little late.  We're doing everything we can to get this out to you by Xmas.  The manufacturers are overloaded with holiday orders, and we're a small order, so... we're not being prioritized.  Not a ton we can do about it, but we're pushing them as much as we can.

These are all international shipping, and with the holiday mail slowdown, we wanted to let you know in advance that if these are presents, you might want to make a little IOU card to give to the DVD gift recipient.  Seriously though, we're filmmakers and not a distribution company, and the printer and places just aren't prioritizing our tiny order.  But we're doing our best to get the DVDs out to you as quickly as possible.

We WILL SEND THESE the second we have them, and it's not a guarantee that we won't have them on schedule, it's just not a guarantee that we will.  Damned if we do, damned if we don't.  But wanted to let you know what's up.

Thanks.  Now please order one.  They're going out in the order we receive them, and yes, if we had the money, we'd of course prefer to employ a sweatshop of needy children and their nimble little fingers (for the holidays), but we're doing it ourselves.  http://www.blackmetalmovie.com.

(We can not fulfill orders to German territory, Australia, NZ, USA or Japan.  These countries have distributors who have their own versions, scroll below for details.  You can get the Disc 2 extras that aren't on those versions, on our website, just skip Bundle#1.)  Everyone else, order here while they last, using the "Buy Intl DVD" Button under the pic: http://www.blackmetalmovie.com

Details:
Until The Light Takes Us
Limited Edition - All new packaging and art, designed by Christoph Rambow
Number of discs: 2
English, Spanish & French Subtitles
PAL, Region 0

4 hours of Extras including:
* 36 minute Black Metal mini-feature that includes people not in the film.
*Alternate ending
*Outtakes
*The Cutting Room:  features musicians including: Enslaved, Ted "Nocturno Cutlo" Skjellum from Darkthrone, and Jørn "Necrobutcher" from Mayhem, plus more with Ulver, Immortal, Jan Axel "Hellhammer" Blomberg, Gylve" Fenriz" Nagell and Kjetil "Frost" Haraldstad
*46 minute special feature with Varg Vikernes
* a 45 minute class on the history of black metal with Fenriz - possibly the most evil use of a rolling chalkboard and pointer ever committed to film (this is our personal favorite)

Please help us spread the word on your forums, blogs facebook, etc.  We have a press release for any journos/writers who want them!

You can also write us if you want to buy the North American DVD or Blu-ray.  The single disc makes an excellent stocking stuffer for all your nieces and nephews.

A few people have asked if we can send the Blu-ray to Europe.  The answer is yes, but it's NTSC, region free.  So it might play, but it might not.  We have confirmation that it WILL play in Playstation 3's.

To order the UK/International DVD: http://www.blackmetalmovie.com

Upcoming screenings:

 8 Dec - Brussels, Belgium - Cinematek

(The Royal Belgian Film Archive)

15 December -  12 January, London
ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts

International distribution (remember, if you're in a one-disc DVD region, you can watch ALL the extras here, just skip Bundle #1: http://www.blackmetalmovie.com/moviepage.html).

North America: DVD and Blu-Rays are now in stock.  4 hours of extra features on the Blu-ray and double DVD.  Ships to America, Canada, Mexico and South America.  http://www.factorytwentyfive.com/until-the-light-takes-us/  You can also order it straight from us.  Email us for that.

Germany:
Rapid Eye Movies is distributing the film in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (all German speaking countries).  http://www.rapideyemovies.de/.

Japan : Nikkatsu is distributing the movie. 

Australia/NZ: Single Disc DVD out now via Shock Media.  Order here: http://www.jbhifionline.com.au/dvd/dvd-genres/special-interest-documentary/until-the-light-takes-us/538174

Truly Awesome T-shirts and Hoodies designed by Christophe Szpjadel here: http://www.darksundistro.com

Thanks guys,

Audrey and Aaron
--
ORDER THE DVD NOW! www.blackmetalmovie.com   

From my two viewings of this movie, I would say "focuses on the impetus" behind the music is a strong term. It's split between impetus from Varg's side, hypocrisy by Fenriz, relation of scene-related events from everyone and a rough investigation of each actor's personality and how this relates to the music. Certainly, the aim was never to give a detailed analysis of the music in terms of its composition, genealogy, and so forth, but there's some skirting around some issues, and I don't even think it's intentional.

So, I would say, from my understanding, it seems that the directors, perhaps inevitably, sought to find an impetus for the music and the extreme actions related to the black metal scene by investigating the personalities of some key members. This is a reliable method as any, but the thing is: personalities change over time, and I believe the personalities of Varg, and especially of Fenriz, essentially the progenitors of the norwegian black metal scene from the perspective of this documentary, have changed to the point where an incomplete representation of norwegian black metal is given. Perhaps probing deeper on certain issues, and emphasizing how this affected the music and scene at the time, may reveal more of what the situation (music, people and actions) was like at the time. Of course, this approach may just degenerate into the current muscial/political/philosophical opions of the scene members.

To an extent, I agree with you.  My biggest beef with this documentary is that it doesn't offer much for folks "in the know".  Those of us who've followed black metal for the last (nearly) two decades aren't going to learn anything we didn't already know.  But, where UTLTU does succeed - and it took me a bit to recognize is this - is in opening up black metal to a wider audience.  The documentary handles the subject matter credibly and, for the most part, sincerely.  There are obvious missteps, but there's no disputing that the filmmakers took the music and the people behind it seriously enough to give you a worthwhile 90 minutes.  One of the biggest successes of the documentary is that it didn't quite sell out to the obvious WHITE RAGE SATANIC MURDER angle, which is a trap every other so-called expose of the scene falls into headlong.  

Still, for my money, the bonus material, such as Fenriz's black metal school and the extended interviews with Varg, Hellhammer, Fenriz et al. are far more interesting than anything in the documentary proper.  The entire Frost section was a colossal waste of time, as was everything to do with the poseur "visual artist" whose name isn't worth mentioning.  The bonus materials largely dispatch with the bullshit and give you the best bits.  So, yeah, you'll want to get a hold of that second disc.  

I don't think those were wastes of time; I think they were showcasing the ugliness of the "trend" aspect of the music.  They were showing how anybody could take the music and try to make their own thing with it and completely misunderstand what it was about, and then cause everyone else to misunderstand it as well.  It took up so much time because these days, for most people, that ignorant trend aspect of black metal is what is most known.  They were contrasting the real black metal with the shit, which I feel is a tremendous service to the genre.

I don't think those were wastes of time; I think they were showcasing the ugliness of the "trend" aspect of the music.  They were showing how anybody could take the music and try to make their own thing with it and completely misunderstand what it was about, and then cause everyone else to misunderstand it as well.  It took up so much time because these days, for most people, that ignorant trend aspect of black metal is what is most known.  They were contrasting the real black metal with the shit, which I feel is a tremendous service to the genre.

If we presume that your interpretation of the inclusion of Frost and the crappy painter is correct, than the filmmakers chose to invest an inordinate amount of time on the black metal frauds, and as the bonus materials revealed, did so to the detriment of the "real black metal" personalities.  Films need not be real time depictions of the state of anything.  If the right moves are made, the rather simplistic point that, "all the new stuff is shit" could be made in a matter of minutes.  To spend about 25% of the documentary on it is overkill.  Again, my earlier point about the documentary being made for outsiders supports the inclusion of the pretenders, but it was still excessive. 

More:

Quote
Thanks for the orders, every DVD ordered up to today has been sent! We've included a couple postcards in case you have time to drop them at a record shop or other good spot in your area, and thanks if you can! If you want to order the DVD now, you can do so at http://www.blackmetalmovie.com/. Thanks!

And in case you haven't heard, T-shirts and zippered hoodies with UTLTU logo designed by Christophe Szpajdel can now be ordered at http://www.darksundistro.com/.

We're running very low on US Double DVDs and Blu-rays - so let us know quick-like if you want one of those - signed on request! Just email us at [email protected] if you want to grab one.

Thank you and we wish you a happy new year!
Audrey & Aaron

If we presume that your interpretation of the inclusion of Frost and the crappy painter is correct, than the filmmakers chose to invest an inordinate amount of time on the black metal frauds, and as the bonus materials revealed, did so to the detriment of the "real black metal" personalities.  Films need not be real time depictions of the state of anything.  If the right moves are made, the rather simplistic point that, "all the new stuff is shit" could be made in a matter of minutes.  To spend about 25% of the documentary on it is overkill.  Again, my earlier point about the documentary being made for outsiders supports the inclusion of the pretenders, but it was still excessive.  

I'm in 100% agreement with this. I just watched this film again the other night (somebody uploaded it to youtube) and this time around the Frost part and the part with the artist guy seemed even more unnecessary than they did on my first viewing of the film. I wonder what the real motivation was to put that stuff in there. There must be some answer to that question in one of the many interviews with the filmmakers out there, but I can't be bothered to search. Anyway, from a purely artistic standpoint, that crap ruined the flow of the film and made it just seem like a random pastiche of "Here's some insight about the human side of this music, now here's a guy cutting himself and blowing fire." It comes across as schizophrenic.

The interviews with the various musicians were the best parts of the whole film. Not only is it far more interesting to understand what the impetus behind the music was, but I really like how they exposed the human aspect to this music. Varg's comments about cornflakes, in addition to being funny, really highlighted this aspect. That whole part of black metal has been obscured by the sensationalism, to the point where to many outsiders black metal basically means "burn churches, eat brains, kill people, brutal!" But there should have been a bit more discussion of the music, because this is not a film made for genre insiders and the parts that did say anything about the music itself were pretty brief and superficial. I feel like outsiders would come away from this film thinking "Ok, a bunch of weird Scandinavian guys with some interesting views who did some interesting things and made some more loud heavy metal music." But second wave black metal wasn't just some more loud heavy metal music!

Not to disagree with you guys about the Frost section being too long, but I watch this film with some friends who aren't into black metal at all but are all serious music fans, and they spotted instantly the Frost didn't really know what he was talking about. They did find the film inspiring but it was helped by me playing them some more black metal so they could get an idea of the music as well, which the film does not do.

I would agree with the above poster that the human aspect behind the music was interesting, and that is also why the second disc is a good watch. I think Varg comes across as not only intelligent and strong minded, but his sense of humour really shines through as well.

you know, the whole Frost/Visual Artist thing is kind of what frames the movie, if I remember right.  You have to put yourself inside the mind of the 2 filmmakers.  They obviously aren't just making a metal film about metal for metal.  They're filmmakers, you know, and they proabably want to be "artistes," so to speak, haha.  They lived in Norway for what, 2 years?  That's a long time, they probably didn't know what the film was going to turn into untill after several months or maybe even a year.  They're probably reviewing their raw footage every few days and looking for the story to come together.  Like I said, the audience's expectation of the Visual Artist's decision between Fenriz and Frost, and then the expectation of Frost's "performance" are sort of what move the movie along from a storytelliing perspective.  There were 2 stories going on, the "history" of Norwegian Black Metal, and then the story of basically what the 2 filmmakers actually saw in the 2 years they were in Norway.  Some of the decision made by the filmmakers can be chalked up to just making a coherent film that grounds you in Norway circa 2006-2008 (or whenever they were there).  I've learned, as a story teller myself, that sometimes you have to make unspectacular decisions in order to just keep the story moving, grounding the audience, but also giving them an expecation for the "end" of the story.

You made some fair points, Jim, and I'm not really going to dispute anything you've said.  One thing I will touch on is your assertion that the Frost/Visual Artist segments "frame" movie.  In the literal sense, the shit post-modernist painter doesn't show up in UTLTU for quite a while, but the direction of the film sharply alters course when he appears, shifting toward a path of nearly relentless disposability.  And therein, for me at least, lies the mistake in the approach the filmmakers decided upon.  The last half of the film is devoted almost entirely to Frost's nonsense commingled with the shitty post-modernist painter.  When you add that to the murder of Euronymous - a man portrayed as the driving force of the scene - for being a "sell out," along with a lot of admittedly goofy soundbytes from the participants, the potential exists for the entire genre/movement to be viewed as nothing more than a goof.  For all but the the most educated members of the audience, the impact of placing so much emphasis on material that really doesn't matter very much directs the uninformed viewer to the conclusion that Norwegian Black Metal was an ephemeral trend, and like all trends, turned out to be just another short-lived attempt at cashing in on the fame accorded by rock music maaaaaaaan.