there's no inability to understand the movie. in fact, people DO want this film to be somthing other than it is. that is the beef.
for 30 minutes (I checked last night, it's right at the 28:30 mark of the movie) we only see the main players. Fenriz, Varg, Hellhammer. It's all long-haired musicians. Then we're introduced to the "fall guy." I actually think some of the things Bjarne Melgaard says are pretty interesting, like his idea that the corpse-painted faces are like "something you've seen before, but not quite what you've seen before." His "art" on the other hand..... Maybe we're not spoonfed, but all you really need to do is show this flaming douche bag on camera, and the work is done. Even the visual contrast between the long-hairs and the shaved head of Melgaard should not be ignored. they are sort of visual opposites and something like that would not go unnoticed by detail-oriented filmmakers. also, the fact that he's not introduced for a 1/2 hour is an interesting decision, if he's not a fall guy, why not introduce him earlier?
Now because many here are well versed in the history of black metal, one has to consider what one is bringing to the table before seeing the movie. In other words, a person in the know and a person not in the know are going to have different impressions seeing the movie, especially with regard to foreknowledge of the Norwegian Black Metal scene. To a person not-in-the-know, does this film make black metal look ephemeral? I don't konw. Perhaps, in fact, black metal SHOULD be viewed as ephemeral at this point in time. The other question is: what does this film actually offer to people "in the know?"
I guess the question is, if Melgaard is ignored. What is gained? What is lost? And for whom?
This is what I respect about the filmmakers and this is the best thing I can say about them: they put their money where their mouth was, picked their lives up from America and moved to Norway for two years - that takes balls, they probably assumed a decent financial risk, and they ingratiated themselves with Varg, Fenriz, etc. Well done! I WISH I had thought of that! The interview subjects obviously warmed to the filmmakers - and that is seriously a job well done! They are great interviewers, no question!
I'll be honest, my heart really isn't in this. I thought the movie was great. I admit I think I am arguing for the sake of my reputation. But, among other things, I've actualy studied film and I feel somewhat qualified to speak about it. Let me just say that if you want hands-off documentaries, I can reccomend you MUCH better films. The truly non-spoonfed way to enjoy this film is to just watch the raw interview footage. I could watch 10 more hours of those interviews!
BTW, best part of the movie is when Fenriz is in the gallery and he picks up the Bjarne Melgaard card with his name on it! LOL!