Author Topic: Lords of Chaos (2018)  (Read 1364 times)

Lords of Chaos (2018)
« on: February 15, 2019, 08:57:09 AM »
So, after a lot of umming and ahhing, Jonas Akerlund’s dramatization of the 90s Norwegian black metal scene (or Mayhem at least) is finally out in the US and coming to VOD in a week or so I think.

Just got back from seeing it and ohhhh I have some thoughts.  I’ll give myself a moment to collect them properly, maybe wait for a couple more of you to see it, but here’s the thread anyway.

Wet Blanket

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2019, 10:54:47 AM »
I don't know anything about their music but the story is morbidly fascinating so I'm interested in seeing this

Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2019, 11:11:37 AM »
I'm looking forward to seeing this, even though as this article explains, it sounds like a bit of a missed opportunity and a cop-out.

Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2019, 12:32:25 AM »
I'm looking forward to seeing this, even though as this article explains, it sounds like a bit of a missed opportunity and a cop-out.

I don't really agree with the crux of that article - basically suggesting it humanizes them too much doesn't go deep enough into condemning white male aggression etc.  I think that misses the point, expecting the nature of this (mostly quite faithful) depiction to reflect our contemporary values and buzztopics rather than just being an accurate representation of what it actually was.  It certainly doesn't glamorize anything or look back at it with rose-tinted glasses, but it also doesn't spend too much time moralizing either way - it tries to depict these people more or less how they were, which I think is the best approach to take in order to fully explore and understand a real person.  I think Patrick Lyons wanted something else, but that's not the fault of the film itself (flawed as it is otherwise).

Funcrusher

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2019, 10:47:06 AM »
That article is nonsense.

kngen

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2019, 08:42:37 PM »
I was quite surprised by the inclusion of a 'hot metal chick' in the trailer, as I definitely don't remember that being part of the whole Mayhem/Euronymous/Varg tale. I have a feeling if there had been more hot metal chicks in that scene back then, they'd all still be alive and there would have been a fair bit less of the old church-burning business too.
 

Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2019, 09:21:38 PM »
I was quite surprised by the inclusion of a 'hot metal chick' in the trailer, as I definitely don't remember that being part of the whole Mayhem/Euronymous/Varg tale. I have a feeling if there had been more hot metal chicks in that scene back then, they'd all still be alive and there would have been a fair bit less of the old church-burning business too.

I don’t know which one you mean, but Sky Ferreira’s character is one of the worst parts of the film.  Completely tacked-on and I don’t think based on any real person.

However, it’s pretty well-documented that there were plenty of girls hanging around that scene.  Varg especially was notorious for his bangings.  Even to this day, you see young attractive women on the shoulders of wizened old black metallers.  Takes all sorts.

kngen

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2019, 09:40:41 PM »
However, it’s pretty well-documented that there were plenty of girls hanging around that scene.  Varg especially was notorious for his bangings.  Even to this day, you see young attractive women on the shoulders of wizened old black metallers.  Takes all sorts.

It's been an age since I've read Lords of Chaos, but that aspect passed me by completely (if it made mention of it. It's hardly the most reliable of sources). I'll wholeheartedly admit to being influenced by Garm from Ulver's withering take on the BM scene being a (paraphrasing a bit here) 'master race of lonely virgins'.

Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2019, 10:25:51 PM »
It's been an age since I've read Lords of Chaos, but that aspect passed me by completely (if it made mention of it. It's hardly the most reliable of sources). I'll wholeheartedly admit to being influenced by Garm from Ulver's withering take on the BM scene being a (paraphrasing a bit here) 'master race of lonely virgins'.

I'm sure it started out that way, maybe stayed that way for some, but bands like Mayhem were pretty notorious and played to decent-sized audiences, so groupie-types would naturally follow - especially considering black metal was the "edgy" thing to like at the time.  Varg got a lot of notoriety not only for Burzum, but also the church-burnings (which people in the scene knew about long before the police), painting him as "the real deal".  Also everyone knows chicks love chainmail.

Mobius

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2019, 01:13:21 AM »
Is Euronymous' shit stained dildo in it?

iamcoop

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2019, 12:57:48 PM »
So is this film any good then? The book’s a great read, albeit wildly salacious. I wasn’t blown away by the trailer if I’m being honest.

Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2019, 01:17:24 PM »
I watched it last night and it's a good watch and mostly faithful to the real story. I don't see how this would appeal to anyone that doesn't know who these bands and people are already though, as most of the supporting characters don't get named or acknowledged. It's basically just a Euronymous vs Varg film, though I really enjoyed the first 45 mins or so with Dead, and his suicide scene is pretty spot on but gruesome.

Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2019, 01:52:07 PM »
Where did you see it BRen?

hermitical

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2019, 04:37:46 PM »
It's been an age since I've read Lords of Chaos, but that aspect passed me by completely (if it made mention of it. It's hardly the most reliable of sources). I'll wholeheartedly admit to being influenced by Garm from Ulver's withering take on the BM scene being a (paraphrasing a bit here) 'master race of lonely virgins'.

Recently started a Sopranos rewatch, in the first season both kids have an Ulver poster up in their bedroom....

alan nagsworth

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2019, 05:43:31 PM »
Quite surprised that anyone here who's seen the trailer hasn't expressed the same reaction as me, which is "this looks like fucking dog shit".

iamcoop

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2019, 02:46:09 PM »
Quite surprised that anyone here who's seen the trailer hasn't expressed the same reaction as me, which is "this looks like fucking dog shit".

I did, four posts up.

alan nagsworth

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2019, 03:19:40 PM »
I did, four posts up.

You didn't say "dog shit", nor did you use the word "fuck".

iamcoop

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2019, 05:05:11 PM »
You didn't say "dog shit", nor did you use the word "fuck".

Yes but that would be expressing the same words wouldn’t it? Which isn’t what you said.

Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2019, 09:56:34 PM »
I enjoyed this.  Good cast and equally ridiculous and brutal.

Silly buggers. 

Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2019, 08:51:15 AM »
Jason Arnopp playing Jason Arnopp threw me a bit. Varg casting was weird. Decent gore. Not great overall. I bet they had 0% of the sex depicted on screen.

Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2019, 06:27:59 PM »
Didn't somebody upthread mention Varg was a prolific shagger? He was a cute hoor in those days, no doubt about it.

DukeDeMondo

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2019, 03:06:58 AM »
I was really looking forward to this. Trailer was gash but they always are, so whatever. Got myself all ready for it by watching Until The Light Takes Us again, American documentary on the subject that came out a decade or so ago and that I really enjoyed at the time but found a bit of a fucking drag of a thing this time around for whatever reason.

Anyway. Lords of Chaos. At a push, it's just about alright. Just about. At a push. Proper push, I'm talking. Maybe it's even halfways admirable, even, maybe, in a way. If anything needed taking down a scary old fucking scary old peg or two it was probably this shower of pretentious fucking pricks and cretins and ballbags and fascists. Legitimate enough sort of pursuit. Demystifying the whole shebang. Puncturing it done. But. I dunno. The mythology and the mystery was captivating at least, however rotten and arse-headed its constituents. This was just fucking tedious, and when it wasn't tedious it was just fucking embarrassing. Compared to other nihilistic sorts of teen pictures with vaguely similar sorts of tones, stuff like River's Edge or Over The Edge or any of the other Edge pictures you might care to name, it's all much of a nothing, really. Nothing remotely provocative about it, nothing remotely challenging or memorable.

And I know it wasn't about the music, I know that wasn't the point, but come on, the music is the one truly fascinating thing that any of this lot had going on. Truly revolutionary and innovative and incendiary, and all the more so for the fact that it was somehow created by the people who created it. That's where the story is, there, you would think. But Lords Of Chaos thinks otherwise. Doesn't really give the shit of two green geese for a solitary note that any of them ever put out of them. If you'd never heard much Mayhem or Burzum before going in to this, well, you'll have heard even less by the time you're coming out. I dunno if Sion Sono's proposed take on the material would have been any better or worse, but I'm willing to bet it would have had a fuck of a lot more going on in it than this does.

It does have one good joke about Die Hard in, so it at least reminds you of The Lego Movie 2 for a second. Rest of the time you're more likely to be thinking of stuff along the lines of that monumentally pointless West Memphis 3 picture Atom Egoyan burped up for a minute a couple years back for whatever reason.

alan nagsworth

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2019, 05:49:00 PM »
Just to let you know Duke, all of the relevant artists were asked to sign off on the rights to use their music in the film and they all told the filmmakers to get fucked. I had to smirk my way through one of the rants on Varg’s YouTube channel to find that out though. The daft fucking arse that he is.

DukeDeMondo

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2019, 12:58:21 AM »
Just to let you know Duke, all of the relevant artists were asked to sign off on the rights to use their music in the film and they all told the filmmakers to get fucked. I had to smirk my way through one of the rants on Varg’s YouTube channel to find that out though. The daft fucking arse that he is.

Oh yeah, I knew they'd had trouble securing the rights, but I honestly don't think it would have made any difference, because I don't think they would have known what to do with it anyway. The documentary I mentioned above doesn't use very much of their music either, if memory serves, but you still come away from it with some understanding at least of why it was as revolutionary and exciting and compelling as it was, you come away wanting to hear this stuff, and you definitely come away from it understanding why people might have been attracted to these characters and why their ideas and philosophies - repugnant as they often were - might have touched a nerve.

Lords Of Chaos gets just about everything about them wrong.

None of it makes sense. It never feels like any "scene" is taking shape and the adulation that the very, very few bands who are mentioned receive doesn't feel justified because there's absolutely no indication that anything they're doing is any way special at all, beyond the fact that it isn't "false metal," whatever the fuck that is. That's the height of their philosophy. A bunch of fucking Manowar lyrics. "Death to false metal! Scorpions suck!" Even the church burnings are dealt with as little more than elaborate promotional stunts until Varg mentions something about Christians "stealing our culture" a third of the way through the film. I mean, to some extent they were elaborate promotional stunts, but they weren't just that. I was talking to another CaBber just there now about how in that documentary there's a bit where Varg talks about taking a shotgun and blowing holes in the walls of the first McDonalds to appear in his town. That kind of stuff was as important to their music and their ideology as any of the other chat that they came out with. The nondescript nihilistic bored teenagers presented here couldn't be any further from that.

It just doesn't understand them at all. That's all it comes down to. It hasn't a clue. They were a lot of things, but they weren't shallow, and what they were producing wasn't just a bunch of noise that some local kids were into because there was fuck all else going on, and that would just have fizzled out had a couple of them not started setting fire to churches and getting Jason Arnopp all intrigued. 

I mean, alright, maybe it doesn't want to tell the story of "True Norwegian Black Metal!" even if that's what the promotional materials imply, but it doesn't even work as a "disaffected teens doing bad shit" film, because the teens all seem content enough save for the obvious one or two and there's nothing convincing in them, no real credible motivation for any of the bad shit that happens. Which might be an interesting approach in itself, in any other context, and if it was a film made by Gus Van Sant or Larry Clark or somebody 25 fucking years ago then alright, fair enough. But pulling that sort of a shape in 2019, when you're dealing with a subculture like this peopled with characters like this... It's just a colossal fucking waste of material. And time. And money.

Lords Of A Load Of Fucking Old Monkey, more like.

alan nagsworth

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2019, 11:50:47 AM »
A great writeup as usual. Many thanks for that.

Shaky

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Re: Lords of Chaos (2018)
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2019, 12:18:09 AM »
I rather enjoyed this despite it's obvious flaws, but the guy playing Varg looked more like J Mascis and that kept taking me out of the film.