11 Movies Every Dance Music Fan Needs to See
Music and film go together like two peas in a pod. No matter the genre, the auditory and visual stimuli together pair for an incredible experience, both intellectual and emotional. EDM is known for bringing people together on a grand scale, from it's earliest house roots to it's most recent EDM labelling. With all of the history behind the EDM movement, there are a handful of films and documentaries that are a must see for any EDM Fan. We have compiled a list of 11 movies that focus, document and explore the electronic dance music scene from then until now, and are vital to learning more about where EDM came from, and even where it is headed.
INTERSTELLA 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (2003)
Interstella 5555 is an "animated house musical" that is set to the Daft Punk album Discovery. Discovery is Daft Punk’s second studio album, featuring hits such as "One More Time" and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," and each track of the iconic release is a chapter in this movie. The film centers around the abduction, adventure, and rescue of an interstellar pop band from the future. With no dialogue and only minimal sound effects used to keep the focus on the music, the animations truly serve as a visual aid to the renowned album. The 65 minute movie was produced by Daft Punk themselves with the help of Toei Animation, and it’s a must see for any Daft Punk fan and a great watch because of its unique approach. Watch the trailer below.
It’s All Gone Pete Tong (2004)
This dramatic comedy film follows DJ Frankie Wilde, an up-and-coming producer/dj who begins abusing drugs and partying nonstop, until he loses all of his hearing in one ear and 80% in his other. Through his depressing struggle between gaining his hearing over his career as a DJ, he starts to fall off and lose his hearing (and skill) entirely. Frankie refuses to accept his deafness, but eventually comes to terms with it and trains to become one of the biggest DJ’s in Ibiza. The film features appearances by a handful of renowned club djs such as Tiesto, Pete Tong, Paul Van Dyk, Carl Cox, and more!
Take One (2010):
A raw documentary that looks of the hectic touring life of Swedish House Mafia Members Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello. As you'd probably expect from a raw documentary on the trio, it doesn’t exactly show them in the brightest light. While their problems might be "first world," they undoubtedly live up to their party-filled lifestyle and shed some light on the many other burdens of a touring dj. Take One provides an eye-opening view into the life of one of EDM's biggest groups ever formed, and as such, they have some really interesting takes on the music scene and modern festivals. On top of all this the soundtrack is killler too.
Re:Generation Music Project (2012)
The movie is a special project put together by Hyundai, which highlights a new generation of DJs/Producers collaborating with the music industry heavyweights of more traditional genres. The movie highlights the creative process behind the 5 tracks, from meeting the other collaborating artists for the first time to completing the individual songs. Skrillex was paired with the legendary rock band “The Doors” (aside from the late great Jim Morrison) to create "Breakin' A Sweat." Pretty Lights produced the track "Wayfaring Stranger" when he was paired with country legend Dr. Ralph Stanley and singer LeAnn Rimes. Crystal Method teamed up with Martha Reeves and Hip Hop master DJ Premier collaborated with the Berklee Symphony orchestra and got some assistance from rapper Nas. Mark Ronson collaborated with the largest group, featuring Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Zigaboo Modeliste, Trombone Shorty, and Members of The Dap Kings on the track "A La Modeliste." The results were a blend of old and new genres that are truly unprecedented, and the soundtrack is available for free.
I AM Hardwell: If You Can Dream It You Can Do It (2013)
The movie follows the global 3 year journey of Robbert van de Corput, better know as Hardwell, since December of 2010. The rising career of the Dutch DJ/producer was filmed by the same man behind his after movies, Robin Piree. After the movie premiered at ADE 2013, Hardwell went off to become the worlds Number #1 DJ on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ List, making him the youngest DJ ever to top the list at the age of 25. The film itself documents the DJ/producer's exponential growth from being an upcoming artist to becoming an international superstar. It gives a glimpse into the busy life of Hardwell and his ambition to push boundaries, and is a must watch for any Hardwell.
Electronic Awakening (2011)
This movie explores the spiritual side of electronic music, and its abundant relationship with cultures worldwide. The movie looks at the very first synthesizer and how its unique sounds affected the music industry, and then investigates its correlation with religious and mystical aspects. It also takes an academic approach in its comparison between the electronic movement to other movements across world. For any of us that have experienced a life-changing moment while at a festival or EDM show, this movie will definitely resonate with you in some way.
Justice: Across The Universe (2008)
An intriguing and raw tour documentary following the Cross Tour with the French Duo Justice, this documentary is based off a plethora of live tour videos from their travels. In these videos, Justice journeys across the world playing shows and having adventures like getting married in Las Vegas and greeting fans in each city. The film was shot in a 20 day span from March to April 2008 during the Justice North American Tour. Follow Xavier, Gaspard and their gun-obsessed tour manager through their tour, as it is a great look into the touring world during 2007/2008.
Electric Daisy Carnival Experience (2011)
This concert documentary takes you on the experience behind America’s biggest electronic music festival. Interviews from the creators, organizers, major industry influencers, dancers, volunteers, and performers of Electronic Daisy Carnival grace this documentary. The idea started with the passion from electronic dance music. The man behind EDC was a promoter in highschool and now runs one of the worlds most successful electronic dance music events which incorporates carnival rides, performers, and the world's top electronic acts. The film gives both fan and artist perspectives from the event and features appearances by Kaskade, Travis Barker, Will.i.am, Steve Angello, Boys Noize, and plenty more. The movie premiered in theatres for one day, but now is available on Netflix or the internet. Check out the trailer below
Leave The World Behind (2014)
The movie also follows Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso as they literally leave the world behind as the super group Swedish House Mafia. The trio performed for the last time during their "One Last Tour." The tour was the largest worldwide electronic music tour in history, selling over 1,000,000 tickets worldwide in just a single week. The director of the film, Christian Larson, captures the band's decision to bring an end to their life's biggest achievement in order to save their friendship. The band lives a very extreme and unhealthy lifestyle from the insights you see in the film, and you can relive the memories and get an intimate experience with the super group Swedish House Mafia on their final tour together.
Pump Up the Volume (2001)
The movie discusses the history of house music from its origins up until the mid 1990’s. The film has some of the most influential names in house music such as Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox, Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, Pete Tong, Jesse Saunders, Happy Mondays, and more. The movie talks about the music scene from Chicago to London and offers the history of house music right from the mouths of people who actually created it. Die hard house fans can really brush up on their history through this interesting documentary.
Idris Elba’s How Clubbing Changed The World (2012)
Idris Elba has found success in many crafts, whether he's in front of a camera acting in Luther and The Wire, or behind the decks performing as Driis in a nightclub. In this Channel 4 documentary, the renowned actor and dj takes us on a cultural and historic journey throught he history of clubbing culture, from it's origins in the U.S. to its rise in the UK, incorporating a slew of talking heads for reference and personal insight. Some of the dj's featured include Katy B, Carl Cox, Boy George, David Guetta, Frankie Knuckles, and they all provide their veteran insight on the industry as it was, is, and will be in the future.