Impressively, the filmmakers manage to convey all of this in a visually engaging manner. For one, whenever the film goes to a new city, say Austin, TX, or New York City, NY, the introductory scene superimposes contrasting colors, making it look very much like a cover for a record album. The way they film the vinyl being heated or the grooves being made into a soon-to-be record is also very lively and exciting.
Don’t worry, the question on everyone’s mind is laid to rest – does music sound better on a vinyl record than a cassette tape, compact disc, MP3, or any other viable listening option out there? The answers from all involved may just surprise you. And that is the most engaging element of Vinyl Nation. The movie is quite surprising.
“…a lively, engaging affair, with excellent interviewees…”
From discovering that vinyl is recyclable, to seeing the reach vinyl has accumulated in its brief, new life, the movie surprises the audience with insights and facts that are, by turn, delightful and very interesting. While I don’t recall which interviewee it is, the man’s daughter, whose roughly 4-years-old, has no concept of what a CD is. But she owns a dozen or so records, mainly Disney soundtracks. Some home footage shows how excited she gets holding the records, putting them on, and dancing around to the tunes. It is so freaking cute! That collecting can be passed down at such a young age, in such a profound way, is surprising, but more importantly, endearing.
A slightly older boy loves his family’s record collection and listens to those mostly classic albums over newer pop songs on the radio. The reach and power of collecting, in this case, records, but any hobby that brings joy is not lost on Boone and Smokler. They effortlessly capture the feeling of holding that item and convey that it holds memories perfectly. Like in High Fidelity, when the hapless lead rearranges his collection autobiographically, all of these things tell a story. They represent a memory that can be revisited anytime you want.
This is the true power of Vinyl Nation. Recognizing that the collection might be impressive, but what makes it personal is what it means to you. The documentary is a lively, engaging affair, with excellent interviewees whose passion shines through with each answer. It is visually stimulating and exhaustively covers much of the record industry with keen interest. In regarding each piece as a story, it takes the macro to a personal level. That is quite a feat.
"…the introductory scene superimposes contrasting colors, making it look very much like a cover for a record album."