Diehard fans of Cloud Cult will find lots to love in this new documentary film. Casual fans or those unaware of this Minnesota collective, on the other hand, will mostly find that diehards really love Cloud Cult. And, among those diehards, they’ll find that Cloud Cult especially loves Cloud Cult.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. There can be worse offenses than loving a proud indie rock band that founded its own eco-friendly music label, embraces canvas painters as part of its live shows and passionately promotes messages of hope and love in its music. But the constant back patting in director John Paul Burgess’ film proves a bit much.
Perhaps I was just put off by the opening sequence: Text from fan mail cascades in the background as real-life fans gush about how “they make you feel like anything is possible” and how “it’s so emotional because they get it.” There’s more. A lot more. It comes across like an artsy diet pill infomercial rather than an introduction to a talented band.
If Burgess’ spent less time letting people tell us how much they love Cloud Cult and simply showed us more of the object of their affection—live concert footage, etc.—there’d be a moving story here. We get some of the good stuff eventually, but not before being told exactly how to feel about it.
Cloud Cult plays The Other Side Wednesday, May 6, at 9 PM with Ice Palace. $12/$10 advance.