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Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback
Monks The Transatlantic Feedback
Directors: Dietmar Post, Lucia Palacios
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
NR     2009     3hr 0min

Ten years in the making, winner of the German TV Oscar 2008 (Adolf-Grimme-Awards), now finally on DVD. — MONKS: THE TRANSATLANTIC FEEDBACK by internationally acclaimed play loud! film directors Dietmar Post (Germany/USA) an...  more »


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Movie Details

Directors: Dietmar Post, Lucia Palacios
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Studio: play loud! productions
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 05/05/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 3hr 0min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, German
Subtitles: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish

Movie Reviews

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About MONKS*...*but did
Thomas B. Feddor | Illinois | 05/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was working at a hip, cool record store in Evanston, IL in the late 80s. (You know the type of store: the kind that has MONKS records.) The BLACK MONK TIME LP had just been reissued for what I think was the first time. The owner of the store knew about the band, naturally, and played the record for me. Of course, I instantly bought the record and have been a fan ever since.

Just when you think "Well, I love that band, but I guess I'm alone here," along comes someone else who loves the MONKS. And next thing you know, you're part of a cult. Not the kind who thinks aliens are coming to Earth to save the human race and we must buy track suits and await their arrival, but the kind of cult that Robert Altman once described thusly: "Saying a movie [or band] has a cult following just means there's not enough people for a minority." I agree, but who cares? Enough MONKS fans exist that they even reunited on more than one occasion to sell-out crowds.

And after you hear about that, you think the cult's dying down. Then, along comes a documentary about the band.

And what a documentary it is. It's just like the MINUTEMEN documentary a few years back; it tells you everything you want to know about a band, then continues to tell you even more. Then even more. But, like a terrific meal that fills you completely, you find there's room for dessert.
The MONKS documentary, THE TRANSATLANTIC FEEDBACK, is just such a documentary.
And the real tasty part of the film is the live concert footage of the MONKS back in the 60s in Germany. Unbelievable quality. Unbelievable sound. And saying it's a "clip" is misleading. This is not merely a 30 second, bad quality clip. It's the entire show, as originally broadcast back in the 60s. There are 4 entire MONKS songs, shown live from the tiny club in Hamburg.(Oh, those lucky, cool, smart, hip people.) This is what the DVD format was made for. Clips from their first reunion show in New York are present,too, complete with Genesis P-Orridge, the founder of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, espousing the importance of "knowing your roots" as he enters the club to watch the concert as well. Right on, sir. Or ma'am. Back then? Sir. (If you don't understand that, it's for the Industrial Music fans)

The packaging is fantastic, too. This was unquestionably a labor of love for Play Loud, and it's apparent in the quality of the product itself. A slim, DVD-size digi-pak holds the DVD and a great little booklet, as well as a welcome advert for other Play Loud MONKS merch.

This is a film for all types of people: those who love a good documentary; those who love music, all types; but mainly it's for those of us who love THE MONKS. It's such a lovely treat. And now it's there, for all the "cult" to put on a shelf, worship, and watch again and again.

Thank you Play Loud, and thank you Amazon for making it so easily available."
The Monks FINALLY added to the roots/inspirations of Punk/Al
Matthew A. Vecchio | Elgin, IL. | 06/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Great-GREAT Doc.!! If you want to know and understand more about the roots of any alternative music since the early 60's.
The Monks are a virtually unknown name (but a VERY important band) in the pantheon of alt. rock pioneers, and SHOULD BE next to influential bands like; The Velvet Underground,The Wailers,The Sonics,The Beatles,The Stones,Pink Floyd,Can,Faust,MC5,The Stooges,Pretty Things,Throbbing Gristle,Exit,Frank Zappa,Capt. Beefheart,etc.,etc...
We're all monks...
Chris Mezzolesta | Wilmington, NC USA | 05/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Like many, I am a relative newcomer to The Monks, first hearing "Complication" on the Nuggets box set a few years back and wondering "Huh??!!" - The Monks story goes to prove that hindsight is indeed 20/20, and what is ahead of its time deserves to have its due, and preferably while the instigators are around to catch the accolades. They were indeed architects of something new and uncharted in music, it just took time for the rest of us to catch up to it!

The film is lovingly and rather reverently made, the inclusion of quite a lot of interviews in German with English subtitles points up the unusual setting and circumstances in which the Monks story unfolded. For anyone wanting to know just what could be behind this unusual, discordant, two-headed cousin of rock, the extensive interviews with all 5 monks go a long way in setting the stage and carrying the viewer along. It's especially poignant since drummer Roger Johnston and rock's only electric banjoist Dave Day both passed away since the interviews were conducted. Their post-monk lives seem, by all accounts, to have contained the most tragedy and unevenness, and it is quite bittersweet to see them in later years living their lives comfortably, especially Dave.

The film delves into the mindset of the monk members and their visionary managers (neither of whom are in the film), the machinations of what could arguably be rock music's first attempt at total corporate [and lifestyle] branding, the basic differences between Americans and Germans of the 1960s, and putting together something different in an atmosphere of sameness. Forget American Idol and Diddy's "Making The Band" (yeah, right), this is the real deal, real creativity and execution.

The DVD is so jam-packed with content I thought it would leak from the player! In addition to a beautiful booklet in the DVD slimcase, the disc has a wealth of bonus material including the full clips of the monks from German TV that have been seen on YouTube, but in much higher quality. There is also a full electric banjo "master class" as Dave Day goes thru each song on Black Monk Time and reflects on how he approached playing each tune and how the sound of his banjo fit in alongside the demented organ of Larry Clark and the guitar feedback pioneering of Gary Burger.

Whether a die-hard monks fan, a fan or scholar of rock music in general, or someone who wants to get into something different, this DVD is a must-have. Watch it with good speakers for the full effect. This is important stuff, even if it was not successful in its own time. I am just happy that the monks did enjoy a resurgence, got to actually perform in the US (finally, in 1999), and know that their music did in fact make an impact. They are worthy of a good documentary, and this one is the one. Also make haste and buy bassist Eddie Shaw's book, also called "black monk time", and get more first-hand insight into the singular story of the monks.

Dietmar and Lucia, fantastic job! Highly recommended and highly enjoyable."
It's Monk Time.
Vic | USA | 05/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm glad this has been made available through Amazon. I was going to the Play Loud! website regularly to find out when it was coming out.

It's the documentary we've all been waiting for, and a real revelation. So little is known about the Monks, especially in the US -- just that they had a seminal sound and dark, weird presentation. And they were slightly funny, too. Most of all,they influenced all kinds of other bands and have been called the precursor to punk.

My only regret is that the producers were unable to interview the managers of the Monks who set them into motion and were such an influence on their sound and presentation. However, on the plus side, I'm glad they were able to interview all the Monks as two of them have passed away since this documentary was in production.

It's about time that someone made this film."