Would've given it 5 stars if it would've been longer :)
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For any Ani purists out there--this is a must have. (Just like you gotta have every one her CDs--even the ones you don't quite get) Even if you're only an occasional fan, I still think you'll like this. You won't watch it over and over, cause hey--it really is mostly just a music video. It's familiar ground for those who've been to her concerts. If you turn it up loud enough and turn off your lights--you'll feel like you're there. Much like Living in Clip though, there are those little insights in between the music that make this a new experience. That's really what I bought it for--and I wasn't disappointed. (that and a live version of Dilate!) One thing that really grabbed me was my own little "lesson learned." I have to admit, prior to watching this I never really quite agreed with those who said "don't sing along." I always figured that my singing along was my way of expressing how much I really admired Ani's talent for complex, fascinating and touching lyrics. The explanation she gives here though--it's changed my mind. These kind of moments are sprinkled throughout. Ok--that's all I'm going to say--I could sit here and describe every little perfect moment--but I prefer to treat this like a movie; thus I don't want to ruin the ending for you. Enjoy."
32 Flavors, and then some (sorry...)
nsalim | Boston, MA | 07/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although I'm a long-time fan of her music, I only recently witnessed firsthand the Ani-mania that accompanies her live concerts when I saw her play in April. The kind of energy that prevailed at her concert comes through strikingly well here, both in the intensity, funk, and humor of her performance as well as the (overwhelming!) hysteria of some fans. If Ani seems annoyed at some points in the film (as another reviewer suggests) it's probably because she is. Most of us would be under the circumstances--after all, Ani's only human, and the film reveals precisely that. She's just a woman with a guitar and a voice, and she wants to play.
But the film has a voice that's not confined to the ranks of chords and performances. It's a voice of social consciousness that addresses racism, politics, and a whole range of "cultural soul-searching" issues. And it's all packed in an artsy documentary format, insisting that this is way more than an adorned glorification of our folky friend. It's unpretentious and fun...and the music is OK, too;) Watch if you get the chance...you'll laugh, you'll cry..."
It's Why We Love Her!
Darren Dullabaun | Northridge, CA United States | 08/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of Ani Difranco know that her art is a moving target and therefore a simple live concert video, though highly satisfying, would have fallen short of the promise that the title of her latest masterpiece puts forth."Render - Spanning Time with Ani Difranco" is exactly what we want: a glimpse into her world that adds color and depth to the stories and emotions expressed in her music. In it we are treated to real life moments and given a sense of the camaraderie between the artist, her band and especially, her fans.This is demonstrated best when, during a live performance of her song "Dilate," she stops and respectfully requests the fans not sing along. After the song's completion she takes the time to explain why she made the request. Artists rarely display such confidence in their audience and she is rewarded for her willingness to take such a risk: the fans love her even more for it."Render" also shows us some of the behind the scenes activities of her record label, road crew and includes a sequence documenting the editing and mixing process in the recording studio.Not to mention some potent interview scenes where Ani lays down some of her views of America. At a time when we are being sold a party line that we are all in it together, she steps up and points out the many ways in which our society has become frayed and that we have strayed from the promise of our roots. And in so doing, she challenges us to change it.It's a winner all around and it's why we love her!"
Enjoyable, Thoughtful, and Personal
Krucialkeys501 | Seattle, WA USA | 02/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"People often chasitze Ani Difranco for being too preachy of an aritst. I find that funny when the majority of songs that she creates are the reason that we all are fans of her. These songs have the same message she mostly talks about in Render, so I assume it's that most of Ani's fans only like to hear her opinions when there is a guitar playing along. I don't think that's fair.With Render, Ani Difranco takes you into what she experiences by touring with her band. You see her extended family, and you see her diligent work ethic and devotion to her craft. It's a film showcasing her and her beliefs, so if people cannot accept that, then they shouldn't have bought the DVD in the first place. After all, the DVD says directly Spanning Time with Ani Difranco, not Ani Difranco live in Concert (although I would be excited if she ever decided to release a DVD of that stature).Also, I personally like most of the songs on the DVD, to the person that called them B-Sides. In fact, My IQ is one of my favorite poems by her, and Overlap is one of my favorite songs. Besides, the most important thing about this DVD is the overall impression, which I think is shown very well. Regardless of wehether or not you agree with her politics, this DVD shows them well researched and in a manner that is obviously just her voicing her opinion based on the things she's learned. To the person who said "why does she say don't judge people for their worst moment in their lives." I didn't see you complaining about the song "Fuel" on Little Plastic Castle, so I don't know why you're suprised she's against capital punishment. You get to get inside the mind of Ani Difranco, a compelling mind at that.And while I don't agree with her not liking people to sing along at her shows, if you've been to her shows the people sometimes get out of hand and distracting. She's not a popstar, she's a folk singer so we don't want to see her dance and put on a circus like extravaganza. We want to hear her play, therefore Ani is valid for not wanting distractions so that she can do her best job live. I've seen her twice; she doesn't disappoint!"