Office: (519) 913-0312 Info:(519) 913-0313

Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage

Winner Tribeca Audience Award

Local filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen have crafted a documentary with Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage that immerses the Canadian band’s fans in such a full-on experience that it may cause heads to explode with a surfeit of rock-geek joy. Dunn and McFadyen, the pair behind Global Metal and Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, continue to evolve as moviemakers with Rush, stepping back on the narration to add a rich non-musical dimension to the stories of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart that makes this as much a doc about male bonding, devotion to craft and facing heartbreak as it is the story of the rise of rock icons. “The world’s most popular cult band,” as Lee archly calls them have rarely made a hit with critics, but their fans around the world adore them. Those are the people to whom Rush remains devoted, and humbly so. Rare photos, never-before-seen clips, interviews and glimpses into the band members’ lives are bracketed with Rush love from musicians like Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan and KISS bassist Gene Simmons. (Rush toured with the band in the 1970s and Simmons marvels that while KISS was out causing post-show mayhem, Rush headed back to the room to watch TV.) It seems typical of the band’s personality to detour from the road of excess and to explain it on camera with good humour. Lee and Lifeson digging into corned beef sandwiches at a Willowdale hangout from their youth, Moe Pancer’s Deli (shades of Anvil! The Story of Anvil), leads to a very funny moment when Lee is recognized by a star-struck waitress and Lifeson, who finds the whole episode hilarious, is ignored. Born in the 1950s, their growing up was the stuff of so many Canadians: Lee’s parents were Holocaust survivors, Lifeson’s were Serbian immigrants and Peart grew up in St. Catharines, helping out behind the counter in his dad’s Port Dalhousie tractor parts store. Best friends from junior high, Lee and Lifeson recall teen times in Willowdale, growing their hair and playing strange music in their bedrooms that confounded their parents. The stories are interspersed with interviews with their families, scenes that make the movie equally rewarding for those who may not be there for the music. The notoriously publicity-shy Peart opens up when he talks about his drumming heroes, and Dunn and McFadyen show him at his most private, as he hits the road for an epic motorcycle journey in the wake of unimaginable loss in 1997: the death of his 19-year-old daughter, Selena, in a car accident followed by the loss of his common-law wife of 22 years, Jacqueline, to cancer 10 months later. The dark period led to a time when Rush stopped working, an inevitability the other members embraced — when one was out, they all laid down their instruments for five years. Linda Barnard,
Virtual cinema: 

No screenings currently scheduled.

Directed by: 
Sam Dunn, Scot McFayden
Running Time: 
Screenplay by: 
Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen, Mike Dunn

Another U7 Solutions - Web-based solutions to everyday business problems. solution.