‘Andrew Bird: Fever Year’: A Film Review

- September 27, 2012

"It’s a documentary of many themes"

This blog is written on behalf of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival and will serve as an honest, unbiased review of a few films that will be screening this year. Hopefully, these reviews will inspire conversation and discussion amongst other viewers and encourage the over all appreciation and dissection of this art we call film.

An enchanting musical persona is defined and dissected in "Fever Year" as it spills out the setbacks, objects of inspiration and of course, the enlightening music of Andrew Bird. We follow the many transformations Bird has undergone throughout a year of intense touring, in which he was mostly ill, in order to establish his name in the dog eat dog world of the music industry.

The film, in perfect parallel to his music, though melancholy in its nature, never fails to leave on a positive note, for we see his attempts to create the next perfect song, constantly pushing his boundaries and own capabilities, battling with time in order to put on the performance that floats in his mind.

One of Bird’s transformations was his discovery of “looping” tracks that gave him the freedom to fully be fluid with his ideas and goals; it handed him his “wings” in a way. Just as this booted him up though, it also began to loop his entire life experience where Bird explains it as going from his house where he wrote music “...in complete isolation and going straight to stage which is another form of isolation.”

To change the pace, we see a functional musician, in contrast to the usual drug-abusive cliche, where life still manages to build a barrier for Bird, as his health reaches highs and lows, at times sweating and shaking, others on crutches, battling as all of humanity does, all for the sheer joy of playing music. It’s a documentary of many themes, the most apparent being the never-ending war that this man faces in order to strive for joy, absolution and good health, without ever straying far away from the downsides and the company hungry misery that haunts  us all.

If nothing else, it’s an inspiring film, especially for all artists alike, being that there’s never any guarantees for them as the movie demonstrates, yet to see Bird in his brightly colored socks, looping away for the people, for us, chasing Nirvana in this merciless world is an illumination of the soul that shouldn’t be missed.

Salvador Hernandez is a Texas native, studying under the MOV Department at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design since 2011. He is a current volunteer for the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. Hernandez works on his own independent projects to gain more experience when not studying or volunteering. The purpose of this blog is to unite film enthusiasts via the web to inspire conversation and to dissect the purpose and message of the short films screening in this year’s festival.