movie review: big easy express

three bands and a cameraman board a train…

by ali hoffman

In the opening scene of Big Easy Express, the camera follows behind what looks like a young girl, as she innocently skips from one car of a train to the next. Backpack-clad, she stops momentarily in each car to observe, before jumping up and heading guilelessly to the next.

And then, upon reaching the third car she instantaneously begins to sing- then it hits you: That little girl is not a little girl at all, but instead Jade Castrinos of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (i.e. the childlike female-counterpart of their hit, "Home").

What may seem like a confusing opening sets the tone perfectly for Emmet Malloy's spirited flick, which sets out to document three bands aboard a train, playing music, drinking whiskey, and performing for thousands of screaming fans. Featuring Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show, the result is incredible, raw concert footage, mixed with beautiful silhouettes, endless dirt roads, and charming vignettes of road trip dialogue. 

But much like a speeding train, the music never seems to stop, allowing the viewer to feel like a part of the journey- or at the very least, a fly on the wall.

In the end the film accomplishes exactly what it set out to do: thoroughly document an amazing tour and the shared enjoyment of art for art's sake.

So if you're looking for an edge-of-your-seat, "I can't believe this is actually real" type of documentary, this one may be a bit too "on the road". But for those who love good music and need a dose of creative inspiration, we highly suggest you download Big Easy Express immediately.

Out on iTunes today...click here!