Watch Radiohead: Meeting People Is Easy
- 1 hr 35 min
Radiohead: Meeting People Is Easy is a 1998 documentary directed by Grant Gee, chronicling the band's exhausting and emotional journey during their world tour in support of their album, OK Computer. The film offers a glimpse into the band's life on the road, from the frenzied press demands to the surreal experiences they had while navigating unfamiliar cultures and environments.
The documentary takes us behind the scenes of the grueling OK Computer tour, where Radiohead played in venues across the globe. The audience is shown the never-ending stream of interviews, press conferences and photo shoots, which left the band members physically and emotionally drained. The film shows us the effect that the pressure of the media had on the band's creativity and mental health, forcing them to retreat from the public eye and avoid interviews.
Throughout the documentary, we see how the band's music had become a source of anxiety and pressure, with Thom Yorke expressing frustration at the media's insistence on dissecting the themes of their songs. Yorke's monologues, threaded throughout the film, express his frustration and disillusionment with the band's fame and success, while Jonny Greenwood and other band members reflect on their loss of privacy.
The film highlights the irony of touring as a rock star; the more success a band achieves, the more publicity and media demands they face, making it harder to connect with fans on a more personal level. Radihead is shown dealing with the daunting pressure of constantly being on the road, with the added pressure of ranking high in the charts.
In between the concert footage and interviews, the film utilizes an array of surreal, almost dream-like visuals with a shifting colour palette that creates a hostile, alien atmosphere. The idea was to take the audience on a sensory and emotional journey that paralleled the band's own experiences.
Despite the candid portrayal of the band's struggles, the documentary also offers hope and moments of levity. Radiohead's passion for their music and their fans remains paramount, and they are shown trying to keep it together while riding the wave of fame. They remain committed to each other and, most importantly, to their music. There are moments of camaraderie and inside jokes that give us a glimpse into the resilience and comedy that helped sustain their intense lives on the road.
Overall, Radiohead: Meeting People Is Easy is a compelling and thought-provoking documentary that portrays the stress, pressure, and exhaustion of the music industry. It is an intriguing insight into the creative and personal challenges that faced one of the most innovative bands of the decade. The documentary serves as an archive documenting the rise of Radiohead and the beginning of a shift in the music industry towards taking control back from major record labels. It serves not only as a reflection of the band's era but also as a commentary on the dichotomy of creativity versus commerce in the industry.