Dallas IFF: Wednesday (4/14) – ‘Lemmy’

DIFF begins down the final stretch, and it just gets better every day.

“I’m not qualified to do anything else.”

Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski’s documentary on Motorhead front man Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister is not so much a fully-realized personal history or detailed portrait as much as an intense love fest.  Lemmy takes a tour of the heavy metal driving force’s more mundane routines – shopping, doing interviews, playing his favorite games at local bars and casinos – before diving into a brief look at former bands he played with and current concert footage.  But most of its runtime is filled with musicians, singers, actors, roadies and fans telling us how great he is and what an influence he’s been.  At 63, Lemmy has outlived most of his friends and continues to provide a raw honesty that blows away nearly everyone else in the business.

Influenced at an early age (“I was around before rock and roll.”) by The Beatles, Little Richard and Elvis, it’s amusing to see him wandering through a music store and flipping through Pat Benatar CDs.  Much is made of his musical integrity, but the singer makes it clear his biggest talent is survival.  With a string of addictive habits (he draws the line at heroin, which he says he’s never used, but lost a close friend to), one fan says it best: “After a nuclear bomb, there will be cockroaches and Lemmy.”

Rousing, funny, and a nice display of ear-splitting rock, Lemmy is a fine example of high-decibel idol worship.