METALLICA's 'Anger' Documented On Film

February 12, 2003

A documentary feature on the making of METALLICA's new album, "St. Anger", is in the process of being filmed by two directors who have "literally been on our asses coming up on two years," METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone. "There's close to a thousand hours of footage. I don't know how they're going to make a two-and-a-half hour film out of it."

Bruce Sinofsky, Joe Berlinger and METALLICA first met each other when the duo were making "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills" about the three West Memphis teenagers who were accused, and convicted of, a murder many feel they didn't commit. Berlinger and Sinofsky cautiously asked if they could use some METALLICA music in the film (at the time the band hadn't consented to such requests before) and were warmly surprised to find that the band agreed and refused to charge a fee so supportive did they feel of the project. "That relationship kind of harvested some interesting creative things," explains Ulrich. "We'd always talked about doing something together."

The filmmakers approached the band for this project five years ago, after METALLICA agreed to allow their music on two of their documentaries. The band initially declined on the offer to be filmed, saying that they weren't ready yet, but they would let the Berlinger and Sinofsky know when the time came. The band eventually agreed to the film and waived any fee from the filmmakers.

What exactly the project turns out to be is still up in the air. "Whether it's theatrical, whether it's Sundance or the fucking Disney network, if the cut-off point should be when the record's done or if we should continue through the first six months until all that stuff is done," Ulrich says, "we're trying to figure all that shit out now."

One thing is for sure, however: the band are not interesting in using the footage as a long-form advertisement for either the album or tour. "Certain people are trying to turn the film into a promotional tool," Ulrich said. "We don't want the film to be, 'METALLICA has a new album,' that kind of horseshit . . . In our more self-centered moments we prefer to call it a film."

Sinfosky agreed: "They do let it all hang out for us . . . The film will show sides to METALLICA that not only the fans didn't know, but also the band themselves didn't know. It is incredibly honest and revealing."

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