Before I begin: In the spirit of the energy and angst which I see oodles of in this documentary - for the love of God, don't put a huge watermark in the middle of your film, for the entire movie, when you send it off to reviewers. If someone wants to watch or pirate your movie - they're not going to care about a watermark even if it is there. From my perspective, it gets tougher and tougher to "not" see it as the film progresses. You want a reviewer to be concentrating on your film, not the watermark.
Now that that is out of my system, I have to say that this was a very well-done documentary. Maybe a little long, but not so long that it takes two sittings to enjoy. But at first, I was a little apprehensive. I have seen band docs in the past, and for the most part, they serve as another way to promote a group first and a film second. Family, friends, and listeners generally take a look at these "band docs," and it's a great tool for more exposure and perhaps a little more cash in the coffers. I was expecting more of the same here and had never actually heard of the band "Bane." As luck would have it, there's definitely more to this film than another promotion under their collective belt. "Holding These Moments" is probably one of the best band/music documentaries I've seen in the last few years - I even started researching the band after the fact.
So just what is there, aside from the band and music? Well, reader, essentially, the film follows the career of "Bane" all the way up until their last tour a few years ago. We hear about the shows, the albums, the fans, and the energy. It's all held together with footage, pictures, talking heads, and obviously the music. But there's more, and it's that "more" that makes this the ideal music documentary even if you've never heard of the band. This film delves deep into emotion - something rarely seen in a music doc. It recounts the feeling of touring and playing for a full room, getting stuck in a snowstorm, changing relationships as the band members aged. Even death and mourning - and the impact on an entire album are brought up in this tell-all documentary. As I've hinted at above, you don't need to know the band to enjoy this film - a lot of what's talked about is universal.
It's generally tough to critique a documentary or biography because, honestly? It's either done well or it isn't. These types of films, format-wise, are all pretty similar. Mixing the people interviewed with various clips in a way - that will keep the interest and pacing good and tight. Content aside, the presentation makes or breaks the film. "Holding These Moments" is one of those flicks that just hits all the right narrative marks. It's edited together excellently and, for the most part, glides across the screen. I did mention that it feels a little long - but that's because it is. I didn't start feeling any drag until around the 95-minute mark - and even then, it's just barely worth mentioning.
So, there you have it. There's not much else to say about a documentary about a band. Fans of "Bane" are probably going to love this film more than someone like myself. At the same time, going into this movie not knowing anything and still enjoying my time spent says volumes about the level "Holding These Moments" aims for and achieves. I'd also be lying if I didn't also state that watching the footage in this film brought me back to my younger days - perhaps that's part of the charm. Well done. Three and a half stars, and if you're a fan of the band, maybe a little higher.