Any Way The Wind Blows

Any Way The Wind Blows

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Any Way The Wind Blows

Like everything else on this DVD, with the exception of the music video, surprisingly, Rewind - On The Set goes on too long. It is a standard Making Of, focusing on the film's creative genius, writer/director Tom Barman, whose animated, enthusiastic, energetic and disorganised way of working relies entirely on creating the right atmosphere for a scene, rather than sticking to a script, or bothering with storyboards. The actors are positive and complimentary, although do not appreciate being given pages of revised dialogue two minutes before shooting a scene ("He forgets that actors have to learn lines"). Two incidents stand out: when Barman is encouraging a young boy to express more in his performance, without making him feel like a complete failure, and when a hapless actor, minding his own business, is hit on the head by a frizbee during one of the crew's time-out-for-fun moments.

The five Deleted Scenes are all good enough to be included. The reason for leaving them out, according to the director's commentary, is "balance", when a character has been given too much screen time and needs to be cut down to size in order to give the others an equal share. Barman (deeply) regrets, etc.

Copy picture

The radio interview with The Man Himself, against stills from the film, is conducted in French, with Dutch (?) subtitles. If you are linguistically challenged, like me, this item will be wasted. There is much talk of jazz, with passing reference to J J Cale and Doris Day. If they discussed the film, it passed me by. Barman, as always, sounds enthusiastic and is obviously enjoying the experience. It is not that he is vain, so much as high on the excitement of being himself.

The Portrait Of Tom Barman is a long doc, using split screens, about the singer/songwriter behind the indy band dEUS. He sings in English, once in French, and appears to be fluent in at least three languages. Brought up in Antwerp, he went to a Jesuit school "so my parents could handle me better" and started playing guitar and writing songs at the age of 16. He appears less of a prodigy and more of a force of nature, who does not compromise what he believes, while, at the same time, avoiding antagonising fellow band members, all of who respect his judgement. "I write what I feel," he says, oblivious of how this sounds to a cynical ear. His second greatest gift, after songwriting, is his naturalness. The concept of faking it - faking anything - is anathema. "I'll go on looking for excitement until I drop," he says, grinning. He pretends he's not serious, but when making the film and performing on stage, he is totally committed, and he is not a man who imitates other artists, or filmmakers. He's about atmosphere, the spirit of things, smoking cigarettes, laughing. If he sleeps, it can't be for long.

Reviewed on: 17 Jan 2007
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Any Way The Wind Blows packshot
Ensemble movie defined as "Antwerp on a Friday in June".
Amazon link

Product Code: AXM553

Region: 2

Sound: Dolby Digital

Extras: Rewind - On The Set; deleted scenes; interview with Tom Barman; Portrait Of Tom Barman; music video - Summer's Here; two trailers

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