DVD Review: Robyn Hitchcock—Sex, Food, Death...and Insects

Already the subject of an extensive documentary by Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme a few years ago, English troubadour Robyn Hitchcock is followed by cameras once again in Robyn Hitchcock: Sex, Food, Death....and Insects, as he records a new CD in his West London house and goes on tour with an all-star band.
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New York (March 14, 2008)--Already the subject of an extensive documentary by Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme a few years ago, English troubadour Robyn Hitchcock is followed by cameras once again in Robyn Hitchcock: Sex, Food, Death....and Insects, as he records a new CD in his West London house and goes on tour with an all-star band.

Originally an hour-long special shown on the Sundance Channel, Insects finds the singer-songwriter variously cramming himself and R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, Nick Lowe, John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin and members of The Young Fresh Fellows, The Presidents of the USA and Ministry into his bohemian front room and kitchen (and backyard and roof) to make music over the course of a week. The venture goes so well that Hitchcock, Buck and various others hit the road in the U.S., driving right past the Pro Sound News offices in New York City at one point (and they didn't stop in? The nerve!).

While low on gear--a stray close-up of recording files here, a few nice mics there-- Insects instead offers keen insights into the proper care and feeding of one's musical muse. Disappointingly, the flick never stops to explore how 30 years into a musical career that has never had a bona fide hit single, Hitchcock is still an active, signed artist, able to release new music on a regular basis. That said, however, for those who enjoy jangle pop about pretty much any topic but love, this documentary is a pleasant way to spend an hour with an eclectic genius with a talent for songwriting and a fetish for polka-dot shirts.