Hype!

on November 08, 1996 by Pat Kramer
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   Born in Seattle in the mid-'80s and popularized by bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Green River, "grunge" music's garage band sound has metamorphosized into a multibillion-dollar industry. Featured prominently in this film are grunge "founding fathers" Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman of Seattle independent label Sub Pop Records, who introduced the music to the rest of the world through a creative marketing strategy that spurred the flannel-shirted fashion statement and eventual ascension of the music/art form to MTV, Vogue and Wall Street.
   Through numerous interviews with musicians, fans, music promoters, footage of live performances, sound recordings and still photos, "Hype!" shows the cheesy, ludicrous, dark and decadent sides of grunge as well as the intense attraction and influence it has on its fans. Taking a tongue-in-cheek approach through his modestly effective documentary, filmmaker Doug Pray introduces viewers to such farcically named groups as 7 Year Bitch, Coffin Break and Stomach Pump. Les musical in nature than rock, pop or R&B, grunge is categorized by discordant, three-chord songs peppered with screams, explosive feedback and heavy bass lines--reminiscent of the British-born punk 10 years earlier. Often penetrating in its expression of rebellion and angst, grunge is the music of today's young generation. And, like it or not, this simple and crude music form has grown to become a mainstay of the '90s. Featuring Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Mudhoney. Directed by Doug Pray. Produced by Steve Helvey. A CFP release. Documentary. Unrated. Running time: 84 min. Opens 11/8 ltd.
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