Trailer for Bananaz by Ceri Levy
Fans of the band Gorillaz are in for a treat this week, as a 90-minute documentary tracking the history of the band is available to view online.
Bananaz, which will be released on DVD on June 1, was shot by filmmaker Ceri Levy and begins in 2000 at the birth of the concept band created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. The film reveals Hewlett’s first drawings and ideas for the cartoon characters of Murdoc, 2D, Noodle and Russel Hobbs. Sadly for design fans, it doesn’t dig a whole lot deeper into Hewlett’s process than this, although clips from the animated videos appear throughout and a small insight into the technicalities of the stage show (where the band played behind a screen which showed projections of the animated characters) is shown.
Mostly though, it’s a fairly typical band docu, full of backstage japes and the boredoms of being on the road. In this sense it’s a rather conventional film from a band of whom we’ve come to expect something more unusual, however it’s worth a look at for the amazing array of musicians/artists who collaborate with the band over the six years covered in the film, with De La Soul, Ike Turner, Dennis Hopper, Ibrahim Ferrer, Neneh Cherry, Bootie Brown, Dangermouse, and D12 all making appearances.