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339 Ratings

The Inertia Variations

Directed by Johanna St Michaels
Sweden, United Kingdom, 2017
Documentary, Music


The man behind the legendary British band The The attempts to challenge the contemporary political landscape through his own 12 hour live, shortwave radio broadcast. But is he really done with making music? A request to write a new song for the show reveals old demons of inertia and bereavement.

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The Inertia Variations Directed by Johanna St Michaels

What are people saying?

  • Huey McEvoy's rating of the film The Inertia Variations

    'Infected's white hot stew of pop, politics, new wave and industrial funk - alongside its ahead-of-its-time 'visual album' - soundtracked my early teens in the 80s. It baffled me how someone as vital, fiery and energetic as Matt Johnson seemed to fall off the radar in the new century. His poetic explanations of his 'inertia' are fascinating, and the framing device - a New Song! - pays off: the song is wonderful.

  • EdieEmm's rating of the film The Inertia Variations

    Form, content, flow, spirit - all coincident; total harmony of elements (a product no doubt of the intimacy of Johanna & Matt's creative relationship.) And then this guy on the screen who I knew nothing much about going in, talking like he's broadcasting live from my inner world... What a thing to find happening in front of you on the screen, some innocuous weeknight. The hairs on my arms stood up.

  • msmichel's rating of the film The Inertia Variations

    I remember seeing the 'Mind Bomb' tour in the summer of '93 and it seemed so out of character to see the band playing in an amphitheatre to a fairly large audience but 'The The' had struck a generational chord with the earlier 'Infected' album. Who knew that they would simply disappear not so much later. This documentary fails to answer the question of what happened but does offer some more existential rewards.

  • 'king Harold's rating of the film The Inertia Variations

    Melancholic study of a modest man who has lost sight of the point of his talent, it is quite profound really, is it procrastination? Not so much a writers block as a contemplative state. Pushing himself to write a song, the performance of which is quite flawless and beautiful, his voice is so rich and his control so unique it made me cry from the memory of his Soul Mining which I kind of played to death at the time.

  • fane2808's rating of the film The Inertia Variations

    An insight in the complicated, yet lonely (even if in the midst of people) Mr. Matt Johnson. A raincoat and baseball cap silhouette wandering the streets of various British cities. Trying to gather the strength to write one more song. Mourning the loss of his older brother. And pondering, as usual, about life, death, war, peace and all that the spirit needs. Must see for all The The afficionados, me included.

  • dionysus67's rating of the film The Inertia Variations

    People like Matt Johnson are actually the potent force referred to in this wonderfully brooding, reflective but ultimately uplifting self-confessional documentary, shot in an appropriate tone and mood that respects the person, the ideas, the circle of friends and relatives. Never a hagiography, it provides a frame for scrutiny on our own demons of (un)creative inertia and of how-and if-we count for others. Bravo!

  • Lee Donowitz's rating of the film The Inertia Variations

    More like a study of depression. A satisfying portrait of an artist in limbo looking for a way back into his creativity, and the redemptive power of family. Matt Johnson comes across as hugely self-obsessed with a heady mix of ego and insecurity that so many artists possess. Enjoyable nonetheless.

  • Henk Lamers's rating of the film The Inertia Variations

    Final score: 8. Storyline: 8, Originality: 8, Cinematography: 7, Involvement: 7, Sound: 8, Editing: 8, Educational: 8, Title design: 7, Acting: 8, Interesting: 9, Unusual: 7, Exciting: 7, Superior: 7

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