The few movies that have been made about the electronic dance music scene in the last twenty years have come and gone like mere blips and blops, in part because of weak plots and sub-plot and bad casting choices but also because techno, like drugs or sex, tends to make for boring on-screen subject matter.
Movies about music need to have vivid characters that jump off the screen, like those in Cameron Crowe’s 2000’s ALMOST FAMOUS. No one filmmaker has been able to render this musical genre properly for the big screen. Is it for lack of ambition or competence?
Remember Greg Harrison’s GROOVE (also in 2000)? I had already hung up my raver shoes long ago but I thought, finally, here’s a movie about my scene, the neo-hippie movement called rave. I was smack-bang in the demo for that film and yet GROOVE was so underwhelming that it blew bubbles out of a chimp’s ass (I’m pretty sure the term ‘direct-to-video’ was coined on the back of that particular release). And yet, hard to be surprised. The only meritorious films about techno music have been documentaries (remember MODULATIONS, 1998?).
WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS, filmmaker Max Joseph’s first feature, is a fiction about DJ culture with some major changes to acknowledge since the other aforementionned works: the DJ scene has gone from being an underground party to a multi million dollar-industry with artists like Diplo and Dubfire jetting around the world in private jets and documenting their rock star lifestyle on Instagram. DJs and their adoring crowds demand that they be taken seriously, so a proper movie about them seems well-deserved.
In WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS which comes out this Friday Cole (Zac Efron) plays a twenty year-old techno DJ. During the day he hangs out with his childhood friends; at night, Cole deejays and hope to come up with the one track that’ll get the entire world dancing. He inches closer to his dream after he meets James, an experienced jock who takes him under his wing. A budding friendship between Cole and James’s girlfriend Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski, pictured) soon turns into something else. What follows, damage in broville, was to be predicted.
Director Max Joseph has up until now only directed shorts and documentary films. He’s also known for hosting ‘Catfish’ on MTV (he’s actually had to miss the first five episodes of Season 4 in order to shoot WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS).
Film was shot in the San Fernando Valley last summer.
COOL THING: the film’s title was inspired from “We are your friends,” an epoch-making remix by Justice of the Simian Mobile Disco-made track.
Cole Carter: Zac Efron
Sophie: Emily Ratajkowski
James: Wes Bentley
Ollie: Shiloh Fernandez
Carl: Wiley M. Pickett
Nicky: Jon Abrahams
Francine: Molly Hagan
Mel: Vanessa Lengies
Clarissa: Rebecca Forsythe
Joey: Joey Rudman
Rebecca: Kelsey Formost
Mindy: Scarlett Benchley
Heather: Devon Barnes