With the hype for Denholm’s Gorillaz: Reject False Icons documentary building, it only makes sense to think back to Bananaz – Gorillaz’s major full-length documentary that focused on both Phases 1 and 2.
I think the documentary gets some flak for not showing enough live footage, or not enough of the Phase 2 behind-the-scenes work. Honestly, I think it’s the perfect documentation of the gritty feeling of Phases 1 and 2 – no changes to the film necessary. Here’s how the documentary was initially advertised on the Gorillaz website back in 2008 (when it was first being shown at film festivals):
The film removes the virtual walls of Gorillaz, a cartoon band created by artist Jamie Hewlett and musician Damon Albarn. Audiences see just what Ceri Levy saw over some many and varied months of shooting from 2000 to 2006.
Bananaz is Levy’s story of the partnership and community behind Gorillaz. He takes you on the road with this virtual phenomenon and shows a part of Gorillaz never seen before – reality. As one radio interviewer puts it, “It’s a parallel universe – these guys aren’t in the band but they know the animated characters who are”.
Bananaz is an honest, at times hilarious account of the working relationship between Albarn and Hewlett. A free-wheeling film which teams these two likely lads with friend and film maker Ceri Levy.
Featuring Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett, Dennis Hopper, De la Soul and Ibrahim Ferrer and Ceri’s camera.
After the initial screenings in 2008, it was released on Babelgum on 20 April 2009, and then on DVD in June. The DVD was promoted on the Gorillaz website with games, a contest to have fans share their interpretation of ‘going Bananaz’, and some sketchy phone messages from Murdoc to Ceri Levi (AS WELL AS a raunchy sex tape involving Murdoc)…
I wonder if the new documentary will be released online with additional lore and fan service like Bananaz was?