Archives / 2008 Sundance Film Festival

Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Director: Sacha Gervasi

Institute History

Description

At 14, Toronto school friends Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner made a pact to rock together forever. Their band, Anvil, went on to become the “demigods of Canadian metal,” releasing one of the heaviest albums in metal history, 1982’s Metal on Metal. The album influenced a musical generation, including Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, and went on to sell millions of records. But Anvil’s career took a different path—straight to obscurity.

Director Sacha Gervasi has concocted a wonderful and often hilarious account of Anvil's last-ditch quest for elusive fame and fortune. His ingenious filmmaking may first lead you to think this a mockumentary, but it isn’t. Gervasi joined the legendary heavy-metal band as a roadie for a tour of Canadian hockey arenas, so he has intimate insight into the members' eccentricities. It's fascinating to see the reality of their day-to-day lives as they struggle to make ends meet, take a misguided European tour, and engage in antics on the road—which is not always lined with fans. Gervasi even finds a softer center to this raucous film, introducing us to band members' ever-supportive, but long-suffering, families. At its core, Anvil! The True Story of Anvil is a timeless tale of survival and the unadulterated passion it takes to follow your dream, year after year. Anvil rocks—it has no other choice.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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