The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights (2009) Teaser Trailer
The teaser trailer for The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights.
Are the White Stripes still the coolest band on the planet? Nothing gets a hipster fight started faster than ranking bands, but the Stripes permanently established their cool cred with their unprecedented 2007 tour across Canada. Hitting every province and territory, Jack and Meg White took their crunching art-blues-rock to Iqaluit and Charlottetown, Edmonton and Toronto. As documented in this outstanding concert tour film, they also let the cameras capture the inner life of one of music's most mysterious duos.
As is typical for the White Stripes, it began with a concept: a complete tour of Canada, but with each performance a spontaneous act. That meant rocking out on a city bus in Winnipeg, a bowling alley in Saskatoon, a youth drop-in centre in Edmonton and a YMCA day camp in Toronto. In Charlottetown, they gig on a boat in the harbour. In St. John's, Newfoundland, they perform a concert of exactly one note.
Backstage and between gigs, director Emmett Malloy keeps an observant eye on the relationship between Jack and Meg. The fact that Jack talks and Meg largely doesn't has become a running joke between them. So has the exact nature of their relationship. They were once married, but for years claimed in interviews to be brother and sister.
True to the Stripes' carefully designed look, Malloy shoots much of the film in their signature black, white and red. Their stripped-down, pop-art stage sets make a perfect backdrop for the spare, sonic attack of their music, and the lo-fi punch of their sound seems especially Canadian in this context. When Cape Breton fiddler Ashley MacIsaac shows up for their tenth anniversary show in Glace Bay, it's partly because he and Jack are distant relatives. But when Jack sits with elders in Iqaluit to learn the symbolism of crows, there's a deeper curiosity about Canada at work. By way of exchange, he plays a Blind Willie McTell song for them.