Ride, Rise, Roar

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Ride, Rise, Roar
The backside of David Byrne's head turns to face the camera and in the background, a woman is dancing in a white uniform. Above them is written "Ride, rise, ROAR" in a white font that imitates handwriting.
A film poster for Ride, Rise, Roar
Directed by Hillman Curtis
Produced by
  • Will Schluter
  • Ben Wolf (co-producer)
Starring David Byrne
Music by David Byrne
Brian Eno
Cinematography Ben Wolf
Edited by Matt Boyd
Hillman Curtis
Distributed by A-Film (Benelux)
Kaleidoscope (UK & Ireland)
Umbrella (Australia)
Uplink (Japan)
Release date
  • March 15, 2010 (2010-03-15) (SXSW)
Running time
Country United States
Language English

Ride, Rise, Roar is a documentary film chronicling the Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno Tour conducted by David Byrne in 2008–2009. The film includes concert footage, footage of the planning and rehearsals for the tour, and exclusive interviews with Byrne, Eno, and the supporting musicians and dancers.[1]


Curtis initially proposed documenting the tour with no clear objective for the film and decided to focus on the collaboration between Byrne and his tour mates as well as the unique challenge of combining popular music with modern dance.[2] Byrne wanted the film to display what it takes to put on a concert.[3]


The film was released to the 2010 film festival circuit,[4] with the debut at South by Southwest on March 15, 2010,[5] where it was screened in all three media categories—film, interactive, and music.[6] Following this, it was displayed by the Seattle International Film Festival[7] and Silverdocs. The film is the feature-length directorial debut by Hillman Curtis[8]—who also worked on the short film that accompanies the deluxe edition of the Byrne–Eno album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.[9] Byrne attended some British screenings for question and answer sessions.[10]


The film has received positive and mixed reviews—review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 71% score with seven professional reviews.[11] Most positive reviews were restrained: for instance, The Quietus called the film "handsome albeit conventional";[12] writing for The Guardian, Andrew Pulver noted that it was a "pretty straightforward concert movie" and gave the film three out of five stars, but criticized Curtis' direction for using bland shots.[13] A negative review from The Stranger's Christopher Frizzelle advised potential viewers to "run in the other direction" due to the poor choreography and dull interviews.[14] The Independent's Anthony Quinn found the choreography unacceptable as well as Byrne's arrangement and song selection.[15] Other reviews—such as Empire's Phil de Semlyen—preferred the emphasis on dance and found the choreography enjoyable.[16] A complaint of several reviewers[17] was the lack of uninterrupted musical performances, with interview clips cutting short the live footage.[18]

Comparisons with the 1984 Talking Heads documentary Stop Making Sense were inevitable[19]The Seattle Times even dubbed this a "sequel"[20]—and reviews universally found the former film to be stronger.[16] For instance, View London considers Ride, Rise, Roar entertaining, but "not on the level of classica rockumentaries", whereas Stop Making Sense is "generally reckoned to be one of the best concert movies ever made."[21] Time Out Chicago's assessment of Hillman Curtis acknowledges the "challenging position" that he was in by being compared to Jonathan Demme's direction, but sums up the review by calling the film "a very satisfying experience."[22]


Byrne onstage during the Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno tour.

The movie includes performances of the following songs:


Additional appearances as interviewees (not on stage)
  • David Whitehead – David Byrne's manager
  • Annie-B. Parson – choreography ("I Zimbra")
  • Sonya Robbins and Layla Childs a.k.a. Robbinschilds Dance – choreography ("The Great Curve")
  • Noémie Lafrance – choreography ("I Feel My Stuff")
  • Brian Eno – co-composer

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bailey, Rachel (2010-02-26). "David Byrne to Premiere Tour Documentary at SXSW". Paste. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  2. ^ "David Hillman Curtis; Director — Ride, Rise, Roar". Public Broadcasting Service. 2010-03-13. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  3. ^ MacInnes, Paul; Barnes, Henry (2011-05-26). "David Byrne on Ride, Rise, Roar: 'There has to be an energy' - video". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  4. ^ "Screenings :: Ride, Rise, Roar". Hillman Curtis. 2010-02-11. Archived from the original on 2010-02-27. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  5. ^ Garcia, Chris (2010-02-03). "Austin Movie Blog". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  6. ^ "South by Southwest to Feature The Low Anthem, Christina Courtin, Carolina Chocolate Drops, New David Byrne Documentary". Nonesuch Records. 2010-02-25. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  7. ^ "Films & Events". Seattle International Film Festival. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  8. ^ Eisen, Benjy (2010-02-25). "New David Byrne Documentary Will Screen at SXSW". Spinner.com. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  9. ^ Breihan, Tom (2010-02-25). "David Byrne Tour Chronicled in Doc". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  10. ^ Byrne, David (2011-01-21). "1.21.11 – London". David Byrne. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  11. ^ "Ride, Rise, Roar — Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  12. ^ Dalton, Stephen (2010-05-24). "South By South West Festival: Music on Film Roundup". The Quietus. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  13. ^ Pulver, Andrew (2011-01-13). "Ride, Rise, Roar – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  14. ^ Frizelle, Christopher (2010-06-10). "Seattle — Ride, Rise, Roar Reviews and Showtimes — Seattle Movie Theaters, Showtimes and Reviews, SIFF Listings and Reviews". The Stranger. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  15. ^ Quinn, Anthony (2011-01-14). "Ride, Rise, Roar (12A)". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  16. ^ a b Semlyen, Phil de (January 2011). "Ride, Rise, Roar". Empire. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  17. ^ Staunton, Terry (January 2011). "Ride, Rise, Roar film review — Radio Times". Radio Times. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  18. ^ Harley, Kevin (2011-01-28). "Film Reviews: Ride, Rise, Roar". Total Film. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  19. ^ Renovitch, James (2010-05-19). "SXSW Film: Daily reviews and interviews". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  20. ^ S., J. (2010-05-28). "May 29 at SIFF: Actress America Ferrera, author/director Sebastian Junger visit film festival". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  21. ^ Turner, Matthew (2011-01-20). "Ride, Rise, Roar (12A)". View London. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  22. ^ Sartin, Hank (2010-05-06). "SXSW Film Festival: Day 4". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 

External links[edit]