Next month, Green Day finally unveil Heart Like a Hand Grenade, a long-awaited doc on the making of 2004’s American Idiot. Directed in DIY fashion by punk-minded filmmaker John Roecker, the movie was shot in the studio during the creation of the future Rock and Rock Hall of Famers‘ breakthrough rock-opera concept LP and screened only once — at an intimate fan event in Hollywood in 2009. We’re presenting an exclusive first look at the trailer.
“This movie is like a fly-on-the-wall art house piece,” Roecker writes in a director’s statement posted on the Green Day website. “It is the first time Green Day allowed someone into the studio to film them.” In addition to the studio clips, the film contains the only known footage of a full-album performance of American Idiot in a small theater, dating from shortly after the recording sessions.
In the director’s statement, Roecker recalled his original meetings with the band, which led to the filming of Heart Like a Hand Grenade. “I went to a small club called the Berkeley Square,” he writes. “There I saw for the first time the band Green Day … Later I had met Billie Joe Armstrong the lead singer of Green Day and a friendship began. We would speak on the phone exchanging thoughts and ideas … and he was going to embark on a new musical journey. I told him he should document the recording of the album and he said they had tried and it never worked. I suggested that he set up tripods around the studio and just have cameras run so it would not be too invasive of the process of the recording (I was hoping he would get my hint!). Then I got a phone call on a Friday night and he said he and the band will be in Los Angeles on Monday and why don’t I be the tripod. Thus began my nine months with Green Day.”
Heart Like a Hand Grenade screens at California film festivals on October 8th and 13th, and then at theaters nationwide on October 15th. See here for complete details.