Film Review: Anonymous Club

Given our nations’ intertwined histories and the amount of things we have in common, there seems to be an unspoken connection between the UK and (post-colonial) Australia. This is especially true when it comes to popular culture. The likes of Neighbours and Home and Away pulled incredible viewer numbers and many of their stars have made it big in Hollywood. Music is no exception, everything from INXS, Crowded House to Kylie and Tame Impala.

Today, there’s a wealth of talent ‘down under’, particularly when it comes to what is loosely termed as indie. Courtney Barnett is one of the best. Over the course of the last nine years, or so, she has released three critically acclaimed albums and won numerous awards. The Australian is a far cry from what we’d traditionally consider a ‘rockstar’ to be though. She’s quiet, shy and unassuming. Anonymous Club follows her over three years as she embarks on a world tour.

Anonymous Club is an intimate glimpse into the life of a musician who wears her heart on her sleeve. With lyrics that are profoundly personal, there’s no show or pretence to Barnett. Danny Cohen wisely chooses to shoot in 16mm, which really helps capture the essence of her creativity and anxieties. While the audio diary documents her thoughts, it’s perhaps in the off-the-cuff moments when we get the greatest insights. Anonymous Club is a frank and down-to-earth portrait of a very real artist.  

Anonymous Club is out in US cinemas on 15 July.

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