Feast Of Friends (DVD)

The Doors

Eagle Vision, 2014

http://www.thedoors.com

REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/17/2015

Feast Of Friends is a bit hard to categorize. It’s not a documentary. Nor is it a performance film, although it does have some performance footage. There’s no real structure or theme.

The footage was shot by the band and filmmaker Paul Fererra, who followed the guys around LA and during their 1968 tour, recording various random moments of the band performing, relaxing, during rehearsals, waiting backstage, and in the studio. Ferrera was a good friend and confidant of the band, so there is a definite affection for the subject matter from behind the lens.

The best way to describe Feast Of Friends is a rambling audio-visual collage of sights and sounds of a summer in the life of the band. Various scraps of footage are cobbled together somewhat haphazardly, interspersed with other random bits of audio, music, and spoken word. A majority of the film was shot on a cheap camera with no sound, so live footage is usually overlaid with studio recordings. Random bits of conversation are peppered throughout.  Some of it is rather disjointed and out of context, but overall, it is mesmerizing to watch. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Among the footage is a lengthy section that follows the band sightseeing and performing in Seattle. There is a long segment of the band waiting in some unknown green room where Ray and Jim take turns playing piano and Robbie plays an old Leadbelly song for his girlfriend.

Grainy concert footage from an unidentified show is reminiscent of some of the last footage of the final Beatles performances, with Jim and the band performing with a phalanx of security guards at the front of the stage hurling eager stage rushing fans back into the crowd. This is followed by a very touching scene of Jim backstage, consoling a battered, bleeding fan.

In addition to the 40-minute film is a companion piece titled Feast Of Friends: Encore. It’s comprised of the unused footage from FoF that is actually closer to a structured film than the feature and includes some very good footage of the band at their leisure.

Additional features on the DVD are a classic black and white TV special from the BBC that includes a very good a 40-minute live set, titled The Doors Are Open, as well as a film of the band in 1967 performing “The End” on Canadian TV.

Feast Of Friends has the sort of offhanded, homemade charm reminiscent of the flower power generation that makes it feel very organic in capturing a moment in of that era. While fun to watch, it doesn't offer much in the way of history about the band or provide any depth of information. As a result, folks looking for interviews or a documentary of the band might be disappointed. It should appeal more to the diehard Doors fan, who I expect will greedily devour this offbeat but engaging record of this snapshot in time.

Rating: B

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