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gogol_bns-smal.jpgGogol Bordello Non Stop
Hoptza! Films

Gogol Bordello Non Stop follows everyone’s favorite (*cough* only *cough*) gypsy punk band’s progression from Eugene Hütz’ journey to America, to shirtless parties at the Bulgarian Bar at Broadway & Canal in New York, to touring the world playing at festivals in front of crowds of thousands. The image portrayed by Hütz and the rest of GB is not just a hollow and fake aesthetic, it’s a lifestyle, a fact I got to find out first hand during a meeting with Hütz at Warped Tour a few years back. (Dude smells like concentrated body odor. True story.)

Seeing the film made me regret not hitting on one of the dancers when I had my chance to meet the band. Holy crap, she is SO much hotter without make up! Oh, the regrets… what we could have shared. Is it better to have loved and lost or to never have loved at all? OH THE REGRETS!!!

I knew some Gogol fun-facts going into the flick, such as their multi-nationality (the band is composed of Russian, Ukrainian, Isreali and American musicians, and the dancers are Thai-American and Chinese-Scottish) and, until recently, its distinctive lack of a bass player, but I hadn’t fully realized how outrageous a past the band really had. Stories that couldn’t be made up if you tried, like having to replace a drummer who got deported or the guitarist who became a schizophrenic. It was also particularly interesting to hear the members of the band tell the saga of how they joined up.

The film contains quite a bit of comedy, like a hapless tour manager SideOneDummy provided for them helplessly trying to corral the band into the bus, as the band continually yells “PARTY!” in thick accents.

There’s plenty of documentaries about various sects within the punk scene (American Hardcore, This Is Punk), but it’s nice to see one focusing on a specific band. If you’re interested in trying to get your immigrant grandmother into the scene, here’s your chance. Gogol Bordello will have your Nana up and dancing around in no time to the wonderful sounds of The Motherland. Gogol Bordello Non Stop premieres at the AFI Film Festival in LA on November 1st.

-Jonathan Yost