Study Guide

This Is Spinal Tap Point of View

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Point of View


Rob Reiner easily could have made this your run-of-the-mill, straight narrative comedy. It could have just been the story of a few bumbling buffoons trying to keep the band together, told linearly and without any frills. We could have done without all those interviews, captions, and other elements of fourth-wall-breaking.

But it's all that other stuff that makes Spinal Tap truly unique. By taking this story and venturing into the mostly uncharted world of mockumentary filmmaking, Reiner crafted something that shook up audience expectations and got people thinking about other ways a story might effectively be told.

Plus, this approach allows us to really take time with the characters, getting to know each little eccentricity and detail about their personalities. In most movies, if a scene doesn't move the story along, it usually ends up on the cutting room floor. But here, the main purpose is simply to get a gritty, in-depth look at the rockers' inner workings. We're treated to a scene where Nigel shows off his guitar collection, and another where Derek has difficulties getting through security, and another where we get to chat with the drummer in the bathtub. Let's see that scene sticking around to the final cut in your typical summer blockbuster.

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